day 251: birth order

Research shows that birth order has a direct effect on personality, but like many other researched topics, there is room for interpretation, especially because people are involved.  And people often mess up the numbers.

I am a first-born child, which should mean many things about me. In the area of compliance I am supposed to be nuturing, reliable, and cooperative, along with traits under aggression, which include being a natural leader, assertive, and a perfectionist.  But a few traits are supposed to be common to both types of first-born personalities.  I should be energetic, ambitious, and enterprising.

It's tough to analyze myself and to decide how close I am to fitting into this list.  I know I can take perfectionist off the list.  No doubt there.  I am fine being less than perfect in many areas, and can even leave things partly done.  Dishes, laundry, unanswered messages, etc.  However, of the other 8 things listed I may be pretty close to the mark.

Some of the things that sound strictly positive have gotten me into hot water.  Being a nurturing person can come at a price when it is unwanted on the other side.  And ambition?  Don't even get me started there.

My birthday was yesterday.  I was reflective.  I took an hour-long walk with my headphones on nice and tight as I listened to music and thought a bit about my life.  I think birthdays are a good time for this.  And then I came home, showered, and was off to make my fortune, like any other first-born.

Remember my musical recording for the week is in the sidebar.  Ecoutez bien.

14 comments

LisAway | April 27, 2010 at 12:36 AM

Happy Belated Birthday! Interesting about the birth order. My oldest brother is the least ambitious, aggressive and assertive of us all. I love him that way, so super easy going and forgiving of his younger siblings. Those formulas don't always fit, and even the good qualities aren't pure blessings!

I so wish I could have met you last week so I could try to determine from a couple of hours being around you how much of each of the traits you listed you have. :) (I just read that last sentence over and it's extremely weird, but I think you know what I'm saying. Especially the part about I wish I could have met you! One of these days.)

LisAway | April 27, 2010 at 12:36 AM

Happy Belated Birthday! Interesting about the birth order. My oldest brother is the least ambitious, aggressive and assertive of us all. I love him that way, so super easy going and forgiving of his younger siblings. Those formulas don't always fit, and even the good qualities aren't pure blessings!

I so wish I could have met you last week so I could try to determine from a couple of hours being around you how much of each of the traits you listed you have. :) (I just read that last sentence over and it's extremely weird, but I think you know what I'm saying. Especially the part about I wish I could have met you! One of these days.)

gigi | April 27, 2010 at 4:09 AM

Hope your birthday just continued to get better and better through out the day!
I'm first born of 5. I am not energetic, ambitious, or enterprising. Shame isn't it?

Charlotte | April 27, 2010 at 5:52 AM

Happy late birthday. I am the oldest and fit about half the traits I'm "supposed" to. The ones I match, are uncanny. The ones I don't, are my complete opposite. Go figure.

AnneMarie | April 27, 2010 at 8:38 AM

natural-born leader, assertive...hmm, I am an oldest child and I just call myself bossy. My husband, kids, and dad agree...

Bossy Betty | April 27, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Happy Belated Birthday from a spoiled youngest child who craves attention at all times!

Heidi Ashworth | April 27, 2010 at 9:21 AM

I think birth order has certainly affected me but I'm number six so I guess there was nowhere else for me to go but in my assigned box. I'm working on getting out and staying out, these days. I love the idea of going for a long drive with headphones on. I'll have to remember that one for my birthday.

Barbaloot | April 27, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Happy late birthday!! I'm not so sure how well I fit the youngest child mold. I've heard them described as people who love attention, and I'm not so sure that's me. Supposedly I should be prone to substance abuse disorders but I'm good there...unless you count chocolate:)

Heather of the EO | April 27, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Happy Birthday late, friend. I'm really glad you were born. I think about the birth order thing a lot. Tricky stuff, but generally true, I think. But what do I know :)

togetherforgood | April 27, 2010 at 12:38 PM

I have always found birth-order research to be fascinating. I do not fit most of the stereotypes. I am cooperative, assertive, a leader (much to my "followers'" delight), and energetic (when the arthritis isn't getting the better of me). I struggle to be nurturing b/c honestly I think I'm just selfish. I have issues with reliability. Definitely not a perfectionist except about a few things. I have ambition but often not the drive to follow through.

Interesting stuff. Happy birthday one day late, my friend! :)

Melanie J | April 27, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Happy birthday!

I'm a first child of the Type A variety. And I envy your freedom from perfectionism. I let a lot of those things go too but it bugs me and I wish it didn't.

DeNae | April 27, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Have you read "The Birth Order Book" by Kevin Leman? So fun!

And we're twins, Kaz. I'm an oldest, turning "your age" in June. I wouldn't have it any other way (being the oldest) but you're right; it comes with hangups.

Once again, I find myself so happy I know you.

L.T. Elliot | April 27, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Happy belated Birthday!

I didn't know that about first-borns but self-reflection can be frustrating and nerve-wracking. *hugs*

It was so nice to meet you the other night, Kazzy. Thank you for being so warm and kind!

Amber | April 28, 2010 at 3:25 PM

I missed sending you birthday wishes.

Frowny face.

HAPPY [very late] BIRTHDAY!!

I remember studying up about birth order. As you mentioned, the research is sketchy because it only scratches at the surface of an intensely complex relationship--that between siblings and their parents and each other. I sometimes wonder how much people use "birth order" as an excuse for why they are the way they are. If you know what I mean. : )

It was lovely to FINALLY meet you!