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Plural systems: listening and learning skills

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Astral skydancer
Staff member
Gold Donor
Asexual Pride
I just remembered something I was always wondering about... basic, but maybe best split this up into three questions:

  1. If I tell something to the person currently fronting in a plural system, will the others also listen, i.e. will they know what I've told?  
  2. If the person currently fronting learns a complex mental skill, e.g. a programming language, will the others aquire that skill, too?
  3. If the person currently fronting learns a complex physical skill, e.g. swimming, will the others be able to do it when fronting, too? In other words: has the body a kind of memory on its own?
Thanks in advance!



Active member
Honestly this depends on the system. We have a shared knowledge and memory pool, but it only works one way. They get all of my memories and knowledge as soon as they enter the system, but I don't get theirs unless they tell me. Since no one else here can front, its hard to answer these questions from a fronting perspective. But, I front, so we'll just use that.

1) If Nate tells me something, the others will not hear it unless he wants them to. I'm also able to keep internal conversations private if I choose to, tho I have been known to accidentally broadcast things to the entire system.

2) Skills do not bleed over here. Several of my headmate are WAY smarter than I am, but their skills and knowledge do not bleed over to me. However they can pick up my skills if I teach them. I taught Nate how to cook, because he couldn't.

3) Again skills do not bleed over, but I can teach them how to do certain things. The skills thing is really just one way, much like the shared memory. Its easier for them to get my skills, than it is for me to get theirs.



Active member
As Addy said, it depends on the system. 

1. It depends if we are co-conscious or co-fronting. Fleetway here is always listening, and Hallow often is too. Sometimes they are not here, and I will be the only one who remembers.

2. Maybe? Fleetway had to be taught to read and write when he arrived here, but he's the only one that had to learn such a thing. He's still trying to grasp proper grammar. Hallow knows how to cook somehow and does so excellently even without recipes--which he never uses--while no one else has cooking knowledge. He can teach us like we teach Fleety, however.

Hihihihi!!!!! I can do the write thing!! I think...

3. I've never had an experience in which my headmates aren't able to do what each other can do--the body has muscle memory. However, drawing, writing and similar things, we all have different styles and skill levels. I'm the one who draws most, my icon being an example. I suppose it depends on the skill.



New member
As Addy said, it varies system to system.  But you're asking about plural systems in general, not specifically multiple systems, so I'll answer as someone who's median (I have facets, but we all identify as the same person - I wrote more about it here).

1. I believe so.  I have a very odd relationship with my memory as a whole these days, between PTSD getting in the way of long-term recall and ADHD getting in the way of short-term, but barring issues from those (which I don't THINK vary that much from one facet to another... though that may be something to pay more attention to), yes, if you tell one of us something we should all be aware of it.

2. This is a somewhat odd one.  For the most part, yes, but I'm autistic and we have different levels of social interaction ability.  One or two of us are particularly good at it.  There's also a little bit of variation in writing ability, though usually there's a specific one of us who fronts for that.  But if you put a sudoku in front of me, I don't think it'd matter which of us was fronting.

3. Yeah, we can all use the body in the same ways.  Occasionally a strong m-shift will get in the way of coordination, but that's pretty rare, and overall we know how to do the same things.  Like typing, for instance.  I don't become a slower typist depending on who's fronting.



Wandering Wolf
Mm yeah, like Addy said, it varies a lot! Even within systems, sometimes. Me and Khar form a median system, so there's an almost constant back-and-forth of information going on, whether it's conscious (i.e. if we're having a conversation) or unconscious (i.e. where one of us just knows something about the other). Whereas Aeolus is entirely separate from that dynamic; if we want him to know something, we need to go and tell him, and vice versa. He could peek up front to see what we're up to in the ~real world~ if he wanted, but doesn't tend to do that. So:

1. If I'm fronting, Khar will always know what I've said and shares all my memories. If Khar's fronting, it... varies quite a lot, because the main reason he started fronting at all was because of my dissociation issues which came about from mental health troubles. Generally I'll still be there watching things in the background, but sometimes I kinda "check out" a bit and can only remember stuff vaguely. But if there's anything I don't remember clearly, Khar will always fill me in on the details so it's not a big deal. 

2. I'm not 100% sure, but... not entirely, I don't think, aha. At least as far as we've experimented with it. Like, the one time Khar tried to do some art while he was fronting, I just ended up taking over without either of us really meaning for it to happen. I know some people would class art as a "physical skill", but it's. Not. Really. There's a lot of technical design and planning that goes into it and. I guess Khar just naturally defers to me on that sort of thing. Not that i mind or anything!! like honestly it was cool w me bc i realised i had no idea what i was doin + didn't really have the patience for it anyway lmao.. It's hard to say for other things though since Khar hasn't actually tried all that much. Hmm. Well, when he plays video games he tends to have to ask me for help with some things if he doesn't know how to do it, even if I do know it, but the flow of information in that situation isn't always like a conversation of him asking and me answering, so much as just. Mental brain thought things that don't necessarily involve words. But yeah, short answer is: technical knowledge isn't automatically shared but it's easy enough to pass information between us when needed, or for the one who knows how to do it to take over.

3. Yeah, physical knowledge is all associated with the system autopilot, not any individual one of us. So like. Typing. A lot of typing is just muscle memory, and the autopilot is the one who has all the muscle memory and whatnot, so any of us can type easily (with our individual typing styles more reflecting our thought processes than actual typing skill). Things like movement and basic physical tasks like opening doors are all the autopilot. Even when one of us is fronting, it's more like we're telling the autopilot where to walk or what door to open, haha. Which is probably the same even for non-plural peeps, when you think about it. Like, when you walk, you're not consciously calculating which muscles to move and when you need to do so in order to keep your balance. You just think about walking somewhere and your body does it. Autopilot! But there are some mental quirks we each have when it comes to actually interacting with the ol' autopilot. Khar tends to be more clumsy and uncertain than I am, but also a lot more quick and energetic.

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