If you’re the youngest child in your family, you’re probably the life of the party. You’re fun to be around, and you use your sense of humour and charm to get attention.
The upside of being the youngest
As the youngest child, you were probably cherished and cuddled longer than your siblings. Your parents knew you were the last ‘baby’, so they wanted to enjoy having a young child around as long as they could. They probably were less strict with you than they were with your siblings. Your brother or sister must have told you sometimes: ‘I didn’t get away with that!’ But, just like your parents, they grant you a lot.
The downside of being the youngest
Perhaps your siblings still tell you you were spoiled sometimes. While it’s not like you could help being the youngest – and it’s not all glitter and gold. You always had older siblings around you and the other members of your family –both parents and siblings- probably helped you with lots of things, making it more difficult to get on your own two feet. If you’re the youngest, you probably find it harder to be independent, according to Linda Blair. She’s a psychologist and author of ‘Birth Order’.
Who’s your perfect partner?
Usually, an eldest child is a great match with a youngest child, according to Blair. The eldest offers stability, likes to take care of their partner and likes the youngest’s quirkiness and rebelling. Being the youngest, you probably like being taken care of – although your partner can’t be too meddlesome. A middle child can be a good match, too, because they are often easygoing and they offer you the space you need. A youngest child with a youngest child is a dynamic combination, according to Blair, but it can also bring a lot of chaos.
Character traits that are typical for youngest children:
You’re a charmer
As a youngest child, you’ve probably grown up to be the clown in the family. You’ve been surrounded by people older than you, and knew how to charm them with your sense of humour. Even in your adult life, you might still take on that role. Your need for attention sometimes make your charm change into manipulative behavior (not the nicest trait, but hey, the oldest and middle child aren’t perfect either).
Growing up, your siblings and parents probably helped you with lots of things, simply because you were the youngest. This got you used to other people doing stuff for you, and that’s why you’re probably not much of an organizational talent. Planning isn’t your strong suit.
You’re a daredevil
Youngest children, according to Blair, have less respect for authority than eldest children. They are less flexible than middle children. Breaking rules was less scary for you, because your parents had grown more indulgent and less strict when your older siblings grew up.
There’s a bit of a paradox here. On the one hand, youngest children are used to being cherished and complimented, and you might say that’s good for their self confidence. On the other hand, according to Blair, youngest children have looked up to their elder siblings from the start. That’s why they might feel like they’re not good enough, and this feeling will last during adulthood.
You tend to get disappointed in others
Your parents probably cherished your ‘childish’ side, because you were the last child. That’s why they pampered you more than your older siblings. Unconsciously, this may cause high expectations of other people. Possibly, you still get disappointed in others because you expect a lot of them (and find it hard to take responsibility for the relationship or friendship sometimes).
Text: Dorien Vrieling - Photo: Joshua Clay