As the youngest of six kids, I’m always comparing my experiences to those of my older siblings. I often find that my interests, habits and relationships differ from theirs because of my “youngest child” status. Read on to see if you identify with some of the common personality traits of your birth order, and learn how to use them to your advantage.
First-born children are natural leaders, go-getters and perfectionists. They have an inner drive towards achievement, which can take them far in life. Yet they can also be controlling and can crack under the pressure of always being looked to first.
If you are a trailblazing firstborn, know that your contributions are valued. But try not to get so stuck in the nitty-gritty that you forget the big picture. Also, make sure to give yourself a break every now and then; even the best leaders need time to recharge.
Middle children are great peacekeepers—always balancing the needs of their siblings—and their negotiation skills will serve them well on their career paths. But they also tend to be shy and less willing to put themselves out there as the leader of a group.
If you are a diplomatic middle child, know that you play an incredibly important role in a big family—no one would be able to get anything done without your levelheaded mediation. Don’t be afraid to take charge every once in a while. All that time spent observing others gives you powerful insight into how to solve problems innovatively.
As the youngest child myself, I can attest to being independent and excited about the new and different adventures that come my way. But being the youngest also comes with its drawbacks, the chief among them being less responsible and more self-centered than the older siblings.
If you are also a free-spirited baby of the family, make an effort to tap into your creative and fun-loving sensibilities. Know that you bring a truly unique perspective to the table and can serve as a great counter to more traditional thinkers. But remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you; you have to prove that you are reliable when the going gets tough.
There are definite advantages and disadvantages to not having any siblings. On one hand, only children have innate confidence and great social and verbal skills. On the other hand, not having anyone to hide behind tends to make only children overly critical and manipulative.
If you are a lone soul, know that you are not actually alone. You get to choose your family by creating a network of friends that support and love you. Also remember that you have all the tools inside you to achieve great things, so you don’t need to put others down in order to reach your own goals.