If You Meet a Twin

  1. Don’t act so surprised. They’re twins, not aliens, and I’m betting you’ve met a few before.

    "You're a twin? No way! You didn't tell me you were a twin?!"

    “You’re a twin? No way! You didn’t tell me you were a twin?!

  2. Don’t ask them if they’re twins. If they look like mirror-images of each other, they’re either twins or clones. Take your pick.
  3. Don’t comment on how alike they look. Twins want to be seen as unique individuals, so telling them they look the same not only states the obvious (I bet they haven’t heard that one before!) but diminishes their individuality. Instead, comment on what makes them unique, and if you can’t tell them apart, don’t comment at all.
  4. Don’t purposely mistake one twin for the other (trying to be funny). It’s not funny.
  5. Don’t ask them if they do everything together. Why do you assume all twins are best friends and spend every waking moment together just because they’re twins, but you would never ask other siblings this question?

    me (far right), my brother, and my twin

    me (far right), my brother, and my twin – okay okay we did everything together in the early years, but it’s still not fair to assume!

  6. When a twin tells you they’re identical or fraternal, please don’t contradict them. I’m pretty sure they know better than you.
  7. Don’t ask if a boy and girl are identical. What-did-you-say-Anchorman-GIF
  8. Don’t be surprised if the person you’re talking to is actually their twin, but they chose not to tell you. Sometimes it’s easier for them to just go with it and hope you don’t catch on than deal with the aftermath of you finally realizing your mistake. Oh my gosh! I thought you were so-and-so! You two look so much alike! I’m so sorry! It’s okay. It was an honest mistake.
  9. There’s no need to apologize when you mistake one twin for the other, or call one the wrong name. They’re used to it. But try not to let it happen again.
  10. When they show you a picture of their twin, don’t try to guess who’s who because 9 times out of 10, you’ll guess wrong. 

    3 pairs of twins

    no, I’m not the twin on the far left

  11. Don’t ask them if they switch places. They probably do “go undercover” as their twin from time to time but answering this question for the hundredth time to satisfy your idle curiosity can be rather annoying. Think of an original question!
  12. Don’t ask them if they do each other’s homework. Of course they do, but they’re not going to tell you that.
  13. Don’t tell one twin she is prettier than the other twin. Twins don’t like to be compared to each other, and complimenting a twin by putting down her other half is insulting, especially if they are identical twins. By putting down her twin, you’re putting her down too.
  14. Don’t expect a profound answer when you ask what it’s like to be a twin. It’s a complicated answer, one they’ve stopped answering in-depth five-hundred questions ago. You’ll never know what it’s like to be a twin because you’re not a twin, but get to know some twins and you’ll get a pretty good idea.
  15. Don’t ask if they can read minds. You know they can’t, so spare them the feigned disappointment when they admit to not having telepathic abilities.
me (far left) and my twin (far right)

me (far left), my sister, and my twin (far right) – we wanted to be one of a kind, not realizing that in our sameness we were unique, as twins account for less than 4% of all births in the U.S. Ah the paradox of life!

“My sister and I, you will recollect, were twins, and you know how subtle are the links which bind two souls which are so closely allied.” ~Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Speckled Band


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