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Can't We All Get Along? (006) Transcript

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<voices overlapping, music in background>
Oh! Good morning — oh! Do we have to get up?
Keep it down; I’m trying to sleep.
Yeah, we want to make that recording.
What are we going to record today?
What? What recording?
You know, the one about multiplicity.
You know, the usual — we’re trying to make a difference in the world or something.
Oh, yeah.
Well — I just really wanna help people!
I have no idea what to say.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who have really good questions, and need really good answers.
Why talk to them? It’s not like anybody gives a shit.
Well what makes us an authority?
I don’t really think it matters how long we’ve been multiple, or how long we’ve known we’re multiple — we’re multiple!
<Aliessa laughs richly>

Episode Six: 'United Front Boot Camp: Can't we all just get along?' Imagine you live alone in a really big house. Somehow though, things keep going missing. There's no clocks, so you're never really quite sure what time it is. Sometimes you go outside and your car is not there. Sometimes you're locked inside of a room. And other times you think you hear voices off in the distance, even though you live alone. There's bumping going on in the attic, things go missing. You're not sure where your scissors are. You don't know where the stapler went. You find out that you've run out of shampoo, and you don't even remember having used it in the first place. Imagine you're running around in this house, always feeling like there's somebody there, but never being able to meet them. Or maybe you find direct evidence - you see notes that aren't written in your handwriting, you find half eaten food on your plate. This is what it's like being in a multiple system when they're not aware of each other. Or when there are no rules and no communication. When there's no co-awareness. This is what it's like being somebody who's stuck in time, locked into a little room. This is what it's like when you are the 'naughty alter' who gets locked away and never allowed to go front. This can be very disturbing. This is, this is a multiple system that's not functioning well. This is what it's like being in the head and in the internal landscape of a multiple system that hasn't worked out who each other is, or even how many there are, or when they're cordoned off very strongly from each other because they don't trust each other. When memories are completely segregated, when experiences are segregated from each other. I'm going to say this many times, and you may eventually get sick of it: As Inside, So Outside And Vice Versa. So one of the reasons that a multiple system is this way is because sometimes they're like this on the outside. Sometimes there's a world outside that they can't trust. They don't have anyone to turn to, they can't share information with anyone and feel safe. Sometimes, they have experiences with strangers that don't turn out well. So they can't trust strangers. Sometimes they have experiences with even the people they know who are supposed to be taking care of them. And they aren't trustworthy people, they're people that are abusive, there are people that are neglectful. This multiple system is a system that is disorganized, that it's not functioning well. As Inside, So Outside And Vice Versa.

Imagine the situation at work. You work in a building, and you think you're alone. You're running around trying to get your job done. But things go missing. You come across reports that are written by someone else, you try to go to hand in your report and your boss isn't there. You want to leave work and go home, but your car isn't in the parking lot. These are situations that would not work outside of our body. And they don't work inside either. If you were, say at school, and you got locked into the classroom alone, that wouldn't work for you. It wouldn't work for anyone. This is kind of what some multiple systems do to each other. Not on purpose. They're not trying to isolate people or isolate each other or be isolated. But sometimes they do -sometimes this is what happens. And this would be chaos in any environment. This is not productive, collaborative situation for any group. Even if you can see each other straight on, even if you know that others exist. If they're pushing you away. If they're isolating yo. If they're saying how naughty you are. If they're saying you're misbehaving. If they're saying they don't trust you. If they're talking about you as if you're not there. If they're excluding you from activities. This is hurtful behavior. When people get hurt that way, sometimes they act out. They become the bully, they become the person that has to get negative attention because they're getting no positive attention. Maybe they're living in their own little world, and they have their own misconceptions on what's going on. And this can affect internal and external relationships. When a multiple system is pushing away somebody within the system, they can come out and be abusive towards partners, spouses, children, because they're hurt, and they don't know what is going on, they don't understand the relationship between your body and that other person.

