It's a Twinderful Life

Looking For the Silver Lining in All of Life's Clouds

Twin Transference: Fact or Fiction?

on April 26, 2012

It’s Thursday up in here folks, my favorite day of the week (as discussed in yesterday’s post), so get stoked!

Breanna is still M.I.A., and for good reason. After not feeling any better for the past few days she decided to pay the doctor a visit yesterday and, much to everyone’s chagrin, found out that she has a low-grade pneumonia (also known as “walking pneumonia”). Why she’s getting a winter illness (and a nasty one at that) in the middle of Spring is beyond me,  but all we can do is wait for the antibiotics to kick in and hope that by next week she still doesn’t sound like death warmed over. But not all is lost friends. Breanna’s illness presents the perfect opportunity to discuss a topic that we have been questioned about throughout our entire lives (and are still asked about), something that I will obligatorily call “Twin Transference.”

“When one twin is sick, does the other one feel her pain?” “When one twin is in trouble, does the other one “just know”?” “If one twin is feeling sad, happy, scared, excited, insert any other feeling/emotion here, does the other twin feel it too?” These questions are all synonymous with the question of:

Twin Trans-fer-ence noun \too-in tran(t)s-fur-en(t)s\

1  a: a supernatural phenomenon where the feelings, thoughts, illness, or pain of one twin is transferred to the other.

Is it fact or fiction? And yes, I just made that definition up, Merriam-Webster style.

For us, the answer is (drumroll) fiction. Sorry to disappoint. We have never experienced this phenomenon. She and I have been sick separately on several occasions (this episode that Bre is currently experiencing included) and we’ve never felt the other’s illness. While Bre is practically on her death-bed, I’m feeling positively chipper. I had a temporary nervous breakdown my second year of college, and she was fine. She had an appendectomy our freshman year of college while my appendix is most likely wearing a LiveStrong bracelet. I had my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was 20, and hers are as happy as clams, still residing in the back of her throat. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and she is “this-is-such-a-cruel-joke disease”-free. I think you get the picture.

The only illness I can think of that we share isn’t supernatural at all but more of the genetic variety – our bad backs. Other than that, our bodies/minds live independently of each other, and we like it that way. Do we have very similar personalities? Sure we do. But are there also some significant differences in the way we think? You bet. I think it all boils down to the fact that we are still individuals, just like everyone else. I feel bad when my sis is sick or feeling down because I love her and she’s my best friend, but I don’t feel her pain.

So there you have it, an age-old myth…busted (at least in our experience).

All of you twins out there, what have your experiences been with Twin Transference? Parents of twins, can your set prove this theory to be true? Maybe you’re not a twin but you have a close sibling or friend that you’ve experienced transference with? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below.


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