1.15.2008

Birth Order

Once upon a time in a scary land called high school, a girl named Blackeyedsue picked up a book. Not just any book, but a book that explained why she was the way she was.

It was a book on birth order.

And she has been fascinated ever since.

I understand that we are each born with our own unique personalities and then there is the whole nature/nurture school of thought. However I do believe where we are in our family plays a role as well.

I should explain too that I am the oldest daughter of an oldest daughter of an oldest daughter. That means my grandma and my mom should both understand me and it also means that I should understand my daughter.

It also means I have a plethora of issues. My poor princess doesn't stand a chance.

I am also two years and two days older than my next sister ("Hi!" next sister) and six and a half years older than my baby sister ("Hi!" baby sister!) and almost 14 years older than my kid brother ("Hey kid brother...get back to work...you have graduation to think about!)

The other day I was thinking about this and I remembered that in a magical place called the Internet, there is a magic wand known as Google. So I googled "birth order" and THIS is what I found.

Since then, I have spent time perusing this site (time that would have been better spent folding that mountain of laundry in my family room that grows bigger by the hour). I digress. I have analyzed myself, my sisters, my brother, my parents, my husband, my children, my friends (poor Hil and Ity!). Thankfully I talked to both of them as I was playing therapist.

Now you get to find out a little more about this firstborn girl, oldest child, older sister of younger sister? Here goes. My thoughts follow.

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As a child, you often got told to babysit the others for a short time, which you may have enjoyed, but more likely resented. As soon as your parents' backs were turned, hell broke loose, and you showed how you really felt.

-This was true. I was mean to my sisters when I had to watch them. I hope one day they will forgive me...sorry sisters.


As you grew up and had to really babysit, you probably enjoyed the authority at first, but the novelty soon wore off, and you felt unfairly burdened. You felt cheated, being taken away from your own interests, and the youngsters were aware of your annoyance, as well as the fact that you weren't the Real Boss. So they did everything to try your patience, until you lost control, and were quite nasty in return. Even today, you may feel guilty of some of your retaliations, and are hard on yourself for it. But the little ones have long ago forgiven you, as they knew they deserved it.

-Well, yeah. They kind of did. I still think that stain from my nail polish is on the carpet in my old bedroom. And I never found the rest of my earrings. ;)

You have grown up with a "life is real - life is serious" outlook.

-SO true. When I hang out with my mom and sisters, my sisters can totally goof-off and I have a hard time straying from the rules...written or unwritten. I have always been envious of them not caring what people think. I have always wanted to be able to not conform, but I just can't.

You feel self-critical perfectionism, and have strong feelings of depression as you turn your anger and aggression inwards.

-Um, YES. DH has always told me that I am not assertive enough. I internalize EVERYTHING. I have been working on that, but a lifetime of not asserting my feelings and needs is hard to overcome.

You are reluctant to seek help when distressed - something your brothers and sisters do easily. You consider it okay for them, but not for you. You bottle up your problems.

-Yes, yes I do bottle up my problems. I have a hard time sharing when things are rough with people. I feel like I shouldn't have to burden people with my problems. They are my problems, I should handle them.


You are the worst worriers OF ALL BIRTH ORDERS. You appear to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.

-It gets quite heavy sometimes.

You were probably the only child who was told of your parents' problems, whether about illnesses, or household finances etc. etc., which adds to your distress and worry.

-My parents were good about this. They never directly told me about financial issues or problems, but they talked to me like I was older (something I find myself doing to my oldest daughter) and I picked up a lot of what was happening.


Although distressing, you WANT to know everything that is happening, and feel angry and helpless when people don't confide in you. Secretiveness by people close to you (family, close friends, lovers) is a definite no-no. You may hide your feelings with indifference, or else show anger, or jealousy.

-I really, really hate being on the outside looking in. I love to listen and it does hurt when people feel that can't talk to me. You don't want to be on the other side when that hurt comes to the surface (sorry mom and sisters). But I am working on that.


People see you as a person of experience, know-how, and self-confidence, and it's almost impossible for them to imagine how much you do fret and worry. If they do find out, they appreciate your humanity in not being perfect. All that remains is for YOU to appreciate it!

-I have heard from people that they think I have it all together. HA! Do I have them fooled. I am a big ol' mess most of the time.

You take on too much in the self-sacrifice department. You can become a packhorse for everyone else's problems, and you must learn how to say no.

-My mom and I were talking about this the other night. We are BOTH this way. Not only do we tackle others problems, we don't share ours. Neither of us are very good at saying no. Neither is my oldest child bf. We all need to work on that. ;)

OF ALL BIRTH ORDERS, you are by far the least comfortable with people your own age. You prefer to be with people much older or younger than yourself.

-This is not so true for me. I am pretty comfortable with everyone.

Your closest friends are usually OLDEST or YOUNGEST CHILDREN in their families.

-This is true too.

You, like ONLY CHILDREN, have a stronger desire for privacy than most people, and enjoy being alone.

-For the most part... but I DO have this blog. I am perfectly content sitting at home with just my family. It drives my youngest and middle child friends crazy.

But at the same time, you have a desire for settling down with a permanent love partner, in whom you invest whatever needs you have for closeness and companionship, while letting the rest of the world go by.

-My DH is a youngest son. He likes to be with people. We clash in this department. All I need is him, but he is so social. I have to work on that.

