How Birth Order Affects Your Relationships
Find out if your sibling rank influences the way you relate to others
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Are you a take-charge firstborn—or the attention-hungry baby of the family? Where you fall in your family's birth-order hierarchy helps shape your personality and plays a significant role in your relationship. "Your personality is directly related to how you interact with other people," says William Cane, author of The Birth Order Book of Love, since the first people you interacted with were your parents and siblings. Figuring out your own birth-order personality, and that of your significant other, is simply one strategy you can use to assess your compatibility, adds Catherine Salmon, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Redlands in California, and coauthor of The Secret Power of Middle Children. Here's what you need to know about birth order types—and how they mix, match, mesh or clash.
Firstborns: These children tend to be conscientious, ambitious, organized and—in relationships—dominant. Says Cane, "Firstborns like to be in control." As with all birth-order positions, gender plays a role, too. In the case of firsts, oldest sons tend to be take-charge types, leaders. Oldest females, on the other hand, are more likely to be bossy, confident and aggressive than their younger sisters.
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