Can your birth order position determine your character and how you relate to others?
Can your birth order position determine your character and how you relate to others? Linda Blair investigates.
The first born
• Keen to please others, particularly those in positions of authority
• Likely to stick to the rules and to accept received wisdom rather than follow up radical ideas and theories
• More likely than others to take on positions of responsibility and leadership
• Apt to do relatively well at school
• Almost certainly dutiful, organised and responsible
The maxim that ‘opposites attract’ makes a good starting point when we consider the best birth-order partnerships. For example, a first born and a last born very often make a good match: the organised and caring first born wants someone to keep in order and to nurture, and the fun-loving but rather less organised and more dependent last born is likely to respond well to someone who offers these qualities.
Middle borns also make good partners for first borns because those in the middle are used to allowing someone else to take charge. However, if a first born is particularly powerful, their middle born partner may feel rather overlydominated and unable to express themselves. If you feel that you have a tendency to dominate and direct others, and your partner’s a middle born, try to step back at times and ask your partner for their opinion or encourage them to express their concerns.
Among the most difficult partnerships tend to be those of two first borns or of a first born and a single. When both of you want to be in charge, particularly if you’re both highly competitive, conflict is extremely likely. These matches can work well – but only if each partner genuinely respects the qualities of the other and at least one of them expresses their desire to lead and dominate somewhere outside the relationship. If this applies to you, try to cultivate some independent interests where you can put your leadership qualities to good use and, at the same time, take some pressure off your relationship.
Famous first borns
• Richard Branson
• J K Rowling
• Oprah Winfrey
• Good social skills – aware of and sensitive to the needs of others and adept at finding compromises
• Easily swayed by the opinions of others
• Realistic about the extent of their abilities, but often without a clear vision of what they most want in life
• Likely to excel in non-academic ways
• Likely to fight for the underprivileged and needy, but less likely to ask for help for themselves when distressed
Your partners are lucky. Because of your long history of negotiating (sibling) conflict and making compromises for the sake of others, most people find you easy to get along with. That means you’ll be able to have a successful relationship with someone in any other birth-order position. You middle borns make excellent partners for first borns and singles because you’re happy to allow them to take charge and make decisions. You’re good with last borns as well, because you’ll tolerate their need to be the centre of attention and because you’re likely to agree to any of their adventures or to any unconventional ways of living that they might propose. You can have a successful relationship with another middle born as well, although the two of you may be so deferential that you’ll have difficulty making up your minds!
However, your malleability could bring with it some problems. If you never stand up for yourself, never hold your position firmly, it’s possible that your partner will lose some respect for you. He or she might also start taking advantage of your deference, and after a time you might feel that your needs are being ignored. It’s important, therefore, that you take time to think about what’s most important to you and – at least with regard to those issues – that you stand firm about what you want for yourself. Try to notice when something intrigues you or excites your interest, and make sure you tell your partner. Be direct and clear.
Famous middle borns
• Tony Blair
• Bill Gates
• Princess Diana
The last born
• Charming and outgoing; the one who most wants to take centre stage in social situations
• Harbouring a tendency to be manipulative
• Oftentimes disorganised and less goal-orientated than others
• Rebellious and ready to challenge authority
• Creative and innovative; more likely to go their own way than to accept established views
The happiest choice of partner for most last borns is a first born, someone who will organise them and consider it natural to look after and take care of them. The last born’s rebelliousness will, in turn, delight many rule-abiding first borns – they can enjoy vicariously the risk-taking behaviour of a last born partner without having to fly in the face of conventional wisdom themselves.
However, there is a potential problem with this combination. Last borns who are stubbornly passionate about their own beliefs may clash with a conventional first born if that first born insists on setting all the house rules.
Another good match for a last born is a middle born. The middle born – amenable and willing to compromise – is more likely than anyone else to allow a last born to pursue their dreams, however unworkable these might seem. There may be less order and not as much goaldirected behaviour in this pairing as there would be with a last born and a first born, but the relationship has more chance of being amicable.
Last borns who choose another last born are likely to form an extremely creative partnership, and one that others will be drawn to because it will appear to be so interesting and dynamic. On the other hand, two last borns may find it difficult to plan ahead sensibly and to ensure that the mundane tasks of daily life are completed.
Last borns and singles can make a good match. Singles who are generally sensible and conscientious can take charge of their lessorganised partner. They, in turn, will benefit from the last born who will introduce a sense of creativity and adventure into the relationship.
Famous last borns
• Janet Jackson
• Johnny Depp
• Eddie Murphy
• Good academic abilities and strong communication skills
• High levels of self confidence
• A preference for the company of older individuals rather than peers
• The ability to spend time alone and to enjoy that time
• A tendency to perfectionism
A survey in the US has suggested that when it comes to birth order, the most compatible match is one between a single and a last born. A single will enjoy the unconventional approach of a last born, who will introduce a sense of adventure into therelationship. At the same time, the last born will benefit from the organised and conscientious single.
A single and a middle born also make a good match. The single will probably want to take charge and the co-operative middle born willbe happy to allow his or her partner to devise plans and chart the direction in which to take the relationship. There’s a potential drawback, however. A middle born who’s with a single might feel overshadowed and/or over-directed, yet they’d probably not be able to recognise why they’re feeling this way. This could lead to feelings of low mood in the middle born. In such matches, it would be important for the couple to take some time to talk through their plans and ideas and to make sure that what’s happening feels right to both of them.
The most difficult match for a single is with another single. Each partner is a relative novice when it comes to knowing how to get on well with equals so the potential for misunderstandings is great. Both will wish to be in charge and each of them would probably find it difficult to accept directions from the other. Furthermore, if the two partners tended towards perfectionism, then both of them will be vulnerable to drivingthemselves too hard.
A single and a first born won’t get on together easily either, for many of the reasons described above. Although the first born would be socially aware and would be sensitive to their partner’s emotional needs, they’re also competitive, so they’d be likely to challenge their single partner for the upper hand in the relationship. This could mean that what might have been a simple lack of clarity turns into an unpleasant competition.
• Leonardo da Vinci
• Franklin D Roosevelt
• Tiger Woods
At the end of the day, any two people who love one another can work together well and enjoy a fulfilling relationship if theyrespect one another and are prepared to work hard at it. However, if the match is complementary (single plus last born or middle born) rather than competitive (two singles or a single plus first born) it will be easier to achieve harmony.
Save over £11
when you subscribe today
Exclusive prizes from our Heaven Skincare, Senspa, Green People and more...