Plural Etiquette Questionnaire
This questionnaire was created by Hungry Ghosts for systems to communicate how it is best to interact with them. We decided to include this because we do get questions about it or sometimes people are intimidated to talk to us (which don't worry, as long as you're not explicitly being rude, we have thick skin!) It's not really fun stuff, but we had no idea where else to categorize it
What do you go by collectively? (a system name, a shared username, group pronouns... etc)
Our system name is Anomaly or The Anomaly, and we sometimes use virtualpet(s) as a username. We also use plural they/them.
How should people refer to you? (should people address individual members whenever possible, or would you rather be referred to collectively, etc)
Please address individual members whenever possible! We are a multiple system which usually emphasizes indivuality (or tries to). However in cases where we are blurring or we don't denote a fronter, it's okay to refer to us collectively. If we state there's more than one fronter it's also fine.
What terms do you prefer for referring to yourselves as individuals (headmate/alter/system member/...), or as a group (system/collective/household/...)? Is there any other terminology for yourselves or aspects of your experience that you use and want people to know, or that you dislike and want people to avoid when talking about you?
Please call us headmates or system members, and don't call us alters for any reason. Any group word is fine, but we typically use system. Most of us also don't like being referred to as human and have their own preferences for how they're referred to.
Who in your system are people most likely to interact with? (names, pronouns, short Twitter-esque bios, etc)
Will people be interacting with any child members? How should they treat them? Is there anything they should know when interacting with them?
If you do just treat them like you would any other kid their age. Our kids do know internet safety though so unless you know us personally and we have asked first, you probably won't interact with them outside of plural group chats. The exception are some kids who are ages 11-13 who we are more loose with and they sometimes go on singlet-predominated sites if they can handle it. Either way, please don't act weird around our kid members, and treat them like kids.
Are there any system members who are nonverbal or otherwise have difficulty communicating? What should others expect when speaking with them? (having other system members translate, can speak normally over text but will need accommodation over voice, etc)
We have a few, but they don't typically speak or interact with those outside the system. If we're slow to respond to something it might be because someone who struggles with communicating is fronting. Voice chat is also difficult for many of us, but those who struggle will usually just avoid it.
What should people do if they don't know who's at front?
It's okay to ask! We encourage people to. Sometimes we don't even know or the fronter would like to remain anonymous, in which case no harm and they/we'll just say that.
Is it okay for people to ask if they can talk to someone who isn't at front at the moment?
Yep! Most of us have other things they do separate from the system, so we're used to switching for reasons like that. We understand our members may have different relationships. Just don't ask for our host, core, or anything like that, we don't have one.
If someone talks to one of you, will other system members be aware of the conversation? Will they be actively watching, or just able to remember it later?
If it's a personal conversation, we give each other some privacy. Just be aware that messages you send us will be seen by anyone in the system and will at least be glanced at.
Adding onto the above – if multiple system members will be aware of a conversation, will they want to chime in? If someone wants to speak to a system member one-on-one, what expectations can they have and how should they communicate this? (for example, it may not be possible to block everyone out but they can try to pay attention to something else and not interrupt)
Those in co-con might chime in from time to time, but it's also completely okay to ask for a one on one conversation and the fronter will state if it's possible at that moment or not.
How out are you? What should people do when talking to people who don't know you're plural? (do you have a “singletsona” name and pronouns they should use; can they talk about knowing someone who's plural in nonspecific terms, without naming you; etc)
Online nearly everyone knows, but if a system member is on their own account where they aren't make it clear they're part of a system or which system they're a part of, please give them some privacy since they usually just want a space away from the system. Though it's usually okay to reference us publicly online since we make a collective effort to make sure people know.
Do you have any internal communication difficulties, memory issues, switch triggers, etc that others should be mindful of?
It largely depends and communication varies between members and circumstances. The only thing to know is we do have some collective memory issues, so we forget things all the time especially between different unrelated fronters. Communication also goes up and down and it can be hard to get in contact with someone not in your headspace area. As far as triggers go, just please don't involve us in drama or post us to any website without our consent because that almost always triggers blurring in us.
Your stance on being asked questions? (about personal experience, preferences, plurality in general, etc)
Go for it! We'll state if a question is uncomfortable or if the fronter isn't up for it, but most of the time we enjoy getting asked questions. As long as we're respected.
Is there anything else others should know?
We get asked this a lot, but we do not have DID or OSDD, we aren't medicalized, nor did our system form initially from trauma (we were born a system). Please do not ask us about our medical or trauma history unless you are also a system and curious about how being a non-traumagenic or non-DID system works as another trauma survivor, but even then respect our boundaries.
If you have a FAQ or system site, feel free to link it here.
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