Monday, January 21, 2013

Ann Landers and Dear Abby: Twins with Double Birth Orders

Esther Lederer - Ann Landers

Pauline Phillips - Abigail Van Buren

This is the life of two twin sisters who both pursued the same 
path, that of advice columnists.   Although twins there were 
differences.  With every set of twins,  one assumes the higher 
birth order.  In their case it was Esther, known as Eppie, that 
was 17 minutes older.

Family Birth Order Diagram
This is the family diagram and their birth orders.

Helen                                           1911             #1
Dorothy                                       1913             #2

            5 year space

Esther (Eppie) Pauline              1918          #3/1
           17 minutes
Pauline (Popo) Esther              1918          #3/2

Third Borns
Both girls were the third birth so they share Third born
characteristics.  These include the ability to understand
people and size up situations involving people with almost
a psychic ability.  They tend to be intuitive and care most about
the human condition, but can also be artistic and theatrical.
Emotionally they show a happy face to the world but can cover
up their more sensitive side privately.

First Borns
Esther (Ann Landers) carries the first born characteristics with
her third born birth order. The firstborn wants to keep the
throne and will try to be the first and best in everything they
do.  They like to wield power over others and at times can be
caustic in their attempt to get their point across. Failure is not
an option so life can be difficult trying to please others and be
perfect. They feel they have the “right” answers.

Second Borns
Pauline (Dear Abby) carries the Second born characteristics with
her Third born birth order.  The Second born does not like to be
told what to do.  They are not as driven as the Firstborn but know
their weak spots and love to point out to them they are not
perfect. They are more light hearted and social as they don’t take
things as personally.

Sibling Disaffection
With the twins having Double birth orders they switch between
the same birth order #3, and their other birth orders a #1 and #2.
When they are both acting like 3’s they are full of love for each
other. When they are acting like #1’s and #2’s they are rival siblings. 
Sibling rivalry is usually strongest between the first and second
children.  In their case they were the first and second children in
the second family. The five year gap between the twins and their
older siblings created the Double birth order.  During their early
life they were inseparable, both primarily showing the number
3 birth order characteristics. They wrote an advice column in
college and even had a double wedding ceremony.

Their Marriages
Esther dumped her fiancé and two weeks later married the
 millinery salesman who she met while shopping for her veil.
Her marriage to Jules Lederer founder of Budget Rent -A -Car
lasted 36 years but ended in divorce. He admitted having an
affair. Pauline told Esther it was her fault which didn’t help
the sister relationship. This would have been typical for a
number Two to aggravate the older sibling.

Pauline married Morton Phillips heir to the family liquor
business. Esther felt betrayed when Pauline created her own
advice column just  months  after she continued the Ann
Landers column.  They would fuel the competitive drive
the rest of their lives.
Their Different Styles
Pauline’s column answers  were more friendly then Esther’s,
who was more abrupt. She resented Pauline’s financial
success although both sisters were very successful. Pauline
seemed to have a more personal attachment to her readers.

Twins with Double Birth Orders
Here was an interesting example of Twins that ended up with
double birth orders.  The combination of birth orders, a
double birth order, creates a more complicated person.  These
two women though alike in many ways, exemplify the extreme
differences birth orders can create.

Let me hear from you if you have any twins in your family?

For more information about Double Birth Orders my book,
Lifes Fingerprint: How Birth Order Affects Your Path Throughout
Life;  offers a detailed examination of the dynamics of birth order,
available as hard copy or e-book.  For more information, plus
videos and blogs, visit my web site  
by Dr. Robert V.V. Hurst