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Birth Order: How your position in the family can influence your personality

As a career recruiter, it would be fair to say that I am fascinated by people and why they make the choices they make, good and bad.

After meeting thousands of candidates and clients over 25 years, it is abundantly clear to me that your birth order influences your personality.

The following is an interesting piece from Penny Travers of ABC Radio on this very topic.

Are you the firstborn, a middle child or youngest in your family?

Are you a high achiever, a peacemaker or the life of the party?

Your position in the family can affect your personality, behaviour and view of the world, according to the experts.

Birth order is considered by some researchers and psychologists to be one of the most powerful influences on personality, along with genetics, gender, temperament and parenting styles.

The Firstborn Child: The High Achiever

Eldest children tend to be high achievers and leaders who may be controlling and bossy and likely to take on responsibility.

They seek approval, are usually perfectionists, and tend to have more in common with other firstborns than their own siblings.

First-borns tend to be:

  • High achievers

  • Perfectionists

  • Responsible

  • Goal-setters

  • Determined

  • Rule keepers

  • Detail people

The Second and Middle Child: The Peacemaker

Second and middle children are more likely to be the peacemaker of the family, are good at negotiating and are more willing to go with the flow.

They seek attention and often have more friends than the firstborn children to compensate for a lack of family attention.

Seconds and middles tend to be:

  • Peacemakers

  • Diplomatic

  • Flexible

  • Free spirits

  • Generous

  • Competitive

The Youngest Child: The Outgoing Charmer

The youngest children tend to be more outgoing and charming to get attention, yet have a greater sense of independence.

They tend to have more freedom and are subsequently more likely to try new things and do what they want to do.

The youngest children tend to be:

  • Charmers

  • Risk-takers

  • Outgoing

  • Persistent

  • Ideas people

  • Creative

  • Challenge authority

"Birth order accounts for the differences between kids within families," parenting expert and author Michael Grose said.

"Most parents sometimes throw their hands up in the air wondering why their first and their second are so different.”

"They may be the same gender, born two years apart, have the same educational experience yet they're as different as chalk and cheese.”

"That's where birth order comes in."

Where do you sit in your family of origin and has it determined important choices in your life such as your career and the partner you chose?

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