Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Am The Peacekeeper

And no, I'm not talking about this crappy 1997 B movie. (Okay, I've never actually seen this movie, but I think I can safely assume any movie starring Dolph Lundgren and Montell freakin' Williams is probably pretty crappy.)

After a conversation with a co-worker this morning in which I referred to myself as a "peacekeeper," I had a small moment of self-discovery. I seem to be having a lot of them lately and wonder if it has anything at all to do with the fact that I'm getting closer to turning 30. Anyway, we were discussing the fact that, in our office of three women, I have somehow become the one that the other two both confide in and am sort of a go-between for them (they don't really get along due to an unfortunate screaming match that apparently happened while I was out getting lunch one day and, therefore, not here to "keep the peace.")

It dawned on me that my work situation is a lot like the relationship I had growing up with two sisters, "Big A" and "little c." Big A is almost 3 years older than I am and little c is almost 6 years younger. So, the age gap between Big A and little c is almost 10 years. My co-workers, "Big D" and "little m," also have quite a large age difference - Big D is 45, little m is 23 or 24, I'm not quite sure. Adding to the similarities is the fact that Big D was here first, I came about 2 years later, and little m started here just a few months ago. So, that makes me the middle child.

I was curious to see if this "peacekeeping" mentality was inherently ingrained in me due to my birth order position and hopped on google to research more into the topic and the theory of Middle Child Syndrome. What I found was fascinating...

According to this article, peacekeeping is just one of the traits I have that I can contribute directly to being a middle child. I can also blame it for my lack of direction, my indecisiveness, and my detachment from most emotional relationships. Additionally, this article goes on to explain that my birth order may be the reason I was always more of a loner and prefer to stay behind the scenes rather than bathe in the limelight.

All of that sounds pretty negative so far, right? Well, I'll have you know that middle children are also known to be more creative and artistic types and usually have a go-with-the-flow mentality. And who doesn't like those kind of people? I've always gone through life with a "whatever's clever" kind of attitude, which can be a good quality or a negative one depending on the situation. On one hand, I'm fairly adaptable to change and my feathers aren't easily ruffled. On the other, and I hate to admit this, I can be somewhat of a doormat at times.

In any case, this is all just one example of the never-ending nature vs. nurture argument, but I really think there's a lot to be said about the Middle Child Syndrome. And I'm not just saying that because I am one. Really, I'm not!

Side note: During my extensive google research on the topic, I came across this site and thought, "Wow! A whole site devoted to the Middle Child Syndrome! It must be a wealth of information on the topic." And, while sadly it wasn't the fount of facts I was hoping for and I'm still not real clear on what it has to do with MCS at all, it was still an amusing respite from today's mind-fuck, self-discovery moment.

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