Home Uncategorized Feeling Negative Emotions Towards Your Twin? It’s Normal

Feeling Negative Emotions Towards Your Twin? It’s Normal

by Dr. Joan A. Friedman

                                     WHO’S CALLING WHOM SELFISH?

When a twin gets in touch with me and tells me that he has seen a therapist in the past, invariably each attests to a shameful commonality – the therapist has proclaimed that the twin who feels abandoned, jealous, and guilty about his twin getting married, moving away, or having a better job is nothing short of SELFISH. This therapeutic lack of insight, empathy, and understanding about a twin’s state of mind in this predicament drives me crazy. I imagine that if a singleton sibling were in treatment and these same emotions surfaced, the clinician might not rush to judgment about that individual’s moral compass. More than likely, these feelings would fall under something that would come under the purview of normal “sibling” rivalry.  

Well, let me break it to you gently—twins who feel upset and disappointed with their twin fall under the rubric of normal “twin” rivalry. Grasping the nuances and ambivalent ramifications of a twin connection commands an in-depth and specialized knowledge of and appreciation for the twin challenges.

It’s fascinating that nontwins might assume that twins would and should be on the same page with feelings and thoughts no matter what – isn’t that the expectable twintuition? Social media, in particular, can’t seem to get enough of twins holding hands, babbling in their shared secret language, and reading about twins marrying twins! I am not denigrating the love that twins feel for one another; rather, I am attempting to educate folks that the road to healthy twin intimacy can be rocky and full of potholes. Parents and clinicians alike cannot be blind-sighted by their wishes to see twins in a holier than thou spotlight.

It has been my experience that the sets of twins who do confront the cracks in the twin relationship and receive proper counseling lead lives whereby their capacities for intimate connections with their twin and significant others are highly evolved and comfortable. SELFish is working through the complicated issues that interfere with twins feeling and experiencing a separate SELF. 

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