“You can virtually predict what’s going to happen in a relationship by figuring out what a person’s birth order is.”
Believing in birth order’s implications for predicting relationship success is a tempting and well-backed choice. With renowned psychologists attesting to its accuracy and attentive to its effects, it is difficult not to jump on board. Or maybe, given my impulsive last-born nature it is hard for me not to jump on board. (you’ll get that reference better by the end of this article).
Some pairings of birth order are considered optimal for relationships and some are typically disastrous (see chart above). This is because birth order is a strong predictor of personality and because birth order gives a glimpse into the background a person grew up in and is most comfortable in.
“Personality is the number one predictor of compatibility and birth order is the number one predictor of personality.”
HOWEVER (and this is a big however), this birth order analysis is extremely sensitive to interference and irregularity. Birth order is one thing that shapes personality, but there are many other factors that can enhance or diminish its effects.
These factors include:
- parents (their relationship, your relationship, their parenting style, death),
- siblings (age gaps, genders, number of siblings, twins, sickness or death of siblings),
- family events and changes (moving house, adoption, parental separation/divorce, step families, elderly/infirm relative living at home)
- other family, friends, and authority figures
- temperament & experience (introversion/extroversion, impulsive/reflexive, self-confidence, ambition, honesty, intelligence, optimism/pessimism, creativity)
- genetics (body development, feelings about body, size and capability compared to siblings)
All of these things shape an important part of how we develop and work to create a big picture that makes sense of why we are the way we are and can tell us how and where we work most optimally.
Birth order matters and can tell us some powerful things about us. It can tell us how we express our creativity, ambition, or optimism. It can tell us what environment we’re most capable and comfortable and how we can thrive in those environments. Birth order awareness can clue us into what trips us up and what pitfalls to be wary of. Taking time to understand where you and those around you come from can make your life easier to maneuver.