Such the Middle Child
Io9 recently had a post about birth order and how it influences your personality, taking into account children without siblings as well. I don’t know why I have such an aversion to the term “only children.” Maybe because “only” is one of those words like “just” as in “just adopt,” where it feels as if the term negates the noun or verb that follows. Anyway, the post looks at our personalities through the very hazy lens of birth order.
Middle children are supposed to excel at team sports. I not only don’t excel at team sports due to my lack of coordination and desire to exercise, but I am not a team player in any sense of the word. I was the student who begged my teachers to allow me to work alone rather than in a group, and when I was forced to work in a group, I offered to do all the work just so I wouldn’t have to get together with the other kids in the group. The only time I ever broke that personal rule was when I had the second highest grade in my quantum physics and relativity class in college, and we could either work alone or in pairs for the final take home exam. I chose to work with the boy who had the top grade in the class. And by “work together,” I really mean that we worked alone and then compared work so we could become a super-power.
But all other times, I opt for games one plays alone (Candy Crush! Uh… solitaire) or solitary sports and activities such as running or yoga.
Middle children are supposed to be sociable. If the above paragraph hasn’t convinced you, please recall that in six years of BlogHers, I have yet to attend a party (except for the time I promised Lori I would go inside, and I stayed for a full ten minutes). I am not a shmoozy person. I bring a book with me when I have to go into social situations.
I do relate well to older and younger people. I love hanging out with children, and I used to do volunteer work at a nursing home. I am not only completely faithful in monogamous relationships, but I am loyal to brands and businesses long after I’ve stopped benefiting from the relationship in any way. And yeah, I am very sensitive to feeling that I don’t belong, but really, who isn’t?
The point of the post is also how difficult it is to match birth order with traits since so many elements go into influencing who we become. But still, I love reductive lists like this and seeing where I do or don’t match up.