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Life’s

Fingerprint Your Birth Order How Birth Order Affects Your Path Throughout Life ■

Dr. Robert V. V. Hurst


Š 2009 by Robert V. V. Hurst All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from both the copyright owner and the publisher. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of this work should be mailed to: PBO Publishing Permissions Department P.O. Box 1790 Mandeville, LA 70470-1790 ISBN: 978-0-97913-611-5 LCCN: 2008909661 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the United States of America by PBO Publishing. www.lifesfingerprint.com


This book is dedicated to Catherine Breslin Carlson, my mentor of many years. She taught me to look at life and people from a completely different perspective, understanding that many parts of a person’s life and character are not of their making.


CONTENTS Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1

The Traditional Birth Orders and Their Variations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

2

Superman Was an Only Child: The Only Child . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

3

Born to Rule: The First-Born. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

4

Double Birth Orders: The One/Only. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

5

Don’t Tell Me What to Do: The Second-Born . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

6

The Prince and Princess of Birth Order: The Two/Only . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

7

I Feel Your Pain: The Third-Born . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

8

Everybody Knows Who I Am: The Three/Only. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

9

I Just Want to Have Fun: The Fourth-Born. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

10

In Charge, but with Fun: The Four/Only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

11

The Family Within a Family: More Double Birth Orders. . . . . . . . . . . 103

12

Birth Orders Beyond Number Four . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

13

Marriage Partners and Birth Order. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

14

Family Planning: Spacing Your Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

15

Combined or Blended Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

16

Factors Affecting Changes in Birth Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

17

Becoming a Birth Order Sleuth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

18

Birth Order in the Workplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

19

Final Thoughts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Frequently Asked Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 Find Your True Birth Order Questionnaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173


PREFACE

My life as an orthodontist is regulated by school holidays. That’s when everyone thinks they want to see me—until something better comes along. (It doesn’t take much to top a dental appointment.) I’ve grown accustomed to being in the office during the school holidays of Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and spring break, but the week of the Fourth of July is different. This is when I hear from many of the patients I treated long ago. Being alone in the office during this week is always an enlightening experience for me. On one of these days the front page of our local newspaper featured an article titled, “Head Custodian Taking Break after 37 Years.” It seems that James Spencer, the oldest of nine children, began work at the school at age sixteen after his father died and he had to help his mother with the bills. He continued to work while he got his high school diploma and then became head custodian, overseeing a staff of ten people. His job started at seven in the morning, but he was always early, and always in control of his duties and staff. He was absent only once during the thirty-seven years— the day his mother died. This was his first and only job.


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LIFE’S FINGERPRINT

This story illustrates some characteristics of the first-born child better than any example I can think of, and there it was on the front page of the paper. This man was the head of his team, dependable and responsible. Only a first-born would keep the same job for thirty-seven years and be there for his mother in life and in death. Later that day, I attended to all the calls that came in while I was out. My secretary, Anne, neatly arranged all the messages by the name of the caller, nature of the problem, phone number, and what was said to them. She then color-coded them for my action. Anne worked with me for over thirty years and was the super-organized and reliable only child. She liked to be home during the week of the Fourth of July. Her family was central to her life, which is a characteristic of only children. This Fourth of July was especially important because her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren were arriving from Africa for a long-overdue visit. The fact that her daughter and son-in-law are third-born and fourth-born children is not surprising. Third children, as adults, see life very differently than do the other birth orders. Their view of life is more altruistic, and giving themselves to the service of God makes Anne’s daughter’s missionary work in Africa a natural calling. The fourth-born, her son-in-law, loves the adventure of Africa. Having fun while someone else carries the heavy load is a fourth-born trait. In this case it’s left to his wife. I walked back into the lab area and found a do not touch note on some unfinished lab work that my lab tech, Ellen, had left. It shouldn’t surprise me that as a second-born, Ellen did not want anyone messing up “her” space, or for that matter, telling her what to do. I knew better and left everything alone. I began to tackle the twenty-one messages that needed my attention. First there was Scott, whom I had treated eight years ago, and who had a broken retainer. Scott is a first-born. He works in investment banking, following in his father’s footsteps. It is not unusual for the first-born son to follow in his dad’s path. When I told Scott I could fix his retainer, I could hear his sigh of relief. One message returned, twenty to go. Next was Rebecca’s mom, who saw a dark spot on the inside of Rebecca’s back molar and was sure it was causing her pain. (Rebecca is an only child. Mom is a single parent.) Returning the call, I got Rebecca on the phone. She told me she wasn’t having any pain; she was just bored at home. “Why me?” I asked myself. And just


