If you grew up with older and younger siblings, then you probably have tasted the sweet, sweet nectar of resentment and neglect.
You know, the kind of resentment you felt when you were too young to watch Dawson's Creek with your older sister, but too old to play in the ball room with your younger brother. And the neglect when your mom drove your sister to meet up with her first boyfriend, and your dad took your brother to Chuck E. Cheese's — and forgot you at home?
But quit being such a Jan. There are at least a FEW benefits to being the middle child.
1. You are an amazing negotiator.
It's basically guaranteed that you will get blamed and punished for just about everything — even if it was definitely your younger brother that drew on the walls that one time, and not you.
Developing the skills to negotiate the terms of your punishment is 100 percent necessary for middle child survival. The good news is that you'll probably grow up to be a lawyer, and be richer than all your siblings one day. You win.
2. You pave your own way.
Your older sibling was insistent on creating their own identity, so you had to go out of your way not to be a copy-cat. This made you turn to more obscure things that might have made you seem weird back then, but make you cool now. For example, you couldn't listen to Radiohead because that was your sister's favorite band, so you decided to get into Brian Eno instead. You win again.
3. You don't have to figure sh*t out first — That's what older siblings are for.
Even though you had to find your own things to do and like, you never had to be surprised by what was ahead. Your older sibling had to do everything first, and then report back how it went. They lost their virginity first, got drunk first, went to college first, etc. Thanks to them, you always knew what to expect, what experiences to be excited for, and which ones to avoid. They, however, keep getting burned by the mistakes you'll never have to make. Thank you, older sibling.
4. You're funny, because you have to be.
Everyone knows having a sense of humor is just a defense mechanism. And let's face it, as a middle child, you are going to find yourself in lots of situations where you are feeling unappreciated and neglected. You're basically born to be self-deprecating, but if you want to have any friends at all, you at least have to be funny about how sad you are. It's not really a choice — it's just survival.
5. And you're also a wildcard.
Growing up, you tried so hard to differentiate yourself from your older sibling that now you've just become a wildcard. You have to go right when everyone else goes left. You might show up on time, you might show up a week late. Nobody knows, and neither do you.
6. You know everyone.
You know everyone in your older sibling's peer group, and your younger sibling's group as well. You would feel like the most popular person in the neighborhood if it weren't for your sullen attitude on life — which comes from being a middle child.
7. You relate to the underdog.
Let's face it. You are a total Jan, and on your better days, a Stephanie Tanner. All middle children are inherently connected through their struggles though, which is why you always relate to the underdog, or the person who never gets what they want.
8. You have excellent coping mechanisms, and a tough skin.
A day in the life of a middle child is not for the faint of heart. You will deal with taking the blame for your younger siblings wrongdoings all the time, and will take the unfair punishments because it's your duty as middle child. As a result, you will learn that "life isn't fair" earlier than anyone else, and will be best at developing coping mechanisms to deal with it.
9. You get the hand-me-downs from your older sibling, AND can feel like a giving spirit when you hand them down the second time.
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
10. You're not attention-seeking.
What is attention, anyway? (Negative attention doesn't count, people.)
11. You'll end up being closer with each of your siblings than they are with each other.
Your siblings spent all their time tormenting you as a child, and you spent all your time hating them. But everyone knows the experiences that are the hardest are the ones you look back on most fondly. Having such an intense history with your siblings will only make you closer with each one of them in the end. So close, in fact, that they will forget about each other and only focus on you later in life. You win, yet again.
12. You will probably become famous.
Almost half our presidents have been middle children, and lots of famous people are middle children too. I'm a middle child, so I'm too lazy to find out who, but I'm pretty sure there's a lot.
13. Lowered expectations are your friend.
As a middle child, you exist in a world of low expectations. Your older sibling was the star of the family, and the youngest was always the cutest, and somehow really good at sports. You just kind of existed in your own world, waiting for your time to shine — which never came. Eventually, you learned that low expectations are the greatest thing ever because no matter what you achieve, big or small, it always exceeds expectations.
14. But still, you're an overachiever and an amazing student.
You were never rebellious because that was your older sibling's thing, and you couldn't take that piece of her identity away from her, so instead you put all that angsty energy right where it belongs — in school.
At least it was the one place your OCD could be put to good use.
15. People always nod their head knowingly, and say "That explains a lot," when they find out you're a middle child.
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