Category Archives: Conflict

Limelight, Love, and Singularity

A father of twins raised a poignant dilemma during one of my presentations. He feels terribly uncomfortable praising one twin for his special talent and not being able to do the same for his other son. Specifically, he is uncomfortable complimenting one son’s musical skills because his brother does not demonstrate the same proficiency.  He feels guilty and unclear about treating each one differently. That this dad equates praising one son as diminishing the other illustrates how much this father […]

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“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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