10 Best Things About Being a Middle Child
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Stuck in the Middle1 of 11
By Sara Tan
Middle children have long gotten a bum rap, stereotyped as the disgruntled, chip-on-the-shoulder sibling who just can't seem to fit in. But if recent studies have anything to say about it, then... ha! Because it turns out that middles have a lot of advantages that their younger and older siblings don't. Read on to find out what these inbetweeners have in common.
You're Successful2 of 11
Experts don't know if it's an attempt to overcome the stereotype that they aren't as accomplished as their siblings or simply a reaction to being overlooked by their parents, but recent research has found one thing to be true: As a middle, you tend to channel that energy, whether it be good or bad, into becoming extremely successful later on in your life. According to Dr. Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann, authors of The Secret Power of Middle Children, middles work hard to rise above the rest. As a result, they achieve flourishing careers.
You're a Keeper3 of 11
If anyone's looking for a loving partner, they might want to seek out a middle. According to Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book, middles have been found to be the most monogamous of the birth order. Growing up, middles can feel left out of the pack, squeezed out by the eldest and the youngest. When they have the opportunity to start their own family, they are sure to make it work.
You Make Friends Easily4 of 11
While you're older and younger siblings may have turned to your parents for emotional support, growing up as a middle child, you connected more with your peers instead. Your empathetic and easygoing nature—also traits of a middle child—are what make you popular with others.
You're Ambitious5 of 11
Approximately 52 percent of our country's presidents have been middles. Sure, this statistic shocking, as many birth order studies have suggested that firstborns are the natural leaders of the family. But! According to Salmon and Schumann, middle children tend to be self-motivated and ambitious. Some examples of presidential middle children? John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. Not too shabby, middles.
You're Different—In a Good Way6 of 11
While there are some certainties researchers can conclude about the middle child, middles remain the hardest to categorize. That's because their behavior tends to be a result to the actions of the firstborn child. For example, if the eldest is athletic and sporty, there's a high chance the middle will become artistic or academic. "Once a role is filled by the firstborn, the second-born will seek out a role that's completely the opposite," says Leman.
You're the Go-Between7 of 11
It should come as no surprise that middles are skilled mediators and negotiators. After all, they've been doing it their entire lives. Because they're used to not getting their way, middles tend to be empathetic and are more willing to compromise, according to Amy McCready, author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time... And because middles are often underdogs who value fairness, they tend to be more driven by justice than by other common incentives, like money.
You're Chill8 of 11
Nearly every study about birth order concludes that middles are easygoing. This personality trait is directly related to parenting, says Linda Blair, a birth order expert and author. The oldest child tends to be a worrywart, as a result of his or her parents' anxiety about being first-time moms and dads. So, by the time the middle child rolls around, parents are less stressed, treating their middle in a more hands-off manner.
You're Innovative9 of 11
If you're a middle, you're much more likely to be creative than your older and younger siblings. The middle child's ability to come up with unique and innovative ideas is strong, largely because they received less attention from their parents, which forces them to fend for themselves, both emotionally and intellectually. As a result, middle-borns have a firm sense of independence and are known for thinking outside of the box. See: Bill Gates.
You're Patient10 of 11
Middles are in no rush to be the center of attention—they'll leave that to the other kids. They know their time to shine will eventually come, so they learn to be patient in the meantime. But that doesn't mean they're just loafing around, biding their time. Research suggests that middles are extremely tenacious. They appreciate every moment of the journey, and once they succeed, they are grateful.
You Avoid Conflict11 of 11
By now you know that middles are fantastic mediators, so it should make sense then that they absolutely hate conflict and unnecessary squabbles. After dealing with it for their entire childhood, middles grow up trying to avoid drama as much as possible. They are known for going out of their way just to ease any kind of confrontational situation.
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