Picture by robby: "Zwillinge". Some rights reserved. Source:

The term "twinhood" can be described as an expression that embodies several aspects of being a twin, which will be further explained on these pages: What are twins?, Nature and Nurture and Myths and Legends about twins.

But how do people react towards twins and what is it like to be a twin? It is always interesting to observe the reactions of people when they are encountered with a twin-pair. Most of the time people give notions of surprise and interest when they are meeting twins. There might be questions and remarks like: "How interesting", "What a trouble they must be", "Are they alike?", "Can you tell them apart?", etc.' (Burlingham 7). This happens so often, because people do not often get in contact with twins, especially with young twins.

Being a twin or the twinship in general is so fascinating, because twins are "made to feel different and unique; and the fact of their twin existence is continually forced upon them in form of comparisons" (Burlingham 8). The reactions towards them are, indeed, rather positive and show the people's interest, whereas people with disabilities get negative response which is afflicted with rejection.

Dorothy Burlingham states, that twins gain so much interest, not because they are rare, but because two similar individuals make a sudden appeal. However, she says that this fascination reverses when the twins are adults and still are wearing the same clothes, which is rather seen as something odd and curios by people.

The twins themselves generally enjoy it to have a twin, in whom they found a partner to always play with, which often leads to a very close relationship and the desire to stay as close as possible. This can lead to less contact with other children and adults. To prevent this, twins are often separated in kindergarten or school. Nevertheless, twins also have to deal with a higher degree of rivalry than other children, because they are predestinated to share most of their possessions and people they are attached to.

One of the hardest things for twins is, however, that they do not feel accepted as an autonomous person, since they are getting mixed up a lot and are treated in the same way as their twin. This seems to them as if people think, they would have the same personality or even as if they would be the same person, which causes for some twins to restrain from their twin-partner.

So, being a twin has its positive and negative sides and the way they feel about it, differs among the different types of twin-pairs.


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