Middle children, rejoice - years of being ignored has given you an excellent life skill, according to a leading expert on the matter
Middle children get a bad rap in life.
Urban myth has it that those caught between their siblings are unambitious, lacking in attention.
The oldest gets the spotlight, the youngest all the love - and the one in the middle is left stranded (so the legend goes).
“Middle child syndrome” has become synonymous with an underlying resentment, conjuring up images of truculent offspring who never quite reach their potential.
But if you’re a middle child yourself, don’t rise to the bait.
Because it turns out, it’s mostly fake news.
California-based psychology professor Catherine Salmon has spent the last two decades studying thousands of middle children and has even co-written a book on the topic titled The Secret Power of Middle Children.
“In terms of undivided time and attention and effort, middleborns do lose out on that to a certain extent,” Salmon tells Business Insider in a new interview.
But, contrary to common perception, “this doesn’t seem to be having much negative effect on them”.
In fact, the research conducted by Salmon and her colleagues reveal that middle children share one great trait above all.
It turns out that they are excellent communicators, as a result of their piggy-in-the-middle role.
One 1998 study showed that middle children were more likely to turn to their friends rather than their parents for support, compared to their older and younger siblings.
This, in turn, makes them prime friendship material with strong social skills.
Similarly, middle children also make great romantic partners, according to another of Salmon’s studies, because they are used to negotiating and seeing different points of view.
While two firstborns or two youngest children might clash together in a relationship, because of their similar personalities, middle children are more likely to be diplomatic and open-minded.
So there you have it, middle kids.
Embrace the unique lack of attention you received throughout your childhood.
It basically means you’re brilliant…
To read more about the power of middle children, visit Business Insider