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Posted on August 19th, 2012, by

Birth Order theory being a part of the personality theory is aimed to explain how the order of birth influences person’s further life, likes and dislikes, features of character and social behavior. The proponents of this theory propose four personality types in accordance with birth order: first born children, middle children, only children and last born children. Some researches also show that our successful relations also depend on our birth order and we should take it into consideration choosing a partner.

 Application of Birth Order Theory

Birth Order theory is the attempt of the personality psychology proponents to explain some behavioral models, habits and peculiarities of a personality. This theory does not only presents a list of features peculiar to this or that person depending on his or her birth order but also gives suggestions about bests matches to have long and harmonic relations and gives some tips how to contact with other people knowing their and your own birth order. Such famous psychologists as Freud, Jung, McCrae and later Dr Leman contributed to the formulation and development of Birth Order theories.

Dr Leman states that people in the family, as well as in the society, act in accordance with ordinal birth order: if you were a first born (or an only child), you are a much different person than you would have been had you been born later. If you are a later born, realize that a lot of things would be different and so would you had you been born first, Leman, 2000, p.75). Birth order theory also acclaims that career choice, preferences in life, hobbies, likes and dislikes can also be explained with the help of birth order. The process of socialization is held in accordance with birth order: The child’s ordinal position in the family has its most important influence on receptivity to accepting or rejecting the requests and ideas of legitimate authority, (Kagan, 1998, p.98).

First born, middle, youngest and only child usually have different traits of character, they need absolutely different partners and have unique strengths and weaknesses. However, it does not mean that the youngest child, for example, will have only such traits of character.

Other factors which influence personality formation are gender, environment in the family and the way the child is raised. A middle born woman and a middle born man will have different characters because the same traits are realized in absolutely different ways in dependence of gender.

First born children are usually leaders in their nature. They always know what to do and in what direction to move. They can gather people around them, however, they sometimes overestimate their possibilities, can be selfish and care more about goals then people’s feelings.

They organize their time in a proper way and are very hard-working. The process and structure of work is very important for them. They are straight thinkers and do not believe in opinions based on intuition or bad logical argumentation.

Their born leadership traits make them energetic, strong, ambitious, enterprising but at the same time intolerant, impatient and inflexible.

They eager to reach more and more, so they are good carrier-makers, however, in this carrier race they first born people can forget about other values in life, such as friends or family. Family may desperately lack their attention, warmth and patience. Aiming to be first in any activity such people can be intolerant and even aggressive with their children if they are passive and do not resemble their parent.

The researches show that the best match for the firstborn is the lastborn. In other way there can appear a rank conflict which cannot guarantee harmonious relations. For example, the relationship between two firstborn practically always presumes competition they will be fighting for the leadership.

If we speak about middle children, they are famous for their realistic approach to life. They are independent thinkers and usually use creative approach. They are excellent at finding compromises with other people. Such people are not spoilt and capricious but sometimes can be rebellious against some family rules or postulates. They are often called peacemakers. It may also happen that in order to make peace they do not share their real opinion and accent their partner’s side. They have analytical thinking in combination with developed intuition and can see things from different sides. This trait helps them to be more objective than other people are. Middle children always keep secrets and can find approach practically to any person. They are easy-going and tolerant to other people’s feeling, they escape any kind of confrontation. However, because of the unfair attitude they can become cynical, suspicious and even bitter.

In relations with the opposite gender middle children have some charm, they attract their partners with the help of the strong hidden sexuality. They can become excellent parts for firstborns and lastborns, as well as middleborns too.

Only children are confident and self-assured, they are not afraid to take decisions and have their own opinion. On the other hand, they can be self-centered and selfish. Their personal ego can overwhelm over people. They are well-organized, their every thing has its own place and their room is usually in order. They prefer scheduled days and timetables. This trait makes them a bit conservative and inflexible. For them it can be difficult to cross rules and be creative. They are sometimes very impatient with disorganized people. Moreover, they have very high standards for themselves and other people, aiming to reach these standards they are often dissatisfied with the today’s situation.

Their precise attitude to work put other people under pressure and stress. They are very ambitious, they know what they want and always reach it. However, they can pay too much attention to details forgetting about their key aim. The best partner for only children is older children.

Youngest or lastborn children are communicative and easy-going. They are charming, caring, tender and lovable. They feel other people’s emotions and know how to work well in any group. Nevertheless, knowing all the weak points of other people they can be manipulative. They are family-oriented, can easily find approach to own children. Social life is the most important aspect of their life. At the same time they can be too talkative and undisciplined. They like to be in the center of attention, know how to entertain and make fun. So, in radical cases they can be too self-centered, spoilt and impatient.

They take more risks than, for example, firstborns, are more liberal and choose creative approach to life. They can see a situation from a new perspective and so can invent something new. The best partner for youngest children is eldest but it is possible to reach harmony with middleborns and lastborns too.

If to speak about my family, the birth order plays a significant role in it. Once you realize that birth order can influence compatibility, a whole new way of seeing relationships opens up for you. Just as certain atoms have a natural affinity for one another and invariably attract to form stable molecules, certain people have a natural affinity and quickly form stable relationships when they meet (Funder, 2001).I am an only child in the family. My mother is a middle child and my father is the youngest one. Mother can be really called a peacemaker in our family. Being the only child, I am a bit spoilt and very self-confident. I always insist on my opinion, my mother does her best to learn me to look at things from different angels and father, being the youngest child, always proposes new, creative decisions. I do not always can accept this creative approach because in my decisions I usually rely on past experience and logical argumentation. My mother gets on well with both, me and my father. She is really caring and always knows what we need and what we what. However, she can sometimes be too sacrificing and forgets about her own wishes and interests. My father, as well as I am, is rather ambitious and a bit self-centered. We have a hidden confrontation for the leading position. However, my father can make any conflict into joke and he can easily relieve the tension that appears among us.

So, in our family I am a rational thinker, I always overthink decisions and rely on past experience. My father is very devoted to the family, at the same time he is very active and always tries something new. We often argue because of his creative and, in my point of view, crazy ideas. He does not try to explain his decisions rationally. In family conflicts my mother practically always makes us find a compromise and chooses the best variant appropriate for everybody.

Birth order theory can be of great use because it helps to understand why this or that person behaves in such a way. Knowing the main traits of his or her character it becomes much easier to find an appropriate approach. At the same time you yourself see you strengths and weaknesses and in such a may you can aim you affords improving your personality.

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