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CommunicationTechniques

These are techniques to help a system build internal communication. Generally speaking, they're listed in an order that is progressive so that systems with very little internal communication can try the first few methods and work their way up through the chain.

Pendulum
This method generally uses a string and a heavy object. Lay a piece of paper out in front of you, and draw a large circle on it. Then draw a line from the top to the bottom and a line from the left to the right on the paper. One settles one's elbow firmly on the table with the arm pointing upwards, and allow your wrist to dangle, which holds the string. Make sure the object is floating a few inches over the table. Holding your arm still, make sure you stop the object from swinging. Then perform the litmus test -- essentially ask yourself a few questions to determine which direction the pendulum swings for yes, no or maybe. For example, the pendulum might swing away and towards your body for yes, from side to side for no and around in circles for maybe. That's the general idea. If you wish, you can mark the paper with these answers, or you can eventually discard the paper if this method becomes reliable. Now you can play 20 questions with yourself.
Bulletin Board
Carry around a notebook expressly for the purpose of jotting down important notes/announcements/apointments to one another. Sign and date/time each entry. If something needs to be announced to the group then write "Hey, everybody..." or "Everybody, listen, we have a doctor's appointment on Thursday 4/4/4 at 4pm -- the name of the doctor is X and the office is at Y. You get to Y by going to..." -- if you tend to lose time and miss appointments, be very specific about where you need to be, when, how to get there, and if you have a friend who knows you're multiple, include a phone number in the book somewhere for someone to call if you're having problems. A good place for people to list things they want from the grocery store *grin*
Journaling
A step-up from the bulletin board method, the journal is a place where anyone can write about their thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, etc. People again should date and timestamp their journal entries if possible, so that they leave a paper trail for others in case anyone loses time. This method doesn't work for all systems, because sometimes they don't wish to share their thoughts with each other...or some people have a hard time leaving journals and diaries laying around.

note that reading past entries in bulletin boards and journals can lead to some pretty funky multiple moments as you see your handwriting change, and read entries in your handwriting that you definitely don't remember writing...

Autowriting
Autowriting can happen at any time and includes autotyping. Sometimes inner people find autowriting easier than talking, or switching to front. To do this more-or-less on purpose, hold a pen and piece of paper and just start writing whatever comes to mind, on purpose -- stream of consciousness. When you have a good stream-of-consciousness-to-pen flow going, start to pay less attention to the stream of consciousness and allow your own thoughts to wander independently of what is guiding the pen, observe the pen, the paper, the words as they flow to the paper, but no longer purposefully guide the pen or the words to follow your thoughts, and see if someone else takes over the hand/pen and starts to write to you...

Autowriting is a multiple moment.

"Talking-Through"
This works for people outside your head, inside your body, and is the equivallent of the above "Everybody listen" although it can sometimes target someone in particular. If you don't know how to talk to someone in your head, or to everyone in your head, you can still ask people inside to pass along messages. This helps you talk not just to Sue-Ann but to her subsystem as well, for example. So you discuss something with her, and she passes the information along. This effectively makes individuals in your head a relay -- or for people talking to you from outside your body, the person who is front becomes the relay -- it's not necessary to switch fronts just to have someone send a message to someone in your head.
Talking out loud
This should not be done via rapid switching if at all possible. Consider this similar to autotyping except that you give over your mouth and vocal cords to whomever wants to say something.

This can definitely make your mutliplicity painfully obvious as you hear the variations in voice, phrasing, emphasis and emotional content, ideas, intelligence/experience levels, etc. and you are not the one thinking the thoughts that are coming through. Don't try this one where anyone can overhear you unless you trust them not to freak out badly.

Talking inside
Eventually you want to simply be able to have conversations openly within your head. Any of the other methods can still be used for any reasons, and you might find that there's a group of people who can talk-inside and several who haven't achieved that ability yet and you need to use other methods to talk to them.

See Also

<< Grounding Techniques | ManualTOC | Litmus Test >>