Preface

3

how did Mom see way back to the inside of the molar anyway? Never underestimate the power of observation by an only child’s mother. I was dreading the next call, not because of the problem, but because of the parents. Little Sara was manipulating her divorced parents. Sara had a brother five years older and she was daddy’s little princess. She has the charm and engaging personality of a second-born, but because of the wide gap in age between her and her brother, she has less fear of adults—like an only child. Dad says she’s tough enough to compete with any boy, but to Mom, she’s a dainty little girl who can do no wrong. Returning the call, I found she was with Mom this week, and the “glue” had come off a brace in the front of her mouth. “Why didn’t you glue it on right?” demanded Mom. Talking with Sara, I found she was playing baseball with the boys, missed a foul ball, and it hit her in the mouth. She wasn’t wearing her mouthguard.…oops! My next call was to the father of a patient I hadn’t seen in five years. Seems his daughter, Courtney, is now in Alaska doing environmental research and had lost her retainer. (Retainers are a great way for me to keep in touch!) I told him it would be best for her to see an orthodontist in Alaska, since the molds of her mouth are five years old and couldn’t be used. Courtney is a third-born, so does it surprise me that she has decided to do environmental research? Not one bit. One of my last messages was from Dave, my auto mechanic, who really thinks of himself as an artist. One day he said, “See the grease on my hands? I’m the Picasso of grease and this is my paint.” I must mention that his garage floor is cleaner than mine, and I don’t repair cars. Dave and his wife, who also works at the garage, are people who love what they do, have fun together, and are both third-borns. The last time I visited his garage, he was playing a computer game and was going for a high score. Everyone just waited until he was done before work began again. Dave loves to say, “Do you want it done right or done right now?” I’ll let him do it right. Just then the front door buzzer rang and there stood Ashley. It’s been nine years since she graduated from high school and I have only seen her once since, about six years ago. She was one of several students who worked in the office after school. Ashley has an older brother she lived with until she was nine years old. At that time, her parents divorced and she lived with her mom and stepdad. Her brother stayed with her dad. This change made Ashley more of an only child from the age of nine. Having


4

LIFE’S FINGERPRINT

started life as a second child, she now carried the outgoing characteristics and the need to control her own space of the second child, and the strength and no fear of authority of the only child. In the office, she never wanted to be back in the clinic with the patients, but at the front desk meeting and greeting everyone. Ashley said she had brought her boyfriend home with her. At twentynine years old, living a thousand miles away from home, she has carved out her own life. She has had many boyfriends, but in her words, “No one will treat me the way I need to be treated.” “Like a princess?” I asked. “Right,” she said. “They just don’t seem to get it. The guy I brought home is thirty-four years old and has been married before. We dated for awhile and then broke up. He then comes crawling back to me, saying he just can’t live without me. Now I just have to figure out how to get him to do everything my way and think it’s his idea.” (Is this a universal concept?) I’m always interested in what line of work my former patients get comfortable with after college. I asked Ashley what she was doing now. “Selling diamonds,” she said. “I can sell to anyone, it’s really unbelievable! My boss says he has never promoted anyone as fast as me, nor has he seen anyone sell like me.” Little does he know that Ashley is a princess, and what better place for her than at a diamond retailer? Her boyfriend better get ready.…I think she’s got him now. As you can see, birth order, life’s fingerprint, is all around us. If we understand the characteristics of these birth order positions, then we can more easily understand ourselves, our life’s path, and the people in our lives.


INDEX

A

B

Abel, 6–7

Ball, Lucille, 46

Adam, 6

Barrymore, Drew, 25

Adler, Alfred, 7–8

Benny, Jack, 24

Agnew, Spiro, 154

Birth order questionnaire,

Albright, Madeleine, 46

13–15, 163–65 Birth order sleuth, 143–50

Allen, Woody, 46

Birth order, studying, 5–10

Andrews, Julie, 118

Birth order, switching, 33–36

Armani, Giorgio, 58

Birth order, understanding,

Aviator, The, 27

8–9, 157–58


174

Birth order variations, 11–19

Index

C

Black, Shirley Temple, 90

Cain, 6–7

Blake, Robert, 82

Carlson, Chester, 27

Blended families, 127–31,

Carter, Billy, 101

149 Bogart, Humphrey, 118 Bollea, Terry, 79 Bonanno, Joe, 27 Boy/girl birth order, 38. See also Gender

Carter, Jimmy, 72, 83, 101, 154 Changes in birth order, 15–17, 133–41 Chaplin, Charlie, 119 Characteristics, 1–4

