We’ve all heard the stereotypes about the successful oldest child and the laid-back youngest, but when it comes to us middle children, there aren’t as many concrete generalizations out there.
Ironically enough, the lack of thought given to labeling the middle child epitomizes the truth about us: we are often overlooked.
It’s usually not intentional, it’s just that the older sibling blazes the trail for us and the younger sibling is the perpetual adorable baby, so our job is to just fit in.
Although it can be frustrating to have to fight harder for your parents’ attention, I believe there are specific benefits of being a middle child, and it’s time they get pointed out:
1. You’re a peacemaker.
You are able to see both sides of any argument and you specialize in finding the “win-win.”
As a kid, before bullying your younger sibling, you naturally stopped to think about how it felt when you were the victim.
On the other hand, you also gained a better understanding of respecting your older sibling’s privacy because you knew what it was like when your annoying younger sibling invaded your room.
As a result, you are very empathetic, and you cannot choose a side in any debate without fully comprehending all perspectives involved.
You were born for a mediating or consulting job, and people probably seek you out for advice.
2. You’re a tough negotiator.
Years of being asked to “Go bring more chips into the TV room” have taught you that instead of just saying “yes” because you’re kind and you want your older sibling’s approval, you can say “yes, but…” and throw in a few stipulations to get what you want.
You’re acutely aware of what you have to offer another person, yet you’re realistic enough to know the world doesn’t revolve around your needs.
3. You know how to choose your battles.
In your diplomatic way, you always seek justice, but considering your track record, you have learned to let trivial matters go.
Too often, the middle child gets stuck with the hand-me-downs while the older sibling, and eventually the younger one, get new things.
This rule can apply to clothes, cars, electronics and really everything else. While your older sib may feel entitled to shiny new things and the younger one is a bit spoiled, you have learned to fight for what you want and appreciate what you get.
4. You’re easy-going.
You know how to roll with the punches, and no one gives you special treatment.
Your graduation day, for example, is less emotionally poignant because you’re not the first or last kid in your family to snag a diploma.
So, when your mom forgets to cry, you get it. Also, your family does not always consult with you on minor plan changes, so you learn to think quickly and adapt well to new situations, which serves you well in any group setting.
People may think you have no preference, but really you’re just flexible, and you understand that the majority vote wins.
5. You’re creative.
Maybe it’s the fact that your older sibling was a high-achieving, valedictorian type and you had to seek alternative ways to stand out as successful.
Or maybe, it was the melodramatic preteen years when you felt so misunderstood by your family that you found an artistic outlet to express your feelings. Whatever the reason, middle children strongly represent in entertainment and the arts, which is pretty cool.
6. You’re charismatic.
Perhaps it’s a result of a childhood realization that if you wanted attention, you had to charm your parents into giving it to you.
Youngest children are also known for their charm, but middle children possess more empathy and awareness of how their actions affect others, which helps in conflict resolution.
7. You’re rebellious.
The expectation to cooperatively float along with the pack pushes many middle children to be “the rebellious one” in the family.
While this can go terribly wrong during the teenage years, an affinity for risk-taking can hugely benefit you in your career.
You may reject the nine-to-five lifestyle and instead take a more entrepreneurial approach. This way, you can do what you truly love on your own terms instead of blindly living by what is expected of you.
8. You’re independent.
All that time you spent carving out a niche so you could stand out instead of fit in has earned you a sense of self-sufficiency and a confidence in stepping away from the group.
You are resourceful in creating opportunities for yourself, and your ability to learn from your older sibling’s mistakes gives you a leg up as you channel your natural ambition.
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