There are a lot of stereotypes out there that just aren't true — for the most part. Some are more offensive than others, but really, just because something becomes a cliché doesn't mean it will aways ring true. Just like not every pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream, not every Taylor Swift fan is a basic white girl. And not every middle child suffers from "Middle Child Syndrome," as it's known. However, some certainly do, and in looking at how and why President Donald Trump being a middle child impacts his presidency, many of those middle child tropes do stay in tact.
According to Psychology Today:
Birth order has a powerful impact upon children's emotions, behavior and personality development. By a twist of fate a child is born into a particular spot in the family, and from this position, he will have unique emotional experiences. Each spot in the order has it's advantages and challenges.
However, not every personality trait said to be related to each position in the birth order is accurate. But, the traits associated with middle children tend to err on the side of desperation, as many note that they have lower self-esteem, feel left out, or are jealous because they are neither the eldest or youngest in their family.
For Trump, being a middle child — placed between two older sisters, an older brother, and another younger brother — puts a lot of things into perspective. According to Dr. Catherine Salmon, who spoke to Business Insider about her book, The Secret Power Of Middle Children, "There's a natural tendency to think, if they're in the middle, then they're not remarkable, so they're not going to stand out, and they're going to get ignored."
Speaking to Romper, Maureen Healy, an author and specialist in children's psychology, said:
I know that middle children are oftentimes overlooked, which moves them — at times — to seek the spotlight or get validation in other ways. This fits Trump since he seems to crave the spotlight whether it's "good" or "bad" press.
However, per Salmon's research, this preconceived notion hasn't proven itself to be true all of the time. For Salmon, who researched more than 400 undergraduate students for a study on birth order, these assumptions tend to be nothing more than that.
However, what Salmon did discover, and what makes a lot of sense in regards to Trump, is that middle children tend to be excellent negotiators, "because middle-borns are always pushed in the middle, they tend to have to negotiate for the things they want."
Certainly, if nothing else, Trump can be described as a good businessman, and a practiced negotiator. In fact, he prides himself on his negotiation skills. But, that isn't the only side effect of middle child syndrome. Another common trait of middle children is that they "struggle to establish [their] own unique identity," according to Psychology Today.
This especially echoes much of the behavior Trump exhibits. Clearly, Trump and his politics do not fit in to the typical Republican platform, and feels the constant need to prove himself. As many have pointed out, Trump's obsession with crowd sizes, his electoral college win, and constant Twitter rants are just further pieces of evidence that he doesn't feel good enough.
So, yes, while the actual science behind birth order might not be completely fool-proof, it definitely makes sense that Trump is the middle child. Because, as experts have concluded, he's got a clear case of middle child syndrome and everyday the nation is learning why.
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