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This Therapist Is Going Viral For Explaining How Your Birth Order Might Affect Your Personality, And It's Eye-Opening

If you're the oldest, middle, or youngest child...prepare to be exposed. πŸ‘€

If you're like me, you may be a curious person who LOVES learning new things β€” especially when it comes to what makes us tick as human beings.


Tristan Collazo, MA, is a licensed resident in counseling whose TikTok page has been blowing up thanks to his videos on psychology and mental health awareness β€” and you'll probably find his content fascinating and helpful.

Therapist Tristan Collazo, MA, in a TikTok video captioned: "Therapist Explains"
@risethriverepeat / Via

Known as @risethriverepeat on TikTok, Tristan started a viral series where he breaks down birth order theory β€” a concept developed in the 20th century by Austrian physician and psychiatrist Alfred Adler β€” which explains how birth order could impact your personality traits.

BuzzFeed spoke to Tristan, who explained that while Adler's theory is an "older concept," further research has shown how birth order can play a major role in shaping personality traits: "Research has shown birth order to be one of many components that contribute to the formation of someone's personality," Tristan explained. And while researching for his video series, he said, "I gained all of my information from peer-reviewed journal articles on the topic."

Tristan explained that birth order "is just one component that plays a part in the development of personality." And although Adler's theory has been around for over a century, Tristan's TikToks have been gaining millions of views, so it's safe to say that many people (myself included) are VERY curious about it.

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The first video in the series β€” which has over 7 million views β€” describes common personality traits of someone who was an oldest child growing up:

"Families place unrealistic expectations on the eldest child, and because they are no longer the only child, they must adapt to change," Tristan says in the video. "In turn, they become perfectionists, people pleasers, and authoritative β€” yet extremely helpful. They learn to bear most of the responsibility."

@risethriverepeat / Via

Here's what the theory has to say about the second child, which highlights some key differences between the oldest and second oldest in a family: "The second child starts off life knowing they have to share the attention of their parents. Their older sibling serves as a role model but also sparks a competitive fire within them. They strive to catch up and surpass their older sibling. In turn, they may be more likely to be better adjusted in life. They are more competitive, peacemakers, people pleasers, rebellious, and always gaining new abilities."

@risethriverepeat / Via

Here are some common traits for the middle child: "The middle child deals with significant changes in life and may become resentful and frustrated. It's not easy to please parents as much when you're sandwiched between the oldest and the youngest. Middle children in smaller families appear more frustrated, while those in bigger families may be more cooperative to get their needs met. They may feel like life is unfair, feel unloved, or impatient, but they can also feel even-tempered, adaptable, and able to compromise."

@risethriverepea / Via

And here's what the theory has to say about the youngest child: "The youngest child does not have the disadvantage of having to compete with a new sibling; they are considered the 'baby.' Since their siblings have likely become independent, the youngest may receive more attention. The youngest may be outgoing, an attention-seeker, feel inferior to their other siblings, hyper-dependent on others, more competitive to catch up with their siblings' developmental level, and may behave as if they're the only child."

@risethriverepeat / Via

Each video has created a space for viewers in the comments to discuss how much they relate.

A comment says, "As the oldest child, it's true"
@risethriverepeat / Via

Some immediately feel exposed.

Another comment says, "I'm the oldest of three and a little creeped out because of how accurate this is"
@risethriverepeat / Via

And for others, it's been an opportunity to open up about their own unique experiences growing up.

Another comment says, "Middle child here; and yes, I can relate, but it was never a hateful competition with my sister; I just wanted to be as great as she is"
@risethriverepeat / Via

Note that not every aspect of Adler's theory is true for everyone, as there are many other factors that can shape one's personality development: "Birth order alone does not determine personality. A variety of factors, including socioeconomic status, parental attitudes, gender roles, and social influences also contribute to the shaping of an individual's personality," Tristan told BuzzFeed.

@risethriverepeat / Via

In this TikTok on the concept of psychological birth order, Tristan explains some nuances that can also impact someone's personality development: "This concept states that it is not merely the order in which you were born, but the situation in which you were born and the way in which you interpret it," he says in the video. "Individuals can identify with more than one birth order category."

Since the videos have gone viral, Tristan has continued the series with TikToks for people who grew up as an only child, twins, and more.

@risethriverepeat / Via

To watch Tristan's full series and his other videos on psychology and mental health, check out his TikTok page @risethriverepeat and Instagram page @rise_thrive_repeat.

Well, hey, now I'm intrigued. What do you think of this theory? Can you relate to these videos? Let us know in the comments below!