How Does Your Birth Order Position Affect Your Life Now? Spoiler Alert Post!
As part of the series on birth order and how your sibling position contributes to whether you are living a life of havoc or a life of fame and fortune–the next entry will provide a list of the typical characteristics of persons in particular sibling positions.
If you haven’t read “Me? Do Thanksgiving? Are You Crazy?” you’ll want to as an introduction.
The spoiler alert pre-post is to set up some fun if you’re in the mood. And you’re always in the mood for fun, right?
Walter Toman’s Birth Order Studies will be the subject of the next entry. When I was teaching at the university I regularly handed these descriptions to students without the labels. I’d ask each to check the description most fit the way he or she saw themselves functioning. The accuracy with which people chose the sibling position that matched their actual position was phenomenal.
The ‘if you want to have fun’ idea is for you to test yourself with the descriptions the way students did. That is–read through the descriptions from Walter Toman’s studies and choose the one that you believe most matches the way you see yourself functioning matches. I’ve set up the post to first show the descriptions without the label that gives away the birth order position. Then I repeated the definitions with the labels. This way you can test yourself and anyone else that’s looking for a way out of work on a Monday.
Bowen Theory and Why Sibling Position is Important
Dr. Murray Bowen saw ‘the family of the individual’ rather than the ‘individual’ as the patient in therapy. This does not mean he ‘saw’ the whole family in his office. It means he ‘saw’ the individual’s functioning as part of the emotional unit instead of seeing the individual as the whole unit.
“There were a number of different aspects of this emotional interdependence between family members that led Bowen and his group to the conclusion that the family could be accurately conceptualized as an emotional unit. One frequent pattern was that family members functioned in reciprocal relationship to one another. . . .
The functioning of one person, therefore, could not be adequately understood out of the context of the functioning of the people closely involved with him.” . . . Family Evaluation, by Murray Bowen, M.D. and Michael Kerr, M.D.