Paramount

8 Ways Being The Middle Child Actually Affects You Later In Life, According To Psychology

Ad failed to load

We've all heard stereotypes about middle children. Overlooked by parents and siblings alike, they suffer in silence or act out to get the attention they crave. We feel sorry for middle children, and this sympathy may turn patronizing. "Middle child syndrome" can even become a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. But how does birth order affect us in adulthood once we no longer live at home? Are there ways being the middle child actually affects you later in life? Experts say that while middle children may learn to be "accommodating" in childhood, they often grow up to lead unconventional and trailblazing lives.

Overall, there is plenty of positive evidence about the effects of birth order on middle children — perhaps even more so than negative predictions. This is good news for middle children who feel unfairly stereotyped. And if you're skeptical that birth order is any more influential on your life than astrology, there's a scientific study to support that argument, too. However, you may get the most satisfaction from sharing this article with your first and last-born siblings and friends. "Think you're superior?" you might say. "Well, here's proof that middle children have the upper hand with many facets of life, including social skills." Who's laughing now? (Jan Brady, obviously.)

Ad failed to load

1They Thrive In "Caring" & Network-Driven Careers.

Giphy

According to British magazine Psychologies, middle children often find their professional niche in "retail, sales, fashion, advertising or the caring professions." Famous middle children in these fields include Stella McCartney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jacqueline du Pré, Princess Diana, Cindy Crawford, Cate Blanchett, and Emily Brontë.

2They Are More Likely To Become A Revolutionary

Giphy

"It’s later-borns who fought for equality, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and abolition of slavery," says Frank Sulloway, PhD and author of Born To Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics and Creative Lives, in best health Magazine. Examples of world-changing middle children include Mother Teresa, Darwin, Gandhi, and John F. Kennedy.

3They're The Life Of The Party

Giphy

"The middle child often feels left out and a sense of, 'Well, I'm not the oldest. I'm not the youngest. Who am I?'" says therapist Meri Wallace in Parents. According to the same article, "This sort of hierarchical floundering leads middle children to make their mark among their peers, since parental attention is usually devoted to the beloved firstborn or baby of the family." This may be a bummer in childhood, but once you're grown up and no longer living at home, a large circle of friends is an advantage in many areas of life. Strong social skills can help you advance in your career, find a mate, and ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Ad failed to load

4They're Great At Keeping The Peace

Giphy

Considering a career in diplomacy or hostage negotiation? "Because middle children are often stuck in the middle, quite literally, they tend to be great negotiators and compromisers," Psychologist Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book and The First-Born Advantage, told The Huffington Post. Even if "peacekeeper" isn't in your official job title, these traits will serve you well in your personal and professional lives, whatever career you choose.

5They Have Better Oral Hygiene

Giphy

Weird, but true. As a middle child, "Your risk of gum disease is 5 percent lower, probably because your immune system got an early workout from the germs your older brother or sister brought home and is better able to dispatch oral bacteria," reported Prevention. So take pride in your superior oral hygiene — this will definitely come in handy later in life when routine cleanings at the dentist can turn into expensive surgeries and periodontal work to correct chronic issues.

6They're More Likely To Take Risks

Giphy

"Later-borns are willing to risk not just their companies but their health and safety," writes Jeffrey Kluger in The Sibling Effect. So while a first-born or only child might play it safe and stick to non-contact sports, middle children are more likely to stick their necks out, for better and for worse.

Ad failed to load

7They Take The Opposite Path

Giphy

Want to predict what you'll be doing later in life as a middle sibling? Observe your big brother or sister's ambitions and then identify the opposite. According to Kluger, "Siblings who hope to stand out in a family often do so by observing what the older child does and then doing the opposite."

8On The Other Hand, Birth Order May Have No Lasting Effect

Giphy

According to a 2015 study on "whether a person’s position among siblings has a lasting impact on that person’s life course," there is no statistical proof that birth order impacts personality traits beyond intelligence. So if your middle child status already makes you inclined to rebel and do the opposite, you'll appreciate the notion that you can't be boxed in by an accident of fate like when you arrived in the world.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}