I have met several twin pairs who truly enjoy working together. They have an innate appreciation for one another’s skills, work ethic, and shared goals. Nonetheless, problems can and do arise when twins have not worked through personality differences that may impede their mutual professional aspirations.
In most cases, I believe that the personality differences are longstanding. However, they are accepted passively as just part of the twin package. Yet as twins mature, both desire to be acknowledged and heard. Thus, it becomes more challenging to turn a blind eye to frustrating behaviors. These concerns are further complicated by the fact that in many twin relationships, caretaking behaviors play a major role in their connection. So how does one manage simultaneously taking care of oneself and taking care of the shared business?
A few years ago, I spoke with an identical twin (Alice) in her early thirties. She opened a yoga studio with a few partners. For many complicated reasons, their deal fell through, and she ended up buying the business herself. Her twin sister (Gracie) came to her rescue and helped her resolve the financial morass. Gracie decided to stay on and become a yoga instructor like Alice so they could work together.
Their work relationship deteriorated quickly. Alice did not approve of Gracie’s client interactions. She felt Gracie was too impatient and demanding. Alice said she initially attempted to give her sister constructive criticism; however, Gracie felt attacked and unappreciated. She continually pointed out that she had rescued Alice from a horrendous situation. While Alice acknowledged Gracie’s help, she grew exceedingly uncomfortable working with Gracie because of their stylistic differences.
Soon thereafter, Gracie left abruptly. Alice came into the studio one morning and discovered that Gracie’s belongings were gone. Alice tried repeatedly to contact her twin, but Gracie did not respond to her texts and voicemails. While the sisters now speak occasionally, this rupture has never been adequately repaired. Even though Alice made many attempts to talk through what had happened, Gracie was unwilling to participate.
I imagine that both women had longstanding grievances with one another that erupted once they tried to work together. What a shame that they could not confront these issues previously. If they had, they may have developed the emotional tools to resolve their differences.