You relationship with any female who even slightly reminds you of your sister, will cause total avoidance, or fierce revenge, or unpleasantness.

-Okay, this one is ABSOLUTELY true. There are some people that I just avoid. I could NEVER put my finger on it until I read this. VOILA! They are just like my sisters. Here is my disclaimer...I LOVE MY SISTERS!!! My mom and I were talking about this and we came to the conclusion that I only have room for one of each of my sisters in my life. Her too. Interesting. Not ONE of my close friends are remotely like my sisters.

Girls in your birth order are responsible, competent, and conscientious - but also bossy, and highly competitive with other females.

-Weird. I am responsible, competent and conscientious and bossy. I want to drop-kick girls who copy me with out giving credit where credit is due. I want to smack girls who mimic me or imitate me. I hate it when they try to compete. Be yourself, not me. Or at least I see it that way. Maybe violence should be an oldest female daughter trait.

You do not get along well with other OLDEST SISTERS at work - although you form close and lasting friendships with them socially.

-My best friend is an oldest daughter. I love her. But I might kill her if I had to work with her. We are both stubborn and want to be the boss. Right Hil?

At work, you are disgusted if ever treated with disrespect by a man. You feel such equality with men, that you feel hurt, shocked, disappointed and angry, if they do not see you as their equal. Your boss is likely to experience your forwardness/strength as a threat.

Y-ou should ask the man named Wes that I used to work with. We yelled at each other all of the time. Neither of us thought the other should be in charge. He should have realized that I was ALWAYS in charge.

You like to be in charge of yourself and others, and are reluctant to let anyone else take on the responsibilities. You must relax and modify your efforts at control - let go, sit back, and listen to the music - your own, and others.

-I. cannot. delegate.

You are a "take-charge" person, who knows what she is doing.

-Don't get in my way.

Both sexes can feel intimidated by you.

-I am rather scary.


***I just found this interesting, because it is true in my family. My baby sister has the strongest relationship with our dad. ***Most families the world over, would prefer a boy to be their oldest, and there are strong temptations by parents to raise their first daughter similarly to a boy. This is especially so with arrival of the next daughter. Surprisingly, when there are 3 or more girls, and no boys, the youngest girl is treated in this way. But in a 2 girl family, it is the oldest girl who is chosen to fill this role.



Now it is your turn. I am calling on anyone who is reading this. See, my bossy, oldest daughter/child is coming out. Go and read up. See what holds true for you. I want to read all about it on your blogs. Let me know!!!




Day 16

9 comments:

Linemoren said...

Hmmmm.... I wonder what it would tell me about only-children... and how much I would own up to it.... ha ha ha
And how screwed up am I as both oldest, youngest, AND middle child.... hee hee hee

The Rookie said...

How funny. I wrote a research paper on this my senior year of high school!

I am the youngest but I feel like I display a great many of these traits. I think my family dynamic (spacing between kids, I have only half siblings, that whole "oops" factor, etc.) plays into this, perhaps? I think there are a handful of little things I do that are youngest child-ish, but most of the time I think I have that oldest kid syndrome in me.

Hmmmmm...something to think about, anyway.

ryles said...

So... I got on line to check my email.. and find this really really yummy cookie recipe.. (that i wont share with you.. in leiu of the no chocolate thing.. but it totally has something to do with Paradise Bakery!! hmm..hmm??)
Anyway.. When i somehow came upon your blog.. i was just supposed to be here for a couple minutes..then off to do house stuff and bake cookie..
Do you know how long i have been sitting here reading your blog??
Umm.. almost an hour and a half!!!!!
Seriously!!

So now that I almost know your entire life story.. i need to go do the dishes and make cookies!!

P.s. i love squishy!! I'm totally baby hungry right now..(We've been married for 4 months yesterday! Wahoo!) and i want a baby named squishy!! So cute..

Okay.. seriously.. leaving now.. oh but dont you worry.. i still have some reading to do.. i'll be back!!

p.p.s..if i have 2 boys you can totally have one! :oP
I dont want 2!!! No one will ever know!! just kidding!

Anyway..
Thanks for the reading matterial..

www.thatsmycake.net

Char said...

I'm a first born of two first borns. I have major issues. At least I admit it, right?

The Lazy Organizer said...

I am the youngest but I didn't fit their description. I guess I'm much too complicated for myself to understand let alone anyone else!

Goat Girl said...

I really want to look into this, but I don't know how I would figure it out. I am #4 of 5, but at the same time my younger sister and I were kind of the "second half" (6 years between my older sister and me).

hayngrl101 said...

Loved this post... odd to read it, tho.

My yahoo email address is blackiedsusan...

and I am an oldest daughter and I fit the description to a T. I married a youngest son and I can see that when it comes to DH, we have similar issues (social stuff- I am introvert, he is extrovert).

I also have two sisters, love em dearly, but could not be friends with similar women...

so. can we be friends? ;)

Tori :) said...

I would LOVE to read about this!! I totally believe in 2nd children being warped. :)

Heidi said...

Very interesting! I see you in those comments! I wonder if chloe will end up a boyish girl? We already comment so much on how much she looks like Ryan (the only one who really does). I often say she could easily pass for a boy. You know, looking like her dad, just about no hair. Hmmmmmmmm.