Here's one way to bring up the topic of family without sounding like you're overly eager to become part of it. Studies show that birth order plays a role in personality development. Is he a competitive first born, an intense second born, a sympathetic third born or an emotional only child? Even though the basic characteristics can vary from person to person, and no two people are the same, finding out his role in his family can give you insight into his personality and character [source: Isaacson]. It's also a good way to get a feel for his relationship with his family without the risk of dredging up potentially negative feelings.