Category Archives: Conflict

“I Don’t Know You”

Feeling embarrassed about one’s family members is not uncommon. In fact, at certain stages of development, this is expectable and acceptable. For example, many adolescents go through a period when they do not want to be seen with their parents or associated with them in any way. This is a rite of passage on the way to becoming separate and independent. Some individuals also feel embarrassed by their siblings sometimes, for many different reasons unique to their relationship and family […]

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Twins and Bullying: How Prevalent Is It?

When I gave a presentation in Mexico a few months ago, I met a pair of well-mannered, bilingual twelve-year-old identical twin boys who attended with their mother. They explained that they were being bullied at their school and didn’t understand why. In previous years at the same school, both boys had many friends and felt comfortable and happy with their group of peers. I did not have adequate time to address their feelings, but I could empathize with the shame […]

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How Labeling Ignites Conflict

Twin pairs that grew up with inadequate parental guidance and blatant favoritism develop an emotional hierarchy between themselves that ultimately erodes their connection. In many of the pairs I have treated, the preferred twin is viewed by her sibling as cold and insensitive. In turn, the twin who feels second rate is often described as overly sensitive and needy by her counterpart. The twin who receives preferential treatment is often profoundly conflicted. While she relishes her acclaimed position, she also […]

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Till Death Do Us Part

Twins are born paired with a partner they did not choose. From time to time, twins struggle to find a healthy balance between their connection and their longing to be separate. Inside Edition’s recent story about a twenty-seven-year-old female identical twin who fatally stabbed her sister stunned many people. While it is not uncommon to read about siblings abusing one another, the public seems stupefied that a twin would harm her “soulmate.” This horrific event provides a significant insight into […]

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Nurturing Differentiation Mitigates Hurtful Rivalry

An acquaintance of mine who is the mother of identical ten-year-old daughters shared a lovely story about her girls’ first sleepover. Since her daughters were previously reluctant to do sleepovers, the mom was pleasantly surprised when both girls expressed a keen desire to sleep at their friend’s house. The mother mirrored their enthusiasm about embarking on a new experience. Nevertheless, she was well aware that one of the girls might not make it through the night. When bedtime came, the […]

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