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How to Deal With Being a Twin

Updated on January 1, 2013
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Twins: The Good and Bad Parts About Being a Twin

I love being a twin. Lucky for me, I've got a buddy for life that has shared many experiences growing up and continues to do so even though we now live hours away from each other. We can play pranks on friends, family, and strangers, communicate in our own "twin speak" language no one else understands, and can trade clothes if we ever feel the need.

As awesome as being a twin can be, it's taken years to understand what it really means to be a twin and understanding how to deal with being a twin has been more a task for my sister than myself, although I understand the dilemma. You see, as much as I love being a twin, my sister has not always felt the same way. Nowadays, she has learned to embrace it, but for as long as I can remember, she used to really hate being a twin.

In this article, you will find out some of the worst aspects of being a twin that most people who are not a twin may not understand or even have any kind of awareness about. In addition, I have provided some of the best parts about being a twin, which can help you understand how to deal with being a twin if you are having a difficult time accepting it.

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The Top Five Worst Reasons about Being a Twin

Although I have never once hated being a twin, my sister has. Thanks to her, I can recognize some of the flaws about being a twin and I have come up with a list of the top five worst parts about being a twin for you here:

1. "Are you two twins?" My sister used to hate going out together anywhere. The worst part was the questions. Every stranger always asks one or more of the following questions:

  • Are you two twins?
  • Do you have telepathy?
  • What's it like being a twin?
  • Do you share everything together?
  • Are you fraternal or identical?
  • Which one's older? By how much?

For us, these questions were a routine and could be asked at least three times within a single shopping trip to the grocery store or at the mall. People can't help but be curious, but it doesn't take away from the annoying factor when the only thing that separates you two from everyone else is the fact you shared a womb with someone who looks a lot like you.

2. Same thing, different color. The one thing twins seek and treasure is their own individual identities and so getting the same exact thing can be pretty boring. Although there are plenty of exceptions to this, the idea just because they are two different colors makes the twins feel more individual is not true at all. It also does not work if the twins have completely different interests.

3. Sharing everything. Yes, children always have to share but twins seem to do it a little more than most. It was not uncommon for family and friends to come to birthday parties and buy only one gift, even though there are two birthday girls. Once again, this takes a little bit away from feeling like an individual and causes twins to feel somewhat cursed since most birthday girls and boys get more than half a present each.

4. Dressing the same. I remember one day while my twin and I were getting ready to go to school when my sister finally decided that we were going to decide what to wear separately instead of choosing an outfit together. Before that day, we always chose them together since for every dress or shirt I had, she had the same matching one in her wardrobe. Once again, this has to do with being more of an individual.

As much as dressing alike looks cute and can be fun, letting twins wear what they want can help make them just a little happier, especially if they have completely different styles, like my sister and I ended up having. It also avoids being pointed out in public and being interrogated about what it's like being a twin.

5. Comparisons. Although the questions in public have almost completely stopped since my sister and I have grown older and more obviously fraternal than when we were younger, comparisons are one thing we cannot seem to shake. Comparing twins, whether it is their personality, appearance, talents, or any other attributes, can make twins feel more self conscious or even make one of the twins feel less loved or cared for if the other is given too much adoration.

Some of my worst memories growing up twins was when we would meet strangers or others for the first time and they would sit there staring at my sister and I side by side for what felt like hours. In those situations, they would point out things like who has a bigger nose, wider eyes, or even which twin looks fatter. I think for some reason people forget at times that twins are just regular people. If i took two sisters side by side and made the same comparisons, it would be considered rude and inappropriate, but when it is done to twins, it is considered a game.

Facts About Twins From Twins

Strange Facts About Twins

  1. Mothers of twins tend to live longer.
  2. The birthrate for twins has increased about 76% since 1980.
  3. Twin fetuses start playing at around 14 weeks.
  4. Even separated twins tend to end up similar.
  5. Twins can be born years apart.
  6. Twins can have different dads.
  7. A pair twins can each be from different races.
  8. The oldest twins in the world are 102 years old.
  9. There isn't just fraternal or identical twins, there are actually "half identical twins."
  10. Many famous celebrities have twins we've never heard of, such as Ashton Kutcher and Scarlette Johansson.

Top Five Best Reasons for Being a Twin

Now that we have gone through the list of some of the worst aspects of being a twin, let's flip to the shinier side of the coin and take a look at the top five best reasons for being a twin. I think the best way to understand how to deal with being a twin is to recognize the good and the bad, especially the good. Here are five reasons why you should appreciate being a twin:

1. Best Friends Forever. My sister and I may not be as alike as we appear but, we have shared everything from our bedrooms growing up to secrets only the two of us know. The best part about being a twin is always having that really close bond that no other person without a twin can never really know or perhaps fully understand.

2. Twin Speak. Other than this super close bond, the fact that my sister and I have our own language is something that I still find fascinating and fun today. No matter how many months we are apart, the moment you put my sister and I in the same room, you will hear what I am told sounds like murmuring and mumbling mixed with some whispers, gestures, and giggles.

Twin speak is a reflection of that bond that only twins share. It is also something that many people find annoying so go ahead and jabber on in that secret twin language for as long as you want, if there are people nearby you feel like annoying or just don't want to talk to. It's fun and, if you're like my sister and I, you can't help but do it anyway.

3. Pranks. Yes, my sister and I pulled the old switching places prank many a time in school. Perhaps this is part of the reason why my school district had a policy against letting us be in the same class during elementary school until high school. Either way, switching places was a fun way to get to know each other's classmates and teachers and just have fun with the fact that we looked so much alike. Once we shared classes in high school, simply switching seats before role call was just as amusing.

4. Attention. Yes, part of the list above of the worst aspects of being a twin was the unwanted attention but, when you want to be noticed, using your twin-ness is one sure way of getting that attention. My sister and I were lucky to actually get to work together at a pizza place during high school for a few months. Taking orders together and welcoming customers together at the exact same time was a sure way for tips that we never took for granted. We even occasionally go out to parties dressed alike just for the fun of having people mix us up more and more as the night goes on.

5. Sharing. Once again, this was clearly in the list above but there is some good that comes from sharing. Sharing with my sister has taught me to appreciate having my own things. Furthermore, through sharing so much, my sister and I were able to maintain some of the same interests together that have lasted despite how much we have grown over the years.

For example. when the Harry Potter books were first published, my mother only purchased one copy of each book in the series as they were released for the two of us to share. To this day, we continue to share books, as well as many other interests that we both share, despite our major differences.

Dealing With Being a Twin

Being a twin can be tough to deal with sometimes and it is important to recognize that it is not perfect. Despite its imperfections, having a twin can have some great benefits that should not go unnoticed. If you have trouble understanding how to deal with being a twin, just remember that for every bad aspect, there is something good to prove that it is a blessing to cherish and not a curse.

© 2013 Lisa


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    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      This was such an interesting article. So glad that you wrote about this!Although twins do run in my father's family, I am not one. I can identify however slightly with some of what you are saying. My sister and I look so much alike that we were often mistaken as twins even though we are three years apart. My mother went with some of the same outfits for us, different colors, too. I always got blue, my sister pink. Hearing the same comments about how much we look alike, are we twins, what the age difference is, etc. etc. got really old. Sometimes my sister's friends would mistake me for her in college. Now that we are adults, we don't have to worry so much about it.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Very interesting. I like hearing it from your viewpoint. It can't be easing having to share everything.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      7 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I found your perspective absolutely fascinating and I thank you for sharing.


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