Saturday, February 21, 2009

the first born

I am a first born. This position comes with certain quirks and qualities, as I've discovered while reading the Birth Order Book, by Dr. Kevin Leman. Here are a few things that I've learned while reading the book:
#1 As a first born, I am a perfectionist.
This quality is actually really frustrating for me. I tend to have unrealistic expectations of myself and others. This would probably also explain why I end up disappointed and thus angry.
#2 As a first born, I am an artful procrastinator.
Procrastination actually ties into the perfectionist part, believe it or not. I procrastinate when I don't think I can do something to the high standards that I have set for myself. Therefore, I end up waiting until the last minute to complete a project that I'm afraid I won't do well (I know, it doesn't exactly make sense.).
#3 As a first born, I often have a hard time saying "no" and end up taking on too much.
If any of you know me well, you are probably saying "no kidding!" Last year I worked 20 hrs/week as a graduate assistant, was actively involved in student government, was a full-time graduate student and managed to be part of a Bible study. When did I sleep, you ask? From 11pm-5:30am.
#4 I have a huge fear of sharing who I really am because I'm afraid of being rejected.
This plays out in many aspects of my life...I won't go into a lot of detail.
#5 As a perfectionist, little things drive me crazy.
In college, I remember asking my roommate to please not leave the closet door open, because it bothered me to have it block the bathroom door. Can you believe that? I really need to keep working on not sweating the small stuff.
#6 As a first born, I grew up fast.
I attribute a lot of this to being a first born and that I was also the more social child in my family. I interacted with a lot of adults, especially since I didn't have a sibling for the first 3 1/2+ years of my life. I've also somehow felt this need to make sure my family is ok and take care of people, which I also consider part of growing up fast.
#7 Avoid relationships with other first borns and only children.
I find this extremely hilarious! Most of my closest friends are first borns or first born girls, who often display the same tendencies as other first borns. I think that I have enough experience negotiating and peacemaking (thank you, RA experience), that I do a better job of being friends with those in my same birth order. However, I do have strong opinions, and I need to be conscious of not plowing people over with those thoughts.
The book also recommended that first borns avoid marrying other first borns or only children, and instead that the "ideal" match based on birth order is a first born sister of brothers and a youngest born brother of sisters. I find this really perturbing, because I really don't want to "mother" any man and have to challenge him to grow up. Believe it or not, I actually get kind of tired of being the "responsible" one. Picture this -> I was the first born of 2 youngests and have a younger sibling. I feel like I somehow ebbed responsibility from my first breath. Can I for once have someone else take on that role? Thanks Birth Order Book!


Keri said...

I was so excited when I saw this post because I just started reading this book last week! I find it totally fascinating and have been explaining to Micah and Nicole why we are the way we are ever since I started reading it...(not sure if they care....but that's okay:)
Anyway, I'm excited you'll be moving here! Nicole is living with us and she's really excited to have a friend--a friend in the same place as her who isn't married with kids either--she's having a hard time meeting "kindred spirits" here. Do you need help moving in?

Gallo Pinto2 said...

I find birth order so fascinating! I've read a couple books on it! I too am a first born and also have the same "issues" you have...

I actually have many friends who are married that are the first born married to the baby type of couples and things have worked out perfectly - however - just because the guy I'm dating is also a first born doesn't mean I'm going to discount the relationship :)

michele said...

Yeah for firstie friends. I married a firstborn and we get along pretty well, except we're both stubborn perfectionists.

Correnta said...

I am cracking up! Not at you but at the info. I am the 1st born & my husband is the youngest of 3kids! No worries. I don't feel at ALL like I need to mother him. He is one of the most responsible people I know and is a great leader of our family - if anything I sometimes need him to parent me, he's so dang responsible!