Advertising
Advertising

16 Reasons Why The Middle Child Is Awesome

16 Reasons Why The Middle Child Is Awesome

Ahhh, the middle child. Stuck between the siblings, the middle child is often stereotyped as being overlooked during childhood. However, middle children have awesome characteristics. Your life has no doubt been influenced by amazing people who are middle children. Birth order suggests that middle children have wonderful, unique traits and a very important role in the family.

Here are 16 reasons middle children should be celebrated:

1. They are friendly.

Middle children have been shown to be more friendly and are seen as highly sociable. They know how to strike up conversations with anyone. This isn’t surprising. Throughout their childhood, milddle children have learned to communicate effectively with older and younger siblings.

2. They are killer negotiators.

Middle children learn to negotiate from a young age. They had to convince older siblings to share toys with them, play games with them, and go along with their ideas. Middle children learn exactly what to say to get what they want from someone bigger and more powerful than they are. They are amazing negotiators and can smooth-talk their way out of any situation.

Advertising

3. They keep the peace.

Middle children are caught between the typically type-A eldest child and the frequently rebellious youngest child. They balance out the striking differences between their siblings. Since they’re caught in the middle, they tend to “see things both ways” and help maintain harmony in the family. And let’s be honest; what family doesn’t need someone to maintain some sense of harmony?

4. They speak highly of others.

This goes along with keeping the peace. Since middle children grow up in the role of seeing things both ways and maintaining harmony in the family, this can translate into being positive and “seeing both ways” in other areas of their lives. My mom is the middle child in her sibling group, she always speaks well of others. Not once in my life have I ever heard her speak ill of another person. She is representative of a middle child’s ability to be positive at all times.

5. They are agents of change.

According to a psychologist Catherine Salmon, studies suggest that middle children are more likely to ‘become agents of change in business, politics and science.’ Bill Gates, Julia Roberts, and John F. Kennedy are just a few of the many famous successful middle children. Don’t sell a middle child short when it comes to ideas and pushing change, even in small settings like your family unit.

6. They have an excellent work ethic.

Middle children naturally have a strong work ethic. They don’t typically get a lot of brand new items, unlike their older siblings. Parents frequently read and teach the oldest child incredible amounts of information. Once the middle child comes along, parents tend to work on academic skills less, because they are busy now taking care of more than one child. And middle children can’t get away with everything; often parents aren’t as lenient on the middle children as they are the babies. Therefore, middle children have their work cut out for them. They learned at a young age that they have to work for everything. Since middle children have to work for everything, many of them have an incredibly strong work ethic.

Advertising

7. They are trustworthy.

According to a study of birth order characteristics, middle children are more faithful in relationships. Can’t get much better than that!

8. They are independent.

The middle child didn’t receive the undivided attention that the firstborn did from parents. Also, the middle child has to learn to entertain himself while the parents tend to the baby of the family. From a young age, middle children learn to be independent.

9. They pick their battles.

Middle children don’t get worked up about little things. They’ve seen it all from a young age: school-age drama from older siblings, temper tantrums from the babies of the family, and trial and error from the rule-breakers of the family. Middle children have been onlookers into the chaos and drama of their siblings’ lives, and they’ve learned to let small things go.

10. They make well-calculated decisions.

Middle children have the benefit of watching older siblings blaze the trail. They know what could potentially rile up Mom or Dad and what actions will likely not get them into trouble. Since middle children likely know what consequences they’ll face by acting certain ways, they put thought into their actions.

Advertising

11. They are compassionate.

Since middle children are caught in the middle of the sibling group, they see all sides of every situation. They’ve learned to understand others’ opinions. Even if they don’t entirely agree with someone’s logic, they are respectful, understanding, and compassionate.

12. They know how to party.

The middle child grows up trying to keep up with the older sibling and his friends. Later in life, the middle child tries to stay young like the younger sibling and her friends.This is the middle child’s chance to be the fun older sibling!

13. They are easygoing.

Middle children have the benefit of not being the “guinea pig” of their parents. Once the middle child comes around, Mom or Dad has already practiced and learned parenting skills on the older child! Middle children are raised by parents who are not pushing them incessantly to reach every developmental milestone ahead of time. Parents don’t freak out every time the middle child potentially touches a germ. Overall, parents tend to be a little more relaxed with the middle child.

14. They are patient.

Middle children spend a lot of childhood waiting. They wait while their younger sibling is being fed. They wait while the baby’s diaper is being changed for the 8th time that day. They wait for baby to wake up from a nap, so they can play with their loud toys. Middle children also wait for the older child. Middles get dragged along to older siblings’ events all the time. They wait to get bigger; they are frequently told, “You can do that when you get bigger like your older brother.” As middle children grow up, their patience serves them well. They don’t panic if things take longer than expected.

Advertising

15. They see the “gray” in the world.

Middle children have learned to listen to a variety of viewpoints from siblings. They know that the world isn’t always black and white. Middle children understand that there is “gray” in the world and not every single concept is either right or wrong.

16. They cheer for the underdog.

The middle child knows what it’s like to live in the shadows of an older sibling. They identify with the underdog and will do everything like rooting for the team that isn’t favored to wanting to hire the less qualified but enthusiastic candidate for the job. Middle children have trouble getting past this underdog mentality.

What parents can do:

Obviously, the above list is full of stereotypes and much of this article was written for fun. Not every middle child boasts all of the above qualities, just like not every firstborn has a type-A personality, and not every baby of the family is rambunctious. As a parent, here are some ways you can help each of your children thrive in their unique personalities:

  • Get to know your child. Truly get to know them. Take note of their likes and dislikes. Help your child discover strengths and weaknesses.
  • Give your child frequent opportunities to learn new things. If they seems to show an interest in something, build on it.
  • Give each child your undivided attention. This can be difficult, especially if you are raising a house full of littles. Do the best you can to share special moments every day with each child – a conversation, a secret handshake, or a wink can go a long way. Throughout the day, sprinkle in some extra little things that make each child feel special and loved.
  • Occasionally, set aside an entire day to spend with each child alone. This can be an amazing time for both of you.
  • Ask your children if they feel you listen to them. Ask them if they feel loved and appreciated. Be prepared to change your behavior if the answer isn’t one you hoped for.
  • Tell your children how incredible they are.

Featured photo credit: CL Society 201: Woman profile/Francisco Osorio via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life

Trending in Communication

1 How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward 2 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 3 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 4 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need 5 What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

Advertising

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Advertising

1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

Advertising

5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

Advertising

If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next