Highest birth (dis)order

Older siblings are an interesting bunch wouldn’t you say? Particularly those who are the oldest in the family, thus sometimes known as being the highest birth order. If you have read up about them, you would have read that they are typically very self assured, natural go-getters or high achievers, confident and responsible. And I am pretty much in agreement with that based on my observations. But sometimes I think those traits in first-borns tend to go overboard. Now I have to say that my opinion/theory is extremely biased as I am the younger of 2 children and my findings have only been corroborated by one other person who is the youngest of 3. Plus she and I are almost the same person in the way we think. Except she doesn’t like caramel, which is very strange. And also she would rather drown than be eaten by a shark in the unlikely, hypothetical event that we are on a sinking vessel and will not survive. I mean who would want to go through, what I imagine as, the slow, painful process of drowning when you could be shark food. As morbid as it might be we have had in-depth conversations about this and I am taking votes if anyone wants to weigh in.

Getting back to the topic, I really feel that while first-borns/the oldest of siblings are very responsible, intelligent people, I find confident may be too mild an adjective for their personalities. I feel they tend to be too confident in themselves sometimes to the point they discount everyone else and their opinions. They have an over developed sense of entitlement which they get from thinking they made a lot of “sacrifices” for their younger siblings growing up. But seriously stop and think for a minute, how many large sacrifices did they actually make? The next time this comes up in conversation I am going to ask my sister to name a few. I don’t think she can. Anyone who’s not a first child, they view as spoilt and to some degree incompetent. I guess living off hand-me-downs and having to compete for attention at a younger age makes us younger siblings brats. They also take criticism  or opposing viewpoints (particularly from their younger brothers and sisters) very very badly because they think they are always right. They don’t realise that their huge ego is taking up so much space that it doesn’t allow for other’s opinions to share the little world they live in. They think they are experts on everything and label everyone. I really don’t understand that this judgmental mentality to be honest. Probably because I am not the oldest in the family. I mean I know I’m not perfect and I do have my moments where I stubbornly hold on to my viewpoints but I am not going to think less of someone because they don’t agree with me or don’t behave like me. If you are a first child reading this you are probably rolling your eyes and think I couldn’t be more wrong, which is exactly how I would expect you to react =p. Because you would think are almost flawless and very accepting but seriously, I am fairly certain that most oldest children in the family are more self-absorbed than they realise.

There is a quote that goes, “if you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child”.  Basically I am saying no matter how many ego trips your older sibling has, somehow they still remain one of your closest allies. It kind of defies all logic but that’s how it goes. At the end of the day, no matter how difficult I think it is to live with my older sister and though I might have a whole bunch of gripes when it comes to her, I am still getting on a plane tomorrow to help look after her son (who as cute as he is now, it going to eventually become an annoying know-it-all older sibling) for a month before he enters daycare. I’m basically becoming a temporary live in nanny/maid for her as her maternity leave has ended and she could get day care for January. I wonder, do chalk up karma points when it comes to family?

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10 thoughts on “Highest birth (dis)order

  1. I’ve had pretty much the exact same experience with my older brother! He is impossible to argue with, as there is no possible way he is not 100% right at all times. It is infuriating! And, I’m sure if I asked him, he could list dozens, if not hundreds, of things he felt he had to “sacrifice,” lol.

    Awesome post Anita!

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