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Blame It on Birth Order?

Being a middle child may seem like a curse, but this writer isn't so sure.

Page: 3 of 5
  • At least that's the way I saw things. If you ask my brother, he might feel differently. Most likely he was gunning for my attention the way I was gunning for my sister's. And whereas I chose to be bookish and brooding, he went with droll and affable.

    This is how it works for younger siblings: You figure out who you are based on who your older brother or sister is not. Psychologists have a name for this process: deidentification. It's a way of saying, "Instead of trying to be like you, I am going to be as different from you as possible." And the closer siblings are in age (like my sister and me), the sharper the contrast between them.

    It's a somewhat depressing thought: I am who I am because I was trying NOT to be my sister. Had she been more introverted and contemplative, would I have turned out more sociable and easygoing? Would I have been popular? Maybe a homecoming princess?

Blame It on Birth Order?
Being a middle child may seem like a curse, but this writer isn't so sure.
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