The Advantages of Being in the Middle
Being a middle child comes with many advantages that firstborns and lastborns may not experience. Here are some of the top reasons why being a middle child can be the best:
You Get Less Pressure
As the middle child, you don’t carry the weight of responsibilities that the firstborn does. You also don’t get babied like the youngest.
This allows you more freedom and flexibility to explore your interests. You can focus more on finding your own path without the burden of parental expectations.
You Learn to Negotiate
Stuck between the oldest and the youngest, middle children often become masters at conflict resolution and negotiation. You quickly learn how to compromise and cooperate to get what you want. These skills serve you well later in workplace environments and relationships.
You Become More Independent
Without a prescribed role in the family like older and younger siblings, middle children tend to develop strong self-reliance and independence. You learn how to entertain yourself and be comfortable spending time alone. This can lead to more creativity and stronger sense of self.
You Get Closer Bonds With Parents
Research shows that middle children often develop closer relationships with their parents than their siblings do. As the middle child, you are more likely to have regular one-on-one time with mom and dad without having to share their attention.
The Perks of Flying Under the Radar
While first and lastborns are under the spotlight, middle children enjoy more anonymity and space to be themselves. Here’s why this can work to your advantage:
You Can Take More Risks
Without the pressure of being the oldest or expectations of being the youngest, middle children are freer to take risks and test limits. This can help you discover new passions and talents your siblings may have missed out on. Embrace pushing boundaries!
You Learn to Adapt
To get any attention in a big family, middle children become adaptable and malleable. You figure out quickly how to mold yourself to different family dynamics. This chameleon-like quality serves you well in school, social circles, and workplace teams.
You Become a Peacemaker
Constantly navigating sibling tension and discord, middle children often emerge as great mediators and peacemakers. You have years of experience brokering harmony and bringing people together. Consider a career as a counselor, diplomat, or mediator.
You Feel Like You Have Your Own Lane
Caught between an overachieving firstborn and a pampered lastborn, you realize you have space to just be yourself. Use this to your advantage by embracing your uniqueness and marching to the beat of your own drum. Create your own lane!
Leveraging the Middle Child Mindset
As a middle child, you have natural strengths that lend themselves well to certain careers and pursuits. Play to these advantages:
Look For Helping Professions
Your skills as a negotiator, mediator, and adapter suit you well for jobs in social work, therapy, education, human resources, and more. Any profession that helps others resolve conflicts is a great fit.
Pursue Creative Interests
With a childhood spent entertaining yourself in solitude, you may gravitate to more independent, creative careers. Look for opportunities in writing, graphic design, photography, music, theater, and other arts.
Embrace Leadership Roles
While firstborns tend to be more natural leaders, middle children are often bridge-builders who lead through collaboration and compromise. Use this skill to excel in team-based work environments.
Leverage Your Perspective
Growing up between siblings gives you a unique perspective on family dynamics. Consider a career counseling or supporting families, like family social work, psychology, or opening a family practice.
Famous and Successful Middle Children
Some of history’s most influential figures grew up as middle children and leveraged that independent mindset on their path to greatness.
- Abraham Lincoln
- Charles Darwin
- Susan B. Anthony
- Cindy Crawford
- Jennifer Lopez
- Bill Gates
- Warren Buffett
- Barbara Walters
- Jeff Bezos
Embracing the Middle Child Mystique
Rather than struggling to stand out, lean into the middle child mystique. Doing so can unlock unique advantages and set you up for success:
- Appreciate your independence and self-reliance. Don’t lament a lack of attention – revel in the freedom to be your authentic self.
- Use your negotiating power for good. Hone that middle child diplomacy to bring people together, broker compromise, and lead from the middle.
- Create your own lane. Focus less on differentiating yourself and more on embracing what makes you special. Your differences are strengths!
- Forge close bonds. Carve out one-on-one time with parents and siblings to deepen those middle child relationships.
At the end of the day, being a middle child is what you make of it. Follow the examples of successful middles and leverage your birth order to do great things! The middle way can be the best way.