Does your place in the family determine your confidence?

Does your place in the family determine your confidence?

Addison Farris, Co-editor

As a teenager you are constantly facing battles with self-confidence, assurance, and morale. They get thrown at you which can ultimately lead to distress and anguish. These battles often have the power to overthrow any other fights you might be dealing with, and your undivided attention goes towards the mirror you see yourself in. People are prone to having their own opinion about something and some aren’t afraid to make that opinion vocal. We are hardwired to care what people think of us and we let that determine the way we go about life. We often let other people make decisions for us just because of the confidence we lack. We don’t trust ourselves enough so that when another person’s judgement comes along, we use that because it’s easier. However, this doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. There are two different kinds of people; the one that relies on other people’s school of thought and then the people who may or may not rely on it too but are much better at hiding it. But what’s the difference between these two people and how does their home life fit into all of it? 

  I dove into what really contributes to a person having little to no confidence and I explored the idea as to whether it could have something to do with the place you hold in your family. I discovered that although it holds many contributing factors, a prime one is your place-hold as a sibling.  

Previous research shows that first-borns and only children tend to have higher self-esteem than later born children. The youngest often feels special and holds a distinctive place in the family. They tend to be more defiant, attention seeking, creative, social, outgoing and have a sense of impartiality. However, with being the first born or oldest, they tend to cultivate more towards being goal-oriented, stubborn, independent, and quieter. It’s almost as if the oldest is forced to set a good example for their younger siblings. This can lead to lots of pressure and tension building up which can result in being more reserved, withdrawn and introverted. Parents are often more lenient with their youngest; they tend to be less cautious as they have more parenting experience. Studies say that the younger child Is more likely to get treated on a more easygoing and blithe level while the oldest is expected to be more responsible.  

Another reason that the youngest is more arguably confident and inhibited is that they have their older sibling to look up to. They have their own role model basically given to them so it’s much easier for them to just follow in their siblings’ footsteps. There is already a form of trust built there and so advice being given is more likely to be taken.  

Researchers say that another component is that younger siblings are often left out. This drives them to fight for attention and eventually guides them to gain certain characteristics such as charm, confidence and creativity. These traits can help a person in the real world obtain credence and charisma.  

So, it turns out your place in the family really can have an impact on your future and current self. It can either lead to you being more introverted or more extroverted and can even take a toll on self-regard and dignity. Now of course this doesn’t apply to everyone so even if you are the oldest, you have time to build more confidence and you can grow to be more outgoing. It just takes time, don’t worry!