These are very troubling problems to have for anybody in the system - the person that's excluded and acting out, and the people that are included and, and trying to deal with this troublesome person. So whether you have a group who agrees that so-and-so is a problem, I would caution even against language like that. Because when you say 'a person is a problem,' you're depersonalizing them, you're, you're taking away personhood from them, or you're slapping a label on them. You could say 'that person's behavior is a problem.' Behavior can change. If you say 'the person is a problem,' you're making them own it in a way that is unchanging, it's a part of them, instead of it just being something they're doing, that can be fixed, that,that you can get their cooperation on.

So this is what we mean by As Inside, So Outside And Vice Versa. If you had a bully outside of your body, you can't just take them and throw them into a room and lock the door. That doesn't solve the problem, it's illegal, you know, it's not healthy, probably get you in a lot of trouble. When you do this, as somebody inside of you, you're actually doing something kind of unfair. There are better ways of handling people who you have no good relationship with, then to punish them by excluding them and making them hurt further. There's ways of inviting them and onboarding them, and so on.

So let's continue exploring this whole idea of this internal house, and how to build internal community and communication. When you have an internal community, you are—actually, okay. As Inside, So Outside And Vice Versa. Any community, inside or out. If there are no rules, if there's no culture, or etiquette, if there's no playbook or shared goals or resources, it's chaos. You, you can't have a society or a group or community, any kind, without some kind of structure to it. There has to be structure, there has to be mutual support, or it's not a community, it's just anarchy. This doesn't work inside of your head, either. So how do you model what's going on in your head? What's a good community like? What's a good group? Well, the best homes and the best groups have shared responsibilities. Shared goals. They delegate with respect. They agree about their chores. They have shared resources. Not everything. We all share the road when we drive, or when we're walking places we share a sidewalk. We have shared resources. Communication within these groups. None of these groups work without a way of making rules and enforcing rules. Without communicating a basics of behavior, what's acceptable and not acceptable. The stories that we share with each other - that's another important community and cultural resource. We have morals and fables for a reason - they give us our expectations of what good versus bad behavior are. We should share ways of rewarding one another, and celebrating triumphs and goals. Basically find better ways of getting along as a group. Another great thing and when you have a good group is you have strong role models. You have people that are worth emulating, people who you honor and cherish, whose behaviors and, and their actions serve as an ideal, as a goal, as something attainable and real and tangible and visible. If a group has all of this, if a group develops all of this, then they tackle their challenges as a team. People have different roles and responsibilities on the team and everybody gets together and pushes the whole group forward and helps them to achieve goals over time.

Not all systems are in a place where this is easy. Nobody said any of this is easy. It gets easier as you progress towards having a stronger culture - you get to lean on the actions of the past to help inform the actions of the future. But when you're in the early days of building a culture, if you're starting out kind of more, let's say, Walking Dead, or Last Man on Earth, or whatever you want to use as your metaphor. If you're starting a little like, Lord of the Flies, then it takes more work to get to even the start of a culture, the start of a collaboration or group. But it's doable. This is doable. And it's a model that is worked for humanity, inside and out. since time began, since we started having communities. What happened? Well, one person decided, "Hey, I'm going to be the person that starts a group. Would you like to join me in a group?" However, the invitation went, whether it was before language and somebody had two rabbits instead of one and said, "Hey, would you like a rabbit?" and offered it to somebody. You know, it doesn't matter. There's, there's ways of creating collaboration and communication, even without language, even before you're able to speak to each other. And even if you don't even really know that there's somebody else there, there are many ways of creating a communication. First, in order to be a good role model for the community that you want to form, keep your eye on the prize. You want a terrific rich community. So the first thing it requires is extending just a little bit of trust. Even more important, it requires being trustworthy. Yeah, you can extend trust, but if you in and of yourself, you are a good role model and you're trustworthy, and you don't break your word, and you keep your promises, you're always striving to improve. That makes a really good role model for someone else. And when you're trustworthy, when people give you trust, you don't betray it. Inside of a multiple system, this is so important. We've had our trust betrayed so many times outside of our body, and As Inside, So Outside And Vice Versa. They don't trust us because they've never been able to trust anyone outside. So it is always possible that they see the internal landscape, the stuff going on inside of our head, as real and tangible to them as interacting with things outside of our body. Our internal world is as real, not physical, but real as the outside world. That's one of the reasons that this saying works. Is because everything going on inside models after things that could be going on outside. I don't care if you have a spaceship, I don't care if your internal landscape is Land of the Last. I don't care what it looks like. It is an embodiment inside of your body of a platform - a platform for interaction. And if you don't have an internal landscape, that works too. it doesn't matter whether you can visualize it, or sense it, it's there. There's the possibility of a space, even if it is like floating in space, there is a quote unquote 'space' inside of your head in which you all can interact, even if it's just talking to one another inside of your head. So being trustworthy is your first step. Extending trust helps.

