For all of us, what we learned as children can have a dramatic effect on what we do as adults.
Most of what we do on a daily basis we do on autopilot, without even thinking about it. We have developed rituals and routines and habits that enable us to use our thinking brain for the bigger stuff, while allowing our subconscious brain to handle brushing our teeth, showering, and the like.
So, what did you learn about conflict as a child that you're still using as an adult?
If you're the oldest child and/or the oldest boy child, you're likely to be the bossiest. You will tend to believe that you know best. As a child, you may have exercised the eldest's prerogative of "might makes right." While that doesn't have to carry over into adulthood, the idea that you know best and that you know best for everyone certainly can carry over.
It's not that you can't be caring and nurturing and wonderful. You can be. You just tend to do it in a parental way, providing guidance and direction for those around you (even if they aren't actually asking for it).
If you're a middle child, you had to find ways around your older sibling, but you still got to boss the younger one a little. You may have learned to say you were sorry to the eldest, even when you weren't, just to keep the peace. You may have felt a little invisible, with the eldest doing everything first and the youngest being the baby forever. You may have used that invisibility cloak to your advantage, being a bit naughtier than your parents realized. In the alternative, or in addition thereto, you may have become a bit of a button pusher, a rebel, just as a way to attract some attention your way.
You may find that you have less direct conflict in your life than the eldest does. You look for ways around conflict. You don't feel the need to deal directly with conflict. You may be someone who always picks the relationship over being right.
At the same time, with your rebellious streak, you may find yourself doing some button pushing. It could be playful conflict that you're engaging in. You may also be a little passive-aggressive.
If you're the youngest child, the baby of the family, everyone felt entitled to boss you, so you had to find other ways to get your needs met. You may have found that simply charming them worked quite nicely. You had it easier with your parents than your siblings did. Your parents weren't as rigid with you; they had been worn down by your older siblings. And you were the baby, so you were forever adorable (even when you weren't).
Where do you fall in terms of birth order?
Does your birth order affect how you are handling conflict as an adult?
Do these behaviors serve you now?