First born personality traits

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

First born personality traits

The first born or the eldest child usually develops different personality traits than his siblings especially the youngest one. In my article how birth order affects personality and life i explained how birth order can be one of the major factors that shapes the development of the personality in early childhood.

The first born child finds himself in the center of attention inside the family. If that child was lucky enough not to have other siblings he will develop the exact personality traits of the spoiled child.

However the interesting thing that happens to the first born child and that shapes his personality traits completely is that he suddenly finds himself dethroned by a younger sibling who steals the attention from him.

How dethroning shapes the personality traits of the first born

The first thing that happens when the eldest child loses the attention he got used to or feels that his younger sibling is preferred to him is that he develops jealousy.

In most cases the first born will become jealous of his younger siblings because they were the reason for his misfortune (according to his own interpretation). When that first born grows his personality traits will develop in a different direction based upon his coping strategies.

Here are some examples of the personality traits the eldest child might develop:

  • Good leadership abilities: If the eldest child developed in a proper way he will develop good personality traits such as the ability to lead others. This happens because he is the one who is usually assigned the task of leading his younger siblings
  • The eldest is usually responsible: The Eldest child is usually a responsible person which is the complete opposite of how the youngest sibling is. He learns that good trait as a result of being assigned the task of taking responsibility of his brothers and sisters.
  • First born Poor personality traits: If the First born didn't develop properly he might start to believe that he will always come in the second position and that someone is always going to be favored over him. such a personality trait can prevent the first born from ever developing successful relationships. Some first born children start to always suspect that their relationship partner is cheating on them while some other first born children become socially withdrawn in order to prevent the past from repeating itself (finding that someone else was preferred over them)

The personality traits the first born developed can be changed

The good news is that even if the first born child developed poor personality traits, such as insecurity, excessive jealousy or even inferiority still he can change them.

Individual psychology is based upon the fact that our personality traits are developed as a result of our past experiences and one of the main foundations that individual psychology is built upon is that whatever was learned can be unlearned.

If you are the first born and if you dislike some of your personality traits then don't worry, change is still completely possible.

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Want to know more?

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