11 Ways Oldest Children Love Differently

Being the first born in a family is a tough gig, but it’s an honor to have that burden on our shoulders. Despite what our younger siblings may think, we are capable of feeling love. We are also capable of showing love. As oldest children, that love just tends to show in ways that some people might consider “different”. Stick with us, though — we’re worth it.

  1. We’re protective. We always got a sick thrill out of messing with our siblings, but if someone ever hurt them, that person would be swiping right on the Grim Reaper faster than the speed of light. As the oldest kid, we feel like protecting our siblings is a job bestowed on us by our position in the birth lineup. We do that job mercilessly and with pride. Oldest children have a very strong sense of camaraderie with the people we care about, and that extends into our dating lives as well. If you’re in trouble, we won’t just sit there and scream: we’ll grab a sword and get right to the rescuing.
  2. We enjoy giving advice. Our siblings weren’t afraid to come to us for advice, and you shouldn’t be either. We don’t think your asking is annoying or stupid at all, and we definitely won’t think any less of you for reaching out for help. We like being helpful and we’re happy to give you some words of wisdom, especially if it’s a situation we’ve been in ourselves. Feel free to use us as your personal advice columnist.
  3. We like to lead, but it can wear us out. Oldest children enjoy the “all-knowing sage” view that our younger siblings have of us, but being the go-to person for all of the problem solving can get really tiring after awhile. Sometimes, it’s nice to sit back and let someone else sort out all the tomfoolery. If you bring us a glass of whiskey and tell us to chill while you plan all the details for a date or a seance, we’ll love you forever for it.
  4. We’re very good at “screening” people. Watching our younger siblings make new friends, date new people and lie to us regularly gives us razor sharp people-reading skills. We can see right through every form of BS there is because we were exposed to all of it constantly. Our abilities are a defense mechanism and comprehensive disaster prevention wrapped up in a package made of boobs and shiny hair. It might be scary that we can read you so easily, but we mean well.
  5. We need and value our space. Growing up, our younger siblings had no concept of personal space and personal belongings. They got their curious, sticky little fingers all over everything, took things that weren’t theirs and went in our rooms without asking. To us, that was practically a human rights violation. As adults, we really enjoy having a private little sanctuary that is ours and ours alone. We want you around, but we also like knowing that you won’t mess with our precious stuff.
  6. We’re very compatible with natural leaders. We’re used to taking the reins, so we love being around people who also know how to take charge and act as authority figures. Together, we’ll be unstoppable. Mwa ha ha ha!
  7. We’re experts at plotting revenge. Need a twisted, diabolical revenge scheme to retaliate against something petty and easily forgotten? Ask an oldest child. We’ll come up with something memorable and messy in ten minutes flat. We’ll even hand you all the grotesque details in a PowerPoint presentation. We’re a force to be reckoned with in prank wars, but don’t be afraid. If you find yourself on the ass end of one of our plots, that just means we noticed you playfully messing with us and we want to give you a cute little “screw you, too” right back.
  8. We love being with you during a “first” experience. Taking our siblings out to their first R-rated movie or buying them their first beer is a huge thrill for us. Watching them experience something that we also found exciting is endearing and fun. We’ll really enjoy connecting with you in the same way. Watching you go crazy over the things we already love makes bonding even more magical.
  9. We’re used to being the guinea pig. Most parents have no idea what the hell they’re doing with their first kid. The oldest child is a test subject of epic proportions. Despite all the backwards diapers, we turned out alright. It’s not a big deal to us when some things don’t work out the way you intended. We know you were trying to do something you thought was for the best and that you (hopefully) meant no harm. We’ll just brush it off and move on.
  10. We can handle a lot of extra responsibilities. As the oldest kid, we often ended up in a “copilot” position next to our parents. While we weren’t an actual parent with real power, we were still given some parent-like duties to keep the family running smoothly. We got a lot of stuff thrown at us, and that turned us into highly organized, responsibility-slaying adults. We can handle all the extra turds that life flings at us without falling apart. Don’t you worry.
  11. We like taking care of you. Our siblings weren’t completely helpless and dependent on us, but they still had to lean on us sometimes when we were growing up. Being the strong, reliable one is a great feeling and we’re happy to be that person for you too. We’ll always have your back, even if you’re bent over a toilet violently puking your guts out in the wee hours of the morning. We’ve seen much worse, and we’ll be right back with some saltine crackers and a glass of water.
Lauren Clark is a writer and news curator based in Denver, Colorado with bylines here on Bolde and at Inside.com. While she’s vehemently anti-social media, you can find her on LinkedIn.