Twin Synergy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Robert and Rupert were screaming at each other at the top of their lungs, swearing and yelling over each other. I tried to interrupt their tirades; however, both were so lost in their rage and eruptions that neither one heard me or cared to hear me. Each of these thirty-eight-year-old identical twin men knows exactly how to trigger the other. They have engaged on and off for the last two decades in this destructive interaction, which routinely follows a period where they feel “unstoppable and can take on the world.” When they are in that manic-like state, they are exhilarated and pumped, dreaming up schemes and plans they want to execute together. Both are intelligent, ambitious men, yet their combative and competitive behaviors habitually interfere with successfully implementing their ideas and business ventures, which never get out of the gate owing to their contentiousness.

Successful twinship ventures seem to be a work of beauty. One reads about how twins complement each other and in so doing achieve mutual goals and shared successes. Certainly, this is the “good” twin synergy. Robert and Rupert’s struggles and challenges represent the “ugly” facets of twin synergy gone amok.

I propose that “bad” twin synergy can develop when one no longer has one’s twin with whom to enact energetic projects and share skill sets. An older gentleman in his sixties lost his twin a few years ago in an accident. They had built a successful software company based upon their abilities to meld their talents and expertise. When Tom passed away unexpectedly, Trevor felt utter despair. Tom had managed all the technical details of the company, and Trevor had no idea how to tackle Tom’s responsibilities. The two men had divided their duties in half, each not knowing what the other was doing. Not only did Trevor have to work through his grief and loneliness, but he also had to learn how to rely on himself to make decisions and judgments that Tom had habitually executed.

When twin synergy works, it is almost mystical, magical, and seamless. However, if it does not, long-term unresolved twin issues will rear their ugly heads and most likely get in the way. If one twin abandons the relationship, either purposely or indiscriminately, the synergistic connection will need to be reconfigured or renounced. When excessive mutual dependence collapses, a revised orientation toward individualized outlooks and needs is required.

Photos by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

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