Boyle, Peter, Jr., 72

Charles, Ray, 136

Brady Bunch, The, 129–30

Cheney, Dick, 30, 154

Brando, Marlon, Jr., 78–79

Children, spacing, 18–19,

Braun, Eva, 61

30–31, 125–26

Brokaw, Tom, 35, 55

Chung, Connie, 46

Brothers, 33–35. See also spe-

Churchill, Winston, 76

cific birth orders

Clinton, Bill, 9, 46–47, 154

Buchwald, Art, 97

Clinton, Hillary, 39, 57

Buffett, Warren, 59–60, 140

Clinton, Roger, 46

Bundy, Ted, 47

Cochran, Johnny, Jr., 38

Bush, Barbara, 80, 117,

Combining families, 127–31,

135–36 Bush, George H. W., 11, 58, 117, 154 Bush, George W., 30, 46,

149 Conway, Tim, 24 Corresponding birth order, 110–112

135–36, 154

Cort, Bud, 118

Bush, Laura, 25

Cosby, Bill, 136


Index

175

Couric, Katie, 107

Eisenhower, Dwight, 76

Coworkers, 151–55

Environment, 9

Cox, Wally, 79

Eve, 6

Cronkite, Walter, 22

Evert, Chris, 83 Everybody Loves Raymond,

D Dangerfield, Rodney, 62

145 Expectations for children, 157–58

Darwin, Charles, 111 Determining birth order, 12–15, 163–65 Dethroning older sibling, 133–34, 139–41

F Family living arrangements, 12–13

Disney, Walt, 105–6

Family planning, 125–26

Divorce statistics, 113, 128

Family within a family, 9, 13,

Dole, Bob, 60, 139–40

103–7, 148

Donahue, Phil, 45

Farley, Chris, 82

Double birth orders, 9, 41–48,

First-born, 29–40

103–7 Double ordinal birth orders, 103–5, 107

First-borns list, 40 Fleming, Peggy, 61 Flint, Larry, 83

Douglas, Kirk, 97

Flockhart, Calista, 119

Douglas, Michael, 118

Ford, Betty, 74

Duke, David, 67

Ford, Harrison, 35, 119 Foster, Jodie, 100

E Edison, Thomas, 101

Four/onlies, 99–102 Four/onlies list, 102 Fours and marriage, 122


176

Index

Fourth-born, 93–98

Harold and Maude, 118

Fourth-borns list, 98

Hart, Mary, 31

Freud, Sigmund, 7–8

Hawn, Goldie, 119 Hearst, George, 26

G

Hearst, William Randolph, 26 Helgenberger, Marg, 59

Gates, Bill, 59–60, 153

Hepburn, Audrey, 118

Gender, 33–39, 44, 50, 62, 66,

Hepburn, Katharine, 138

75–77, 84–86, 94–95. See

Hinkley, John, Jr., 100

also specific birth orders

Hitchcock, Alfred, 80, 89

Genetics, 9

Hitler, Adolf, 86

Getz, Stan, 26

Holden, William, 118

Gifford, Kathie Lee, 61

Hoover, J. Edgar, 91

Gingrich, Newt, 46

Howard, Clinton, 45

Girl/boy birth order, 38. See

Howard, Ron, 45

also Gender

Hughes, Howard, 27

Gordon, Ruth, 118

Hulk Hogan, 79

Gore, Al, 154

Human behavior, 9

Grant, Cary, 135 Greenspan, Alan, 26 Gumbel, Bryant, 35, 55

I

Gumbel, Greg, 35

Individualism, 157–58

H

J

Haig, Alexander, Jr., 67, 154

Jackson, Michael, 56

Halston, Roy, 58

Jordan, Michael, 97


Index

K

177

Lewinsky, Monica, 9, 47 Liberace, Walter, 87

Kaczynski, Ted, 47

Lincoln, Abraham, 57

Katalof, Mary Ann, 54

Lindbergh, Charles, 27

Kelleher, Herb, 153

Locklear, Heather, 96

Kelly, Gene, 81

Long, Huey, 111

Kelly, Grace, 80

“Love at first sight,” 114–17,

Kennedy, Caroline, 58 Kennedy, Joe, Jr., 136–37

119 Ludden, Allen, 24

Kennedy, John F., 17, 136–37 Kennedy, John, Jr., 58 Kent, Clark, 23–24

M

King and I, The, 118

Madonna, 77

King, Martin Luther, Jr., 60,

Malcolm in the Middle, 148

140 Knotts, Don, 101

Marriage, and age, 117–19 Marriage, and birth order, 113–23

L Ladd, Cheryl, 59 Lancaster, Burt, 97 Large families, 109–12, 149 Lee, Tommy, 96 Lemmon, Jack, 25

