19 Relationship Insecurities Every Middle Child Knows Too Well

September 13, 2017

Raise your hand if you’re a middle child – or you’re dating one. 

Being a middle child isn’t easy. If you are one, you know this. But if you aren’t, you might be surprised at the struggles they go through.

As the baby of my family, I always thought the middle children had it the easiest; they flew under the radar and seemed the most well-adjusted of all of us. The oldest was always getting into trouble and being cracked down on, hard: there were a lot of expectations involved with being the first child. And as the youngest, I got a lot of attention, which I didn’t always appreciate. The middle kids just went with the flow.

But I’ve since realized that my middle siblings didn’t always have it so good. Lacking the status of being either the oldest or the youngest, they were sort of adrift in a no-man’s land, never getting the attention they craved. What’s more, they felt an overwhelming need to make peace in the family; they were the ones we counted on to keep everyone laughing and help things stay on an even keel in our household.

As an adult, that can take a toll on your relationships. Of course, no matter where you are in the birth order – oldest, youngest, or only child (yikes), you’re inevitably going to be screwed up in some way from your family history. But middle children have a particular type of insecurity that plagues their romantic relationships, no matter how far away they get from their family of origin, or how much time passes.

Here are 19 insecurities every middle child has grappled with in their relationships at some point…

1. You can’t tolerate conflict. As the middle child, you were always expected to be the peacemaker.

2. Being alone makes you strangely uneasy. With both older and younger siblings around, you were rarely on your own growing up.

3. You need to be acknowledged. All those years of being overlooked (not the oldest, not the baby) have taken a toll.

4. You have an uncontrollable urge to make your partner happy at all costs; you’re used to putting other people’s needs before your own.

5. You find yourself playing the mediator during fights, to the point where you don’t stand up for yourself enough.

6. You’re used to living in someone else’s shadow – but that doesn’t mean you don’t secretly resent it.

7. You get super possessive about your stuff. Having siblings on either side of you has made you territorial.

8. Sometimes you really need to be alone. It’s not personal – you just need your space.

9. You expect to be blamed for everything. Your older siblings were allowed to do more than you were, and the younger ones could get away with murder.

10. You have trouble knowing what you really want, because you’re so used to catering to your siblings’ demands.

11. You see yourself as the long-suffering victim; it’s a middle-child thing.

12. You’re so afraid of being overlooked that you tend to act out in inappropriate ways.

13. Settling for less than you deserve is second nature to you; you never got your first choice growing up, so why expect anything different now?

14. When you do stand up and demand what you deserve, you’re immediately riddled with guilt over it.

15. Sometimes you don’t even know how you feel; it’s a side effect of being a chronic people-pleaser.

16. You’re terrified of being left out. The middle child is always the one who gets forgotten.

17. You’re constantly afraid people will take advantage of you, because of your easy-going nature.

18. You don’t want to be alone, but at the same time, you need time to yourself. It’s hard to find a happy medium.

19. People are drawn to you because you’re so fun and easy to be with; for all the people who love you, there’s just not enough of you to go around.

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Comment: Are you a middle child? How does it affect your relationships?

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