De-labeling people. Do not talk about people - talk about their behaviors. In fact, I'll, I'll mention this on another podcast. A terrific podcast for engineers who want to become managers called Manager Tools. They talk about the feedback model. And I love using this for many, many different things in my life. It works with children, it works with your spouse, and it works with multiple systems. It's a universal principle. It's the feedback model. When you're giving somebody feedback about their behavior, you have to be very careful not to be accusatory, because when you are accusing them of something, you automatically put them on the defense. And at some point, I'll talk about defense mechanisms and what happens when people panic. For the moment, let's just stick with the feedback model. Don't Accuse. That's the first principle of the feedback model. And when you give feedback, use the sandwich technique. That means you say something good or neutral-ish, you know, a little positive, then you give the, the not so good news in the middle, and you end with something positive. So that's always a good thing. But let's talk about the feedback model, how do we actually give the feedback portion, that middle portion, the not so good portion of the feedback? "When you [something], I feel [something else] in response to it.", period. "How can we approach this differently? How can you work on that? How can we resolve the situation?" So it starts with "when you..." something visible. Not "you are", but "when you". So "When you [something], I feel [some reaction]. Is there a way we can work on this?" An invitation. If there's somebody in your system, we will quickly say, you know, like, "I really appreciate" - this is the sandwich part, right? "I really appreciate that you're there for me. But when you yell at my husband, I feel guilty and responsible for his pain. Is there another way we can approach this so that I don't have to feel uncomfortable and responsible for this happening? For the yelling?" This is a more productive model, and opens up conversation rather than accusation. So you're not saying "when you're a bad person, you are...", no. They're not a bad person. I don't believe in bed people. I have demons in my system and I do not believe in bad people. I have a sadist in my system and I do not believe in bad people. Self-admitted sadist. I'm not labeling her, she labels herself. I'm not making this up. I have these people on my side, no matter how their behavior has affected us in the past. All of these people are now an internal collaborative community. Because of these principles. Because we didn't label them. We didn't depersonalized them, we didn't de—we didn't humiliate them by calling them something they're not. They're capable of change. Every last one of them if they choose to. They can change themselves, they can change their behavior. And they do, all the time every day, and they control themselves more and more and become more and more co-awareness, and we give them more and more responsibility. Now you have a more effective feedback model for the people who have naughty behavior. Society teaches us to label. They are not naughty, but their behavior is, and then there is probably a reason for it. No matter how much we don't like their behavior, no matter how much their behavior may be hurting us or our relationships, there is a reason for it.

