24 Reasons The Middle Child Is (By Far) The Coolest Child

Photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash

1. You Bathe In The Sea of Low Expectations

If your older sibling is smart, the family success story is already taken care of. If your older sibling is dumb, just chalk it up to the genes.

2. You Do Real Weird Stuff, Just Because

Be it telling people to meet at odd-numbered times (I’m a sucker for scheduling meetups at 8:12, or 1:53), or walking five miles for no apparent reason, being a middle child is predicated around doing everything you possibly can to stand out from the elder, while ensuring that you’re not grouped in the same pairing as the younger.

3. You Might Be More Responsible Than Your Older Sibling

You’ve been afforded the luxury to sit back, snack on on the less healthy household goodies your parents started buying for your younger sibling*, and watch your older sibling mess up. Bearing witness to his or her mistakes, you know not to make them.

*My older brother was forced to eat Frookies. My younger sister got Dunkaroos.

4. You Could Probably Be A Double Agent

In high school, you were probably able to bounce around the various cliques with relative ease. This is because you spent your mornings doing too cool for school teenager activities at the mall, and your afternoons watching Nick Jr.

5. Your Pop Culture Lexicon Is Upsettingly Vast

Saved By the Bell with your older sibling, and Drake and Josh with the younger one. Why every bar trivia team needs a middle child.

6. You ALWAYS Identify With The Underdog

Middle children are drawn to characters like Matt Saracen of Friday Night Lights, and Jonathan Moxon of Varsity Blues. Overshadowed, but talented enough to take the reigns. And apparently, really good at being backup quarterbacks.

7. You’re Actually an Incredible Leader

The internet says that over half the United States Presidents were middle children. While this is somewhat misleading (instead of reading about “27 ways to make the most of being 27”, people used to spend their time making mad babies), it does make a lot of sense. Middle children get blitzed by both sides, and constantly have to figure stuff out/appease everyone, and figure out how to craft slightly deceiving verbiage so that all are at peace.

8. You Probably Listen to a Lot of Brand New and Taking Back Sunday

The glory that was the mid-2000’s pop-punk movement is basically about being a middle child. (Note: as a point, this makes almost zero rational sense.)

9. You Get Knocked Down, But You Get Up Again

Be it through physical or verbal abuse, we’ve had our fair share time spent in the inferiority chamber. But instead of depending on outside help à la those sometimes useless leeches known as our younger siblings, we’ve taken to righting the ship ourselves.


10. You’re a Much Kinder Older Sibling

We’ve all #beenthere, so we don’t subject the younger folk to the same torture. But we certainly know how to threaten…

11. There’s a Decent Chance You’re Really Good with Kids, Even Though You Despise Kids

Middle children can hang with both sides of every coin. As extroverts, the sociable and relatable characteristics shine, making us gems in fields like camp counselor, babysitting, and teaching. But just like sitting in the backseat during a long family car-ride, there’s only so much we can take.

12. You’re GREAT at Manipulating Blame

Having scapegoats on both sides is definitely not the worst.

13. Half the Time, You Probably Wish You Were an Only Child

Being a middle child is like having 9 different windows up on Aol Instant Messenger. You’ve got your friends, your older sibling’s friends, your younger siblings’ friends — clustered all together, it can sometimes be too much.

14. You’ve Cultivated Some Solid Street Smarts

Old enough to be curious, and young enough not to know better. We have a knack for getting into strange situations. Strange situations come in handy. And make for easily exaggerated stories.

15. We’re Really Good at Exaggerating Stories

Good enough to rival that of the elder, and cool enough to wow and dazzle the younger. Most definitely one of our many sad flaws.

16. You’ve Learned How to Occupy Free Time

Oldest: “Honey, would you like to do all that cool stuff we can now do cause we’re parents, like go to Disney World every weekend? Yes?!? Wonderful.”

Youngest: “Here’s an XBOX 360. Oh, you want the PS4? Fine, go nuts. Just don’t bother me.”


17. You Discovered A Lot of Your Interests Much Later On

Especially if your older sibling is of the same gender, you’ll tend to be parented the same. The logic is sound–if he likes something, you’ll probably like it too–but it’s flawed in the sense that organic discovery is half the fun. (As your friend who’s always recommending hole in the wall food spots will tell you, everything’s always better when it’s your idea.)

18. You Deflect Your Lack of Achievement with Subtle Humor

Younger children are historically funnier. Many big-time funny people–including Mike Birbligia, Nick Kroll, and Ricky Gervais–are younger siblings.

But with the younger sibling there to repeat our own flawed actions time and time again, we also have the luxury of being self-aware. Knowing how much we suck, we have the opportunity to be even funnier.

19. You’re Probably the Most “Liked” Sibling

Not on Facebook, sadly.

On the spectrum that is your family age gap, you’ll always fall into the “most relatable” category. This means you could reminisce about how shitty T-9 texting was with your older sis, and send snapchats of your dad snoring to your younger Bro. You’re always the generational glue.

20. You’re Probably a Reckless Athlete

The very interesting article linked later in this sentence notes that being a younger brother is very conducive to highlight reel playing styles. We know that only way to be heard is to let our game speak.

21. And Partier

Gotta keep up with the older guy. And later on, the younger one. Not the safest. You’ll definitely regret this later on.

22. You’re the King of Delayed Gratification

Waiting hours on end for our turn to play Madden and Backyard Baseball means we’re much more willing to wait for big payoffs. Or so we tell ourselves career-wise…

23.  You Grew Up Faster

If the older sibling is allowed to do it, so are we.

24. You’d Probably End This List One Short of 25 Items

The older would’ve “achieved,” and hit the 25 mark. The younger probably wouldn’t’ve even made it to 20. You on the other hand, feel the incessant need to be obscure for no real reason. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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