Mates, selecting, 113–23 May-December marriages, 117–19 Medical problems, 134–35 Middle child, 50, 56–59. See also Second-born

Leno, Jay, 67

Mondale, Walter, 154

Letourneau, Mary Kay, 96

Moore, Dudley, 67

Letterman, David, 67

Mother Teresa, 72, 80


178

Multiple births, 18, 87, 144, 147–48 Murdoch, Rupert, 141

Index

Only/ones list, 48 Only/threes list, 91 Only/twos list, 69

My Fair Lady, 118

P N

Palance, Jack, 80

Newman, Paul, 53

Parton, Dolly, 96

Nielsen, Leslie, 75

Pauley, Jane, 55

Nixon, Richard, 17, 137–38,

Payton, Walter, 81

154 Nurture versus nature, 9

Peterson, Laci, 130–31 Peterson, Scott, 130–31 Phantom child, 17–18

O O’Donnell, Rosie, 77–78

Population, 12, 128 Powell, Colin, 67, 154, 155 Primogeniture, 7

O’Neill, Oona, 119

Prince Charles, 36

O’Neill, Tip, 88–89

Prince Harry, 36

One/onlies, 41–48

Prince Rainier, 80

One/onlies list, 48

Prince William, 36

Ones and marriage,

Princess Diana, 36, 106–7

120 Only child, 21–28

Princess Kiko, 36 Princess Margaret, 67

Only child and marriage, 119–20 Only children list, 28 Only/fours list, 102

Q Queen Elizabeth, 67


Index

Questionnaire on birth order, 13–15, 163–65

179

Second-born, 49–63 Second-born variations, 50 Second-borns list, 63

R

Second-level birth orders, 110–11

Randall, Tony, 24

Seinfeld, Jerry, 57

Reagan, Ronald, 52, 67, 100,

Sheen, Charlie, 75

154

Shields, Brooke, 25

Reeves, Christopher, 24

Shultz, Charles, 25

Remarriage statistics, 128

Siblicide, 7

Rice, Condoleezza, 155

Sibling death, 135–39

Ritter, John, 134

Sibling medical problems,

River Runs Through It, A, 53–54 Robbins, Tim, 118 Robinson, Jackie, 111 Roosevelt, Theodore, Jr., 81

134–35 Sibling rivalry, 52, 133, 139–41, 145 Sibling spacing, 18–19, 30–31, 125–26

Rowling, J. K., 31

Sinatra, Frank, 25

Rumsfeld, Donald, 155

Sisters, 36–38. See also specific

Russell, Kurt, 119

birth orders Smothers, Dick, 34, 120

S Sabrina, 118 Sambora, Richie, 96

Smothers, Tommy, 34, 120 Somers, Suzanne, 88 Spacing children, 18–19, 30–31, 125–26

Sarandon, Susan, 118

Spears, Britney, 66

Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 139

Springer, Jerry, 67

Schwarzkopf, Norman, 79

Stapleton, Ruth Carter, 72, 83


180

Stepfamilies, 127–31, 149

Index

V

Stewart, Jimmy, 38 Stewart, Martha, 56 Streisand, Barbra, 67 Studying birth order, 5–10 Superman, 23–24

Van Gogh, Vincent, 17 Variations in birth order, 11–19 Ventura, Jesse, 53

Switching birth order, 33–36

W T Taylor, Elizabeth, 55 Third-born, 71–84 Third-born relationships, 73 Third-borns list, 84 Thomas, Marlo, 45 Three/onlies, 85–91 Three/onlies list, 91 Threes and marriage, 121–22 Traditional birth orders, 11–13

Walters, Barbara, 134–35 White, Betty, 24 Williams, Robin, 89–90 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 23 Woods, Tiger, 27 Workplace and birth order, 151–55 Wright, Orville, 88 Wright, Wilbur, 88

Triplets, 18, 147–48 Trump, Donald, 106

Z

Twins, 18, 87, 144 Two/onlies, 65–69 Two/onlies list, 69 Twos and marriage, 121

U Understanding birth order, 8–9, 157–58

Zeta-Jones, Catherine, 118

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