Does our birth order shape our life?

MindFitBody - Chiropractic & Kinesiology

Welcome to the July edition of the MIndFitBody Newsletter. I hope this finds you well.

Does our birth order shape our life?

Our position in the family has long being regarded as an influencer on our personality characteristics. Being the eldest, the forgotten middle child, the baby or the only child often bring up ideas amongst our peers about why you are the way you are.

However, while there is some research on the effects of birth order, the jury is still out in psychology circles as to how much influence birth order has or if any...

One of the reasons for this in my opinion is that there are so many variables to take into account. This makes it very difficult to design an appropriate scientific study. Variables affecting your personality traits from your birth order include things like the size of your family, demographics, sex, culture, and socio-economic status. We also need to take into account the any number of experiences that you may have had during your formative years that act to shape your beliefs and behaviours.

“The Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex published groundbreaking research which showed that firstborn girls are 13 per cent more ambitious than firstborn sons. It suggested that an eldest female daughter was statistically more likely to end up with the highest qualification of the family. The paper goes on to note that it has been observed that children in larger families have significantly lower levels of aspirations than those from smaller. “

What we do know however, is that in our early years as we are entering our socialisation phase our relationships with our family are of utmost importance and have a huge impact on the beliefs and behaviours we carry into the future. Our beliefs and behaviours are not static or unchangeable but as they form and then function as part of our sub-conscious mind they can end up in the ‘that’s just the way I am” basket that describes our personality.

For those of you who have experienced Neuro - Emotional Technique (NET), you may already know we can use this process to limit the impact that undesirable learned beliefs and behaviours have on our lives and help open up opportunities to create new more supportive and beneficial ones. As part of the process we try to establish the source of the original event that created the undesirable belief or behaviour. In many cases experiences with our families (parents or siblings) are at the source.

One common finding I have noticed over the 12 years of practicing the technique is that the eldest children in the family often (but not always) develop what we call a neuro-emotional complex (NEC) when siblings start to arrive. For some it is the second child and for the more tolerant or excited others it may be the third.

The NEC’s that trigger certain beliefs and behaviours can be quite varied but often relate to the change in the behaviour of mum and dad who have to fulfill the responsibility of looking after their newborn/baby child. Sometimes this can manifest as grief, feeling deserted, yearning for love /attention or anger/resentment at the sibling who came along and changed things.

"Our beliefs and behaviours are changeable..."

Again there is no “one size fits all” situation here but if certain NEC’s are left unchecked they can continue to impact those relationships we have with our parents and siblings right into adulthood and then even our romantic relationships - take an NEC of yearning to be loved for example - this may make us more needy or demanding on our spouses.

Child psychologist Dr Rachel Andrew explains some common yet not fully determined characteristics that can be elicited by our birth order;

Dr Andrew confirmed that as the eldest, being given responsibility constantly can see the child "having more in common with adults rather than their peers. They can also internalise that in order to be loved/accepted that they need to work hard and be responsible. These patterns can lead to depression in adolescence/adulthood, particularly if in spite of working hard, success does not seem to be achieved". Firstborns come into a world in the exclusive focus of their adoring parents. Nothing is left to chance and they live in this exalted position until a sibling arrives.

Second-born children must accommodate the fact that there is always someone ahead of them. As such, they seek companionship outside the family and are much more relaxed and sociable as a result. They are more likely to try different activities and it is postulated that second children tend to be better socially adjusted than firstborns. They have more friends and are generally considered to be happier. Middle children can live in a world full of resentment. They are jealous of the attention being lavished on the sibling ahead of them and resent their younger sibling being given privileges they were denied.

As teenagers, they either choose to wallow in their resentment and can become delinquent (ie running with the pack) or decide to overcome the hand life has dealt them and aim to outdo all the other siblings. They may then become peacemakers. (John F Kennedy was a middle child.)

The youngest children are known as the charming rebels. They crave the limelight. Most likely referred to as the “baby” in the family, they are more talkative but lapse into cuteness or helplessness too readily.


Whether or not you can see these traits in the members of your family or even yourself is not necessarily the issue here. What is the issue is that if you are finding undesirable patterns in the way you feel or behave to your parents, siblings or partners/ spouse then there is something you can do about it!!

Beliefs and the behaviours that they elicit can be changed. It takes some effort but the results will open up opportunities and experiences that you may never thought possible. Sometimes we get dealt a bad hand in life and the best way to turn a negative into a positive is to let go and move forward.

NET is one of the best ways I have found to do this because it interrupts the thought-feeling link that drives the undesirable pattern. It is even more powerful when used in combination with mindfulness and affirmations / behaviour changes.

If your interested in experiencing NET to shed some undesirable beliefs/ behaviours or have some more questions feel free to get in touch!

Feel free to share this with friends or family that may be interested.


Dr Mark Symonds


BChiroSc, MChiro, C.C.W.P., NLP Master Coach


For more information or to book in for an appointment call me on 8667 3023!!


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