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Top Ten Things Twins Hate to Hear

Comments, questions and statements that people say to twins

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Twins have heard it all. People are always saying the same statements and comments, and asking the same questions. It can get quite annoying after awhile. People may think they are being original and funny, but chances are, twins have heard it before. Here are ten things that twins hate to hear.

1. If I pinch you, does your twin feel it?

For some reason, people find this a fascinating concept - the idea that when one twin experiences a stimuli, the other twin will have a physical reaction to the sensation. Not only do they ask this question, but they want to test out the theory by pinching or hitting. While twins do share a strong bond, it isn't exactly a metaphysical phenomenon. Some twins do report experiencing unusual physical sensations in response to their twin's condition. For example, a twin sister reported feeling abdominal pain when her sister was delivering a baby. However, most twins don't ever encounter such a situation. If they do, they'll tell you about it. No need to inquire.

2. I like you better than your twin.

I suppose this is kinder than telling someone, "I like your twin better than you." But this type of statement makes twins very uncomfortable. They don't like to be compared -- favorably or unfavorably. Like them for who they are, not for how they stack up against each other.

3. Are you twins?

This is one the questions that parents of twins grapple with long before twins have to answer for themselves. It's not a particularly ridiculous question, just perpetual. I think the reason that twins don't like it is because it is usually accompanied by a lot of staring and scrutiny, and precedes further annoying dialogue which often includes many of the another annoying questions and statements on this list.

4. Which one is older?

A frequent follow-on question to #4 is an attempt to categorize twins by birth order. It simply doesn't apply. In the case of some twins, they don't know or care who is older. And if they do know, having to repeat it often brings up sensitive or irrelevant stereotypes.

5. I wish I had a twin.

Maybe you do. But truly, you have no idea what it is like, and if you did, you wouldn't make that statement. People are fascinated with the idea of twins, but the reality of being a twin is often much more complicated than you'd imagine.

6. Can you read each other's mind?

One of the magical mysteries associated with multiples is that they share a special connection beyond that of ordinary siblings. While the twin bond is a special aspect of their unique relationship, sometimes it is endowed with extraordinary supernatural qualities. Although there are plenty of incidences -- and coincidences -- where twins seem to know what the others are thinking, there is little scientific proof to support that twins have superior telepathic powers. In general, they just know each other very well and tend to have similar thought patterns, just like any two people who spend a lot of time together.

7. Do you do everything together?

Twins are individuals. They have their own identities and their own interests. In the earliest days of raising twins, most parents agree that it is easiest to keep their multiples on a similar schedule, and most young twins do do everything together. But, as they grow up and choose for themselves, most seek their own path. It insults twins to assume that they do everything together just because they are twins; it diminishes their individuality.

8. I thought you were a package deal.

"I can't invite both of you, so I just won't invite either one of you." Many people assume that twins are a package deal and don't make an attempt to get to know them as individuals. When it comes time to issue invitations or make selections, they choose to forsake both twins rather than single out just one. It's insulting to twins when people refuse to acknowledge them as individuals and assume that they only exist as a pair.

9. Which one are you?

This is an offensive question to twins. It diminishes them as individuals. They're not simply one of a pair. Most twins genuinely understand if you mix up their identities, as long as you make an attempt to recognize their individuality. Rather than saying, "Which one are you?", a preferable alternative would be to say, "Forgive my ignorance. I get confused because you look so much alike. Are you (insert name here) or (insert name here)?"

10. What is it like to be a twin?

Twins get asked this question all the time. And they don't know how to answer it. How would you feel if someone asked you, "What is it like to be a sister? A brother? An only child?" In other words, "What is it like not to be a twin?" They have never known life otherwise, so they have no basis for comparison. Often they will respond by saying "Oh it's fun" or "It's good," but they're really just trying to get you off their back. In reality, the answer is something along the lines of ... that it is how they were born, sometimes they love it, sometimes they hate it, and they really don't give it that much thought.

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