Ah the middle child. It is quite the short straw. You don’t get the privileges, responsibilities or attention of your older sister or brother, and you certainly can’t compete for the affections that your baby sibling receives. Middle Child Syndrome is a reality (but of course your siblings will accuse you of moaning if you ever bring it up), and unfortunately it doesn't matter how much you've all grown up, you're stuck in the middle forever. You regularly feel excluded by your brothers and sisters and there’s nothing to be done about it. You just have to develop a thick skin and roll with it, creating your own fun and doing your own thing from a young age. Famous middle children include Bill Gates, Judd Apatow, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Anne Hathaway, so at least you know that not all middle children miss out on the limelight! Here are 10 other realities of being the middle child.
1. You will always be compared to your older sibling
Every step you take is in your older sibling’s shadow. Every milestone, every achievement and what feels like every waking moment will be lined up with how your big brother or sister did it. Their life is the yardstick yours will be measured against forever, so much so that your life feels like a ‘Take Two’ version.
2. Your siblings will gang up on you
Whether it’s over what programme to watch or picking on your every flaw you are guaranteed that the siblings before and after you will team up to make sure that you know that it is their way or the highway. They may be very different but they will ensure that you are always the odd one out.
3. You’re the most level-headed in your family
You don’t have the fiery temper of your elder sibling or the youthful tantrums of the baby. You’re a pacifist and tend to avoid fighting when possible. You’re quite chilled about most things, as you’re used to being calm and going along with what everyone else wants to do.
4. You craved attention
Your parents had too much on their hands with the eldest and the youngest to give you much thought. You were left to your own devices, and probably went one of two ways. Either you rebelled and did what you could to stand out for all the wrong reasons, or you put the head down and excelled so that hopefully they couldn’t but notice your achievements.
5. You’re resilient and can handle anything someone throws at you
You are used to the drama and wild moods of your other siblings, and well equipped at calming flared tempers and listening to people vent. You’re a bit of a problem solver and are wise beyond your years, and you tend to depend only on yourself when times get tough. You’re the person that people turn to for advice, while your other siblings are caught up in their own worlds.
6. You know how to win an argument
You’re not a fighter, but when you have to weigh in you know how to make your point heard. Your rational thought process and perceptive nature mean you are better able to see the overall picture than your flighty and fiery siblings.
7. You’re not your parents’ favourite
You’re fine with it, because you know it is true. You weren’t their precious first born or their adored little baby.
8. You are very happy in your own company
You’ve had to entertain yourself for so long that now alone time is something you crave. Without attention when you were younger and often excluded by your other siblings, you’re happy to work at your goals or embrace your creative side in your own time.
9. You know how to negotiate
You’ve had to appease your older and younger siblings when it comes to everything from what to watch on telly or what to buy your mum for her 60th. Your parents also policed your every waking moment as they felt they had to be a lot more strict with you than with their willful eldest child, and so every time you wanted to leave the house resulted in a long and drawn out conversation.
10. You probably didn’t get much praise
You could have invented the sliced pan and your parents wouldn’t look up from their newspaper. They’ve been there and done that with every miraculous moment of your elder sibling’s existence, and of course their making the most of the parenting experience when their baby hits a milestone and does something big. Your big moments are just giving them mild deja vu.
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