1. Everything you did after the oldest sibling was old news, so even if you got in trouble your parents were all, “Yeah, whatever, you’ll grow out of it.” Which would have been fine, except then your parents cared A LOT about your younger sibling, as if they wanted to get the last one right — and therefore totally forgot about you in the process. (Still though, at least you just did whatever you wanted and never got in trouble for it.)
2. You simultaneously want and really don’t want attention, such was the struggle of your day to day life when you were younger. You know how to get attention, but you also quickly retreat from it, so really, you’re a little bit in the middle of even your own personality.
3. If your older sibling was great at school, you did poorly to get attention. If your older sibling was bad at school, you did well to get attention. Either way, your future was entirely dependent on how your older sibling performed and you still have some pent-up feelings about that.
4. You are insanely independent because all the parenting either went to your older sibling or the younger sibling. Half the time you were all, “Ok, I’ll help myself with my homework, it’s cool, whatever.”
5. Whenever you watch sitcoms about families, you always strongly identify with the middle child (Alex from Modern Family; Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle) because THEY GET YOUR STRUGGLE.
6. You are secretly happy that nobody has any expectations of you, because you just get to do whatever you want to do without your parents noticing. It’s like your own version of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
7. You got to be wildly unconventional and awesome because both your older and younger sibling had all the attention on them.
8. You learned how to do everything better because you watched your older sibling mess it all up and because you had to teach your younger sibling how to do everything. It’s like your own version of a life rulebook and, man, did you capitalize on that hardcore.
9. You get along with everyone because you had to be peacekeeper between your two siblings.
10. You give the best advice, because you’ve been in the middle of every fight there ever was. You could negotiate treaties, at this point.
11. You have a love/hate relationship with everyone you meet, because that was your life as a middle child. It was a good day if you loved both your siblings equally and on the same day. You had to be mad diplomatic about your attention and love.
12. You always attract only children as friends. The reason is twofold: 1) you are jealous of their blissful childhood; and 2) they lavish attention on you which you are always thirsty for.
13. You love being alone way more than both your siblings combined, because even a moment of peace and quiet was so finite when you were younger that, even a night to yourself feels like a luxurious treat.
14. You are entirely too sensitive to people’s feelings, because while your older sibling was off doing their own thing, you were trying to make your younger sibling happy, while also trying to impress your older sibling. You were exhausted constantly!
15. Everything was your fault. Your older sibling got to do whatever they wanted because they were older. And your younger sibling would cry all the time if you did anything as crazy as want to be alone FOR ONE MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE.
16. Even now, you take responsibility for things that aren’t even your fault because it was the only way to appease both your siblings at the same time when you were younger.
17. The phrase, “You can’t pick your family, but you can choose your friends,” was 100% coined by us, the brandished middle children, the real warriors of all family units ever.
18. Being shafted so often in childhood means you are a truly resilient and well-adjusted adult who is probably killing it in life.
19. You get to a point in adulthood where you’re like, “What do I even like to do?” because you’d been following your older sibling (and catering to the baby sibling) for so long that you forgot to develop your own interests.
20. Your younger sibling may be historically funnier than you, but they can thank you for being their first and only critic who helped them curate their humor. Your harsh rejection mixed with a rewarding laugh every so often them strong and inevitably funnier. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR CONSTANTLY REJECTING YOU, YOUNGER SIBLING.
21. You will forever spend your life avoiding being “average” or “normal” because your only claim to fame in your family was that you were the offbeat one that had other redeeming qualities besides just being the one born first or last.
22. When your older sibling left for college, your parents wept. When you left, they were like, “Bye, see you in four years!” When your younger sibling left, they wept again because it was the last of the kids to leave. Of course they wept for both siblings and not for us, right? Such is our struggle for. ev. er.