Reading Review: I’m Not Alone in Crazytown

The Firstborn Advantage by Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Leman has written several books on the role birth order plays in a persons personality. Firstborns will behave a certain way, follow certain rules, have certain likes/dislikes – as will middleborns and lastborns – simply because of birth order. From what I’ve read I’m not sure it’s an exact science, but it does seem to be a fairly accurate predictor of how a person will behave assuming there aren’t other interfering circumstances. I am a firstborn – hence the reading of this book.

As I read through this book about myself my first thought was, “I really am crazy. This book confirms it.” A few chapters later and I thought, “I’m not as crazy as some firstborns. It could be worse.” By the end of the book I had just accepted that, “I live in Crazytown but at least I’m not alone.”

My paraphrase of this book is that firstborn children are experimented on by their parents and as a result they end up with perfectionistic, control freak, determined, stubborn, my-way-or-the-highway personalities. This is especially true of firstborn children with a firstborn parent. (Please note: both of my parents are firstborns – which explains a lot.) It’s not all bad – if we firstborns can get a grip on some of our more off-putting personality traits we can actually be really good leaders, organizers, get-stuff-done, resourceful, creative people.

I found this book quite fascinating as it was a fairly accurate depiction of my own struggles and strengths. I’d say all firstborns should read it – or parents/spouses of firstborns. Leman’s book The Birth Order Book is also a great source for learning about all birth orders.

Check out The Firstborn Advantage on Amazon.

Question: What birth order are you? Does your personality seem to resemble friends of the same birth order?


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