Have you ever heard the term “middle child syndrome?” While it is not a true diagnosable condition, it describes some traits that sometimes come along with being a middle child. We middle children get a bum rap. We have a reputation for being needy, jealous, and have low self-esteem due to the fact that our older siblings were pleasers and leaders and our younger siblings were easy and laid back. While these descriptions might have some accuracy, we can also make our birth order work for us!
Nurture your people skills. Because we are middle born, we are natural negotiators. We had to manage the older sibling and younger sibling when mediating who gets to sit in the front seat or whose turn it is to play a board game. Use your skills to see both sides and deal with life events as they really are.
Enjoy your uniqueness. Whatever your personality may be, fight to keep your unique qualities. If you are quirky or free spirited, remember that there are businesses and companies who look and value traits just like yours.
Express yourself. Middle children sometimes feel unheard since they may have felt unheard growing up. Do not apologize for having opinions and share your point of view.
Focus on meaningful relationships. The middle child often invests in friendships to help evolve their sense of identity. If are a middle child, and you have a lot of friends enjoy it but do not spread yourself too thin. Establish a limited number of relationships to maintain meaningfulness.
Don’t compare. Try not to get sucked into comparison games. Middle children understand more than anyone how there are always people above and below when it comes to interest, skill, ability, or appearance. Comparisons do not lead to anything positive.
Consider taking the lead. Firstborns are not the only people who can lead. Middle children make excellent managers or leaders due to skills gained from their experience with compromise and negotiation. We know how to see issues from different angles and use the art of exchange.
Next time you hear someone use the term “middle child syndrome”, you can politely teach them all the good qualities that can develop from being a middle child. Please come back tomorrow as Natalie talks about how to make the last child birth order work for you. As always, thanks for stopping by.
Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT
Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield