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10 Things You Learn Growing Up As the Oldest Sibling

10 Things You Learn Growing Up As the Oldest Sibling

Are you the oldest sibling? There are advantages and disadvantages to being the oldest sibling, from getting brand new clothes to getting told off for your younger sibling’s mistakes.

Check out 10 things you learn when you grow up as the oldest sibling.

1. Hand-Me-Downs Were Not A Problem For You

There are some good parts to being the eldest sibling, and one of them was getting brand new toys and clothes. If you wanted something, you got the newest version – and when you grew out of it or got bored of it, it went to the next youngest sibling as a hand-me-down.

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They complained to your parents that it wasn’t fair, but you were too busy playing with your new toys to back them up.

2. You Were A Reluctant Role Model

You looked up to pop stars and your parents, while your younger siblings looked up to you. It was a lot of pressure, considering you were a child too – especially when they did something wrong and you got the blame. You didn’t want to be a role model; you just wanted to play in peace!

3. Your Parents Were Strictest With You

You couldn’t date until you were 18, but your siblings started dating at 16. You had to make sure you were home for 9PM on the dot, but your siblings just had to make sure they were home before midnight. Not that it really mattered – if you wanted to go somewhere, you would pester your parents for hours until they reluctantly agreed.

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4. You Understand The Importance Of Being Bossy

Since you’re just as likely to get in trouble as your little sister when she did something wrong, you developed eagle-eyed vision to check that they were behaving.

Normally it would play out like this; you catch your little sister putting on your mom’s make-up, so you would yell at her not to use mom’s make-up – and then your mom would yell at you for making your little sister cry. Sigh.

5. When You Passed Your Driving Test, You Became A Free Taxi

You patiently waited for years to get your driver’s license. You took your lessons diligently, and practised at home with your parents. Finally you passed your test and got a second-hand you loved – only to immediately become a taxi driver for your younger siblings. The worst part? They never paid you!

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6. You Were The Family Guinea Pig

Your parents were first time parents when you were born, and they really wanted to make sure they did it right. They tried all kinds of weird and wonderful parenting techniques on you – most which involved being strict and sticking their ground. They got bored of this just in time for your other siblings to arrive, when they decided to be more relaxed and carefree. Thanks, guys.

7. You Feel Old When You Think About How Old Your Siblings Are

It doesn’t bother you when you think about your own age, but whenever you think about your sibling’s age you feel seriously old. You can remember when your siblings were wearing nappies, and now they talk to you about politics – so weird.

8. A Free Babysitter Is Better Than One Who Costs

You had a babysitter when you were little, but your parents saw the chance to save some money when you grew older. You regularly babysat your siblings for free, and while you may have complained at the time, you secretly loved it – after all, who wouldn’t love eating all the best snacks and telling your siblings what to do?

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9. You Are Protective Over Your Siblings

Despite the fact that they always got you in trouble, you love your siblings more than anyone else in the world. You feel grateful to share their lives and honoured that they considered you a role model.

10. You’re More Capable Than You Thought You Were

Being the oldest sibling deserves some credit; you had to test our parent’s weird parenting skills, and you were the first person that your younger siblings turned to when they were in trouble. Oldest siblings are capable, calm and collected – which isn’t really that surprising when you think about it. Hurray for being an oldest sibling!

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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