Humans are definite products of our surroundings and environment. We respond directly to the people that live around us and the situation we are placed in. A certain amount of our destiny is pre-determined before we reach the world, but I believe that where we are, and the people surrounding us during the early years of our childhood shapes everything about us. I have two brothers, and all three of our personalities perfectly fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
I am the second child of three, and the only daughter. There are a lot of stereotypes that go with this. Some of these apply and some don’t. Parents.com says that the middle child is supposed to be the peacemaker and a people pleaser, and we all know the classic “forgotten middle child” syndrome. I’m not necessarily a quiet little conflict mender, and as far as the forgotten part, well I don’t know. So both are kind of moot points.
I have an outgoing older brother, Adam, who is a lot like my mom. He is calm, reasonable and has a pretty strong sense of self. In contrast, I’m a little more shy upon first impression, not always so level headed and a bit all over the place. This is a lot like my dad, who also shares a pretty dry sense of humor with me. Then, I have a little brother, Jake, who is people pleasing and has a personality that doesn’t really follow either of my parents.
Psychologists like to pinpoint what they think every first-born is like, and how the only boy in a family of all girls will act. I think a lot of times, this information can be kind of irrelevant. While a lot of first kids will be natural leaders, everyone has a lot of their own traits just like each family operates differently and has their own unique set of characters if you will.
In his book The Sibling Effect, Jeffrey Kluger argues that siblings have a significant impact on personality. He goes as far as to say that they determine whether you will be a free spirited risk taker or a serious studious type. He even credits the desire to drink and use drugs somewhat to your brothers and sisters.
In each family, everyone serves a purpose and each personality is perfectly adapted to coexist with the others. My older brother Adam is outgoing and likes to talk, making me a little quieter and reserved upon first impression. I tend to act of impulse and emotion, so Jake is very methodical and reasoning. We balance each other out in that way. All three of us are like a puzzle, we compliment each other, fit together.
Families in general are an interesting concept. You are born into a group of people purely by chance, for better or for worse. No matter what situation you are dropped in, it is expected that you will exist, develop, grow and depend on that group of people who you are tied together with, through the bond that is family. Yes, I get the blood relation thing, but it has always been interesting to me that something you are born into coincidentally determines your entire jump start into life.
I couldn’t have picked a better family to be dropped into if I had been given the choice. I have parents who care so much about me and my success, and two incredible brothers. Even though family is in a way a randomly assigned group of people who share a living space, I wouldn’t trade my randomly assigned group for anything.
While this specific layout and system is what my family looks like, everyone’s is different. But the fact remains the same. Each member of a family serves a purpose and has an effect on everyone else’s personality. No matter what the puzzle is, each one’s pieces are specifically made to be joined together. They all shape each other, and just like the components of a family depend on one another to be complete.