Twins: Team Players or Rivals

photo credit: just.Luc via photopin cc

The media often reports about twin pairs who work together to create successful businesses. For example, the Olsen twins have been capitalizing on their twinship since they were toddlers. Their fashion line is currently a huge success owing to their name recognition and worldwide fame. Teman and Teran Evans are designers who run Dioscuri; Dean and Dan Caten are founders and owners of Dsquared, an international fashion house; Vera and Daphne Correll are the creators of the fashion label CorrellCorrell; and Mike and Doug Starn are successful artists.

It is fascinating to learn how twins handle competitive feelings. Those pairs who do work together find the partnership stimulating and creative and have developed ways to engage with one another without destructive underpinnings.

But in my work, I have found that college-age twins who have used their competitive strivings to motivate one another in sports or academics experience difficulty when attempting to separate. Usually one twin desperately wants a break from this intensity, while the other twin resists the separation for various reasons.

Parents who are aware of this dynamic need to prepare twins who are applying to college to negotiate this separate developmental experience. However, don’t be surprised to find out that after this four-year break, the pair might reunite as two stronger individuated selves who are ready to capitalize on their twinship strengths without feeling compromised or dependent.

Would you consider going into business with your twin?

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