Are you neither the eldest nor the youngest in your family? Growing up, as the middle child, did you ever feel stuck yet free, surrounded but alone? Do you think that the circumstances of your birth, i.e., your identity as the middle child has somehow defined you as a person? Take a look at our completely unscientific list of symptoms associated with the middle child syndrome and observed in middle children in our friends' circle.*
1. You are a cool cucumber. Drama does not faze you - no matter how heated, ugly or complicated.
In a room where everyone is yelling at each other, you are the one taking it all in with a contemplative expression. For this, you might have to thank your parents and siblings who were way more emotionally volatile than you were.
2. You abhor drama.
Just because you handle drama like a deadpan action hero wearing a pair of Raybans does not mean you like it. You try and steer clear of dramatic situations and people.
3. You are diplomat and a great negotiator.
Years of being the middle (wo)man between squabbling siblings and annoyed parents has taught you the subtle art of persuasion. You are the family's peacemaker, and even today, you might get the odd phone call asking for your intervention in a family crisis.
4. You are independent.
As the middle, non-alpha child, you have had to look out for yourself. And as an adult, that means you can survive and thrive in any situation. But it also means you are too self-sufficient to ask anyone for help - least of all, anyone in your family!
5. You are happy at a party and even at home with a book.
Growing up with siblings means you are used to people around you. You might or might not be the noisiest one at the party, or you have it in you to have a good time. Then again, you are just as happy in silence with a book or Netflix for company.
6. Your empathy makes you a great friend.
Having been the observant one as a child, you are clued into what people around you are feeling. And when they need it, you are ready to listen to them without any judgement. And your friends love you for that bottomless well of patience.
7. You are a pro at playing the innocent card.
Being empathetic does not mean you don't know how to play up things to your advantage. When you were children, the oldest and the youngest were the designated pranksters. So even the blame for your mischievous acts - and there were several - fell squarely on their shoulders.
8. You have the best of both worlds.
As you grow up, you realise how you are ideally placed in the family. You have the perks of an adviser in an older sibling whose mistakes you have learnt from. And you have a younger sibling to pass on your life lessons, and to pamper and to affectionately boss over.
There's a reason people say the good stuff is always in the middle...
Psst! Most psychologists - the ones who have done their PhDs and have been studying human behaviour over centuries - are not actually not sure if the birth order has any effect on the personality.