So the first little bit of homework, if you want to start an internal collaborative, if you want to start an internal community, if you want a better internal culture, if you want collaboration inside of you, the very first step - the first actionable step other than being trustworthy, which is a value that you can adopt. So the first step, the first action to actually take is to decide that you yourself are not going to feed into the chaos, and that you want to create the community. So that's a decision. You can make this declaration that you will not feed the chaos, that you will respect the other people in your system, that you'll respect their shared responsibility, you'll respect their shared belongings, shared resources, etc, that you will communicate more and that you want to start this community. And the real action is to put out the open invitation for anyone, an-y-one, to join you in this conversation. And give them multiple ways of joining you, multiple ways of communicating that they're interested. Whatever works for you and your system. If you have no idea on how to communicate internally, I will put a couple of links in the show notes to articles on and articles on the United Front Boot Camp. regarding how to start and internal communication methods. Actual real tangible methods. Just to give you a little rundown, it can be as easily—easy as a subconscious communication with a pendulum, auto-writing or auto-typing. You can do talking outside of your body with your mouth, you can do talking inside of your head, you can journal back and forth. So if you split time with people, and you have people alternating front, but you don't remember what's going on, you're not co-aware, you can have a journal or a piece of paper or a whiteboard that you leave notes for each other. Write it down. Put it somewhere where they'll find it. And don't forget "my name is." "My name is so and so. I'm really interested in starting an internal community. Are you in with me?" Question mark. And see how many people want to join in. And if they say yes, well, we'll come back to what your, your first meetings gonna be like, Okay, you may not be co-aware, you may not be able to share ideas at the same time. But you can have an asynchronous meeting. If you're able to do it in real time, great. But if you can't, you can leave each other notes. You can open up a shared spreadsheet or document and all type your different ideas and sign them. You can use a book or a journal. You can do this, this is possible, and real and tangible work that you can do to try to come together. You can even have a signed agreement with each other that all of you sign, kind of like a declaration of interdependence. We're not looking for independence from a sovereign, we're looking to work together, you know, so we're not looking to be independent of our rulers, we have no rulers. We want to be interdependent with each other. And that's the whole idea of United Front, by the way, that's the United Front Boot Camp, is we walk through all of the little stumbling blocks and, and stepping stones of working on internal community and all the roadblocks and somebody stole my thing, or, you know, we're fighting over front, and how can we work this out, and little discussions of, of all these mental mechanisms and blocks—roadblocks—that come up when you're working on internal community tripping on each other's triggers and working on mutual respect within the system, and what head or house rules there need to be and how to enforce them. And that's all in the United Front Boot Camp. So there'll be a link to that in the show notes as well.

So that said, it's about time for me to go. Was there anything else I really wanted to say? You have to set aside the time and the mental energy to do this, if you want to have an internal community. Internal communities can happen spontaneously, okay, you may already have a lot of collaboration going on. But it still doesn't hurt to structure it more. And to weed out the chaos and enforce some rules and share goals. Rather than having 20 disparate goals, you know, maybe all settling on "Okay, you guys have hobbies, but this is our big goal. This is the one we're all going to try and work towards." While we had a highly collaborative and co-consciousness system, it took us about 20 years to move towards a system where we were no longer using weighted votes, where we worked on a overwhelming majority vote, or consensus votes and sharing goals specifically. Like, we have a bucket list. So we all get to put things on the bucket list and then we can all agree on which one we're working on next. So we don't all have to have the same desires. Or we can say, "Hey, let's all work on so and so's goal next." And then we can all put energy towards it. So that you're all on the same page, and you're all in agreement on most of your decisions. In this way, you're living a more full and more collaborative life with less chaos. You can all still be who you are, but not have to have fighting going on inside, not be chaotic and missing things and losing time and be anxious about being multiple in the first place. And that means you can all start tackling each other's PTSD, and working on other issues. And whatever it is you decide to do with either your self help or your therapy, you'll have more resources. And when you collaborate more, it feels like you have more time. And we'll talk about mindfulness at some point, because that really increases your sense of being attached to time.

Thanks for joining us for this episode of Many Minds on the Issue. Your Patreon support will keep this podcast coming. You can find more information, resources, and our Patreon link at K-I-N-H-O-S-T-dot-org