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10 Reasons Why Middle Children Are The Strongest

10 Reasons Why Middle Children Are The Strongest

Being the middle child is no walk in the park. You may never notice because they don’t get nearly as much attention, that’s for sure. But that’s okay because this sets them apart from society as stronger individuals. A middle child becomes more independent and appreciative of the little things that life has to offer. Here are some reasons why the middle child is the strongest of them all.

1. They know how to solve problems efficiently

Siblings always argue, sometimes even fist fight! However, middle children are always caught in between the reoccurring drama. They’re often the “go to” expert on the subject that’s being debated. The reason why is because it’s usually the youngest and the oldest fighting. They come to the middle child in hopes for backup but the middle one knows better.

They take in both sides of the argument and construct a statement that’s so powerful, emotionally, and logically, that it usually ends the argument right there and then. The other siblings have no choice but to say “wow, that makes a lot of sense, you’re right.” The world needs problem solvers which means the world needs middle children.

2. They are risk takers

The other siblings are so used to getting all the attention that they can’t get anything done without it. This is advantageous to the middle child because they usually come out ahead. They go on to become courageous risk takers. They don’t feel the need to seek out approval from their teachers or parents. They just go out and do things at a level so high, others can’t help but be impressed.

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3. They are kind and intimidating

Growing up, the middle child had no choice but to stand up to their older sibling and be kind to the younger. The oldest child always lets the power get to them. The idea that they have to play “big brother” to not just one, but two younger children, can make anyone’s head big. But the middle child recognizes when power is left unchecked because they too, have to play “big brother” to the youngest. Knowing this, the middle child would often have to intimidate the oldest to back off when they were acting out of line.

But they only use intimidation when they have to. Deep down, they’re very nice people. The reason why is because they get to practice being nice too! The youngest is usually weaker and the middle child understands what it’s like because they have an older sibling too. With this knowledge, they treat the youngest as they would want to be treated by the oldest. They truly live the “treat others how you would like to be treated” lifestyle. But never take their kindness for weakness, they have practice on both sides of the spectrum.

4. They are better with money

As a child, the youngest and the oldest are usually the spoiled ones. They get to spend mommy and daddy’s money in virtually limitless amounts. The middle.. they take what they can get but they’re smarter when spending. They don’t have the luxury of splurging because they know it’ll be a while before their parents reward them again. Knowing this, they learn to save and spend money on things that matter.

They judge items based on the quality, not quantity. They aren’t interested in trends because they know they’re usually bad investments. They’re not used to overspending so they know how to budget, they understand that less is more. This behavior may land them on the higher end of their credit score. It also means they may go on to become wealthy investors and savvy entrepreneurs.

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5. They are usually smarter

Middle children have the luxury of learning from the oldest sibling. But they are also stuck with teaching the youngest. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Being taught something is an effective form of learning but according to psychologists, so is teaching! The youngest is usually only being taught while the oldest is usually only teaching. But the middle child usually does both! So they work their brain out much more.

This first hand experience gives them an edge on life. They see things from both perspectives and use these skills to excel in their school, job, sports or business!

6. They are the decision maker

While their younger and older siblings are usually arguing about which path is the shortest way home, the middle child is usually analyzing the logical route. Since the youngest and the oldest can’t come to an agreement, the middle child usually ends up having the final say. The direction they take as a group usually lies in the hands of the middle sibling, their vote is the one that matters.

Knowing this, they never participate in the emotional attacks on one another. They already expect to be the decision maker so instead they back away from the noise and make a logical decision.

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7. They have no limits

Since the middle child is often neglected, they have no choice but to rely on their self when making decisions of their own. They become codependent and take lots of risks. With all this risk taking comes a greater sense of reality. They understand that life isn’t as scary as most people make it out to be. This is because they get to see life from the other side of most peoples fears.

They weren’t trained on needing attention or approval because they often went unnoticed anyway. This made them more subject to venturing off into the depths of the unknown on their own. Only they realize that the unknown isn’t as scary as it seems. They live life believing that limitations are merely artificial boundaries.

8. They have a stronger influence

Middle children had to learn how to deal with their other siblings. They’re often subject to being the decision maker so they need to come up with ways to keep both sides happy. This gives them practice at negotiating and getting along with people. They often go on to use these skills in other social situations.

 9. They are confident, not cocky

While the oldest always feels the need to be “right”, the youngest always feels the need to be submissive. The middle child sees the fault in being too confident, which is essentially cockiness. But they also see the weakness in being too submissive. This allows them to create a perfect balance of the two. They know when to say they’re right and they know when to say they’re wrong. But no matter what they say, they say it with the utmost confidence.

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10. They are the most productive

For some reason, the oldest feels inclined to order their younger siblings around. Getting them to do things they can do on their own. This enables the oldest to slip up and get lazy. However, the youngest child usually gets their parents to do everything for them. So they also get the benefit of laying back. So guess who gets stuck with the daily tasks? The middle child.

Eventually the middle child doesn’t see this as a bad thing though. This enables them to see work as a means of growing mentally and physically. They end up becoming more productive individuals while their siblings lag behind. While it may seem painful at first, it pays off in the end.

Featured photo credit: Antoine K via flickr.com

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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