Being a middle child can be pretty tough. Stuck between an elder sibling who’s always going to be the first to reach any major milestone and a younger sibling who will always be the “baby” of the family, they can often feel overlooked.
However, being the middle child comes with its own unique advantages. Science has found that middle children can develop some very beneficial traits due to their unique position in the family. Here are just a few of them.
1. They’re skilled negotiators.
Middle children face an extra challenge when it comes to getting their way, so they have to master the skills of manipulation and negotiation. In fact, Katrin Schumann, author of The Secret Power of Middle Children, found that 52% of American Presidents were once middle children – including Lincoln, Kennedy, and Teddy Roosevelt.
2. They’re keepers of the peace.
Being a good negotiator also comes in handy for conflict resolution. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. were both middle children.
3. They’re masters of creativity.
Middle children have a lot of time to themselves, which allows them to really let their creative juices flow as they try to entertain themselves.
4. They face less pressure.
The first-born child always has the weight of all their parents’ expectations on them – largely because parents themselves feel so much pressure when they’re raising their first kid to do it perfectly. With the last born child, they’re usually just busy spoiling them. The middle child, however, gets to live a nice, quiet existence without all that pressure.
5. They make great spouses.
Being married is a constant set of negotiations. Who’s gonna take out the trash? Who’s gonna go pick up the in-laws? The negotiating skills of middle children help make these decisions a breeze.
6. They’re great at improvising stories.
Whether they’re trying to get attention or shift the blame, middle children tend to be great at inventing stories on the fly.
7. They’re the glue of the family.
Middle children are usually the sibling that makes sure the whole family still gets together every Thanksgiving and comes to the reunion barbecue. They’re often the ones that resolve family feuds, too. My wife is a middle child and I can definitely say this is pretty accurate for her.
8. They often get the short end of the stick.
The older child got away with a lot that the parents weren’t expecting, so parents crack down on the middle child. Then, because the middle child actually behaved due to the rules, they really loosen them up for the youngest kids. Ok, this one’s not really a benefit, but it’s certainly relatable for middle children.
Middle children usually get everything handed down to them – bikes, clothes, toys, everything. Middle kids know how to share with everyone.
10. They work hard, play harder.
Middle children know how to put in a lot of hard work because of how hard they’ve worked to get attention their whole lives. Then, when it’s time to cut loose, they also know how to party because they grew up under the radar.
11. They get the benefits of being older and younger siblings.
Middle children get to learn from their elder siblings’ mistakes, and they get to be the cool older sibling for their younger siblings. Plus, they could blame either one of their other siblings for their own misadventures (like scratching Dad’s car).
12. They do their own thing.
Middle children crave independence and usually move out as soon as they can. It’s not that they don’t love their families – they just have their own thing to do! Rachel Green fromFriends is a perfect example.
13. They go with the flow.
After a while, middle children just get used to shaking off their disappointment. They know they need to pick their battles, and not everything needs to be a fight.
14. They’re very punctual.
Middle children tend to be quite punctual. If you tell them to be somewhere at 8:30, they’ll probably be there at 8:25.
15. They know it’s not all about them.
Middle children have a unique perspective on life. They are always looking to help others – maybe because they spent their lives being the go-to sibling for their younger and older siblings.
They actively don’t seek out attention, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want it. So make their day and tell them you appreciate everything they do for you!
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