On the big stage of life, we tend to NOT be the main act. Are we happy to be the center of attention at the after party? No, not that either. We middle born are content to conduct the whole performance without accolades but with a sense of fulfillment that comes from a lifetime of patience and perseverance. Known as the diplomats of birth order, we have the ability to approach others in a conciliatory manner and bring together successful outcomes without the angst of being the “needy baby” or the contentious firstborn.
1. Middle of the pack? We like it!
Forced by circumstance to wait behind an alpha child, then wait while the omega child caught up, we found our niche moving within a pack. Our parents tended to let us excel at our own pace (no attention span left for us) and with that came the chance to actually understand what gave us the most satisfaction. One successful middle who took of advantage of this and freely explored the world and his potential was none other than Theodore Roosevelt. Middle trivia: Of all the presidents since 1787, 52% have been middle children.
2. The good stuff is always in the middle.
All middles know that the juicy tidbits of life are buried within the crusty confines of family drama. It’s that knowledge that allowed us to be eager recipients of older siblings’ rants (messy and valuable family details to be exploited later) as well as the soothing listener to the over-indulged baby (if the baby got something, then we all did just to be fair.) Our siblings gave us the first taste of getting “something for nothing” in the way of information or product. We learned at their sides that we didn’t have to be LOUD to be successful; we could quietly take advantage of a situation without threatening our own well-being. One quiet but determined entrepreneur was very good at this! Bill Gates
3. Middle Child Syndrome Misconceptions
Can’t we all just get along? This phrase may be mostly what middle children are known for; media depictions of the oft neglected “other child” have helped to cement that status. These CRAZY CHARACTERS aren’t indicative of real life success but add to the stereotype of what it means to be a middle child. Although the lackluster middles may make the most noise about being ignored, etc., statistics prove they’re well prepared to be as successful or more so than their siblings. READ MORE
4. Creative is our middle child name!
Who has time to be creative in today’s world? Um, we middles have always had the advantage of time. Whether we were stuck waiting with our parents for the older child’s activities to finish OR waiting around for the younger one to catch up, we were stuck! All of that extra time honed our patience and also expanded our imagination. Whether art, literature, or gaming, we got in a lot of time-filling practice. Middle trivia: Madonna, Julia Roberts, David Letterman are later born creatives.
5. Pressure points
Common sense dictates that if something is going to explode, it will go through the top and/or bottom. And we learned this early on by watching the tribulations of our siblings. The eldest was often held to an unrealistic expectation of success and when they fell short, kaboom! The youngest was prone to playing “catch up” with the hindrance of age and inexperience catapulting them to failure…kaboom! We middles are known to complain about never being noticed for our accomplishments but we enjoy our pressure free zone, failing or succeeding at our own pace.
6. Measuring Expectations of Middle Children
It’s happened to all of us later born children. If we attend the same school as our older sibling(s) then their success or lack thereof is tied to our perception. Teachers tend to remark early on about our differences and then we are exposed to that bias. We have been put on notice that we will be be observed NOT for our contributions but how we compare to our sibling. UNFAIR! But that’s life and we middles learned to accept it early on. Fortunately, scientific research has yet to prove a perceptible difference in IQ due to birth order. At most, they think it may cause a 1 point reduction in IQ for each subsequent later born child. And how do most middles respond to that? Who cares. The study was probably done by a first born anyway….
7. Births of a feather flock together.
Years of dealing with family dynamics, the highs and lows of birth order, we who are middle born tend to find ourselves later with others of the same mindset. In fact, recent studies point to the fact that we are drawn to people who reflect our experiences and values. Could that mean that our natural tendency to be conciliatory would lead us to more successful relationships than our brethren? The jury is still out on that one but it doesn’t stop this ONLINE dating service from offering its advice to the lovelorn.
8. Can I add “middle” to my résume?
The workforce is finally recognizing our many talents! We are a valuable commodity to employers and it’s time to make room on the job application for birth order. With references like THESE, we should be able to occupy the corner office in record time!
9. Forget the high ground, we rule Middle Earth!
Since ALFRED ADLER introduced his birth order theories in 1928, siblings have been categorized according to an accident of timing. Middle borns have become stereotyped as the “sandwich” child, the diplomat, or the rebel. For the most part, we have kept the peace (in true fashion) and not made much fuss about our lot in life. Some even argue that we have SECRET POWERS and that in itself is a departure from our obscurity.
10. Surprise! We middle children don’t care that much.
We are in the middle of making a living, forming relationships, educating ourselves and becoming productive world citizens. One thing that we rarely do is FRET over our birth order. It is interesting to see others relegate us to the forgotten category of family member. Although it makes for good copy, middle borns aren’t out in droves protesting against our elder and younger siblings. What we understand is that everyone can struggle to find where they belong in the grand scheme of things. Our perspective is broad based and if that is because of our birth order, who cares? We’re happy to share our good fortune.