A short time ago, I received an interesting comment from a reader who observed that a lot of extroverts are living in Merida… If this is true, our international community is full of individuals who are creative, competitive, perfectionist, adventurous, gregarious, excitement-seeking, and highly-motivated. Those who have the preceding personality traits also can be aggressive, demanding, impatient, and have difficulties understanding others. Sound like anyone you know?
Personally, I’ve often wondered how many members of this community are first borns? Alfred Alder (1870-1937), an Austrian psychiatrist and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung was one of the first to suggest that birth order influences personality. He claimed that birth order can leave a lasting impression on a person’s way of dealing with friendship, love, and work.
According to Adler, The first born starts life as the only child and receives all his parents’ love. This changes when a tiny baby comes into the home from God-knows-where! When the interloper cries, the first born is told to wait. The oldest child is stunned at what he/she sees as rejection.
I am the eldest of eight closely-spaced children. I was expected to help my mom with my younger brothers and sisters and I did so. I do not remember that I was ever bothered by this and I do recognize that I learned to take on responsibility at a very early age.
First borns have strengths… but understanding others’ needs challenges them. Growing up, they did not have to “understand” younger siblings because they could overpower them. As adults, they are driven to “get things done” and they tend to think the same tactic will work… They are then surprised by others’ reactions.
I am NOT a psychologist, but if all this personality typecasting is true… and if indeed Merida has an unusually high number of first born, type A, extroverted members, maybe this helps to explain why we have conflict from time to time? And perhaps it also explains why we have such an incredible assortment of talent and high energy. Are you a first-born? Does any of this ring true for you?