how to talk to and about the ? Haunting - a guide
Q. What do you go by collectively? (a system name, a shared username, group pronouns... etc)
If you're referring to us as a system, then our official name is ? Haunting, but that can either be pronounced Quoi Haunting or shortened to just "the Haunting." From there, you'd just refer to us like you would any other group of individuals.
Q. How should people refer to you? (should people address individual members whenever possible, or would you rather be referred to collectively, etc)
We prefer that people be addressed as individuals, and that we only be referred to collectively when it's appropriate to the conversation and not by default.
Q. 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?
We prefer the demonym "pluran" when referring to ourselves as individuals in a plural system (e.g. I'm a pluran, we're a group of plurans, etc) and either "headmate," "system-mate/sysmate" when speaking about someone as they relate to others in our system (e.g. Aster is Gaz's headmate, we're system-mates, that's my sysmate, etc).
We don't use the words "alter," "introject," "parts," or "personalities," unless otherwise specified, and we also explicitly refuse to use traumagenic/endogenic labels.
We're mostly just people though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ "person" is our word of choice.
Collectively, we've tended toward calling ourselves a "plural group" over other things. We'll still use "system" as well, though the word has grown tired on some of us due to discourse around it and linguistic nitpicks about it. Most of us don't care, though. We also collectively identify as plural, but don't like to be called plurals as individuals much, since it would be similar to calling us "transgenders?" That's when you would refer to us as plurans to denote that we're individuals who experience plurality.
In the end, as long as you respect our personhoods and don't use words like alters, introjects, etc for us, we're probably not gonna get mad if you reach for a term and it's not our preferred one, but you meant well or otherwise just didn't have the words. These are our general preferences and limits for reference, though.
Q. Who in your system are people most likely to interact with? (names, pronouns, short Twitter-esque bios, etc)
Of course the three people who post on this website will be the ones you're most likely to interact with, but we might include a bit about some of the other members that don't front as much somewhere, too.
Q. What should people do if they don't know who's at front?
Please just ask! Be polite, but yea absolutely please just ask. We much prefer that to guessing. We'll usually announce ourselves in some way, though. And you definitely don't need to worry about us switching and not saying something. It's kinda hard to do that anyway.
Q. Is it okay for people to ask if they can talk to someone who isn't at front at the moment?
We front on a rough schedule, and if we're off schedule it's either for a pre-scheduled thing, an emergency, or because our health sucks that day. You can ask to schedule time to see someone, and you can ask to pass messages along, but we can't facilitate switches like that. It can also be hurtful to the current fronter to ask to talk to someone else while they're fronting, because that fronting time is important to us and so are the interactions we have while front. We wanna talk to other people, too! Sometimes we might bring another person co-front, but it depends on our mood for sure. We also don't do this for strangers.
Q. 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 you say something to one of us, it's possible for other members of the system to access part of that conversation through remembering it when they front later. They won't be aware while it's happening unless someone brings their attention to front, but it can be recalled again later. Most things are politely ignored, not dug into, etc. but it does tend to get passed through the grapevine. Secrets aren't 100% reliably kept between us, sadly. Just know that we tend to stay out of each-others' businesses unless it's small and we're nosy, lol. No worry that someone else will just butt in on your private business.
Q. 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)
The only time this should really come up is if we're co-fronting, which we handle by splitting control of the body 50/50 vertically down the center. If you're having a conversation with only one of us while two of us are at front, both fronters will know what's being said but one can politely tune it out or otherwise not comment or participate in the conversation. If you're talking to one of us specifically, but don't need it to be kept from the other person or it's otherwise not a particularly private topic, then the other fronter may chime in with something. It's like talking to someone while they're sitting with another friend -- the friend might chime in, too. Other than that, you'll pretty much always know if someone else is listening in.
Q. 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)
We're very out! Basically as out as it's practical to be and as we have the energy to disclose our plurality. You can definitely talk about us as plurans, mention us as a nonspecific plural group you know, etc. Honestly, if you out us (correctly and appropriately) it saves us time and energy. We sooorta have a singletsona, but nobody who's gotten this far needs to know it! It's better for us to keep it private for our safety than it is to keep our plurality private in a lot of online cases, especially.
Q. Do you have any internal communication difficulties, memory issues, switch triggers, etc that others should be mindful of?
While we don't have total amnesia, we do have quite a bit of it. We might know some things, or have a vague gist of a situation, but need a lot of details filled in between switches. We won't remember exact conversations, who showed what to who, who told who what news, etc. We might even get our actions confused and think we did something that someone else did before we switched, or forget who actually did it. We can have sometimes significant memory gaps, but they're not really predictable. You also shouldn't expect us to remember anything involving numbers (birthdays, ages, etc) due to our collective dyscalculia.
There's also some sort of odd memory barrier between Inworld and Outworld, where it's both harder to remember what we did on the other side of it, and just kind of harder to remember and pay attention to the other world in general. Getting information from inworld while fronting can be a difficult and imprecise thing that takes time, like dream recall. Likewise, if someone is fronting and communicates something to someone inworld, the inworld person might not remember every detail when they go back inworld and then come back front. The closer someone is to the side they want to get info from, the easier it is to get and retain it.
We have pretty good internal communication, and it's rare that we can't get a message across to someone or get in contact though. There are no switch triggers we have that we would risk sharing with others, and they're really not likely to come up without being shared if they are indeed still triggers. We don't have spontaneous switches too often these days.
Q. Your stance on being asked questions? (about personal experience, preferences, plurality in general, etc)
Please ask us questions! We love opportunities to talk about plurality, our experiences and inworld, any questions you might have in general! We're just not great for personal advice because it takes energy we don't tend to have.
Q. If one of you has a stance on a certain issue, should everyone be expected to share that stance?
Absolutely not. We disagree with each-other, change each-others' minds, have different opinions and feelings on things, and don't want it to be assumed that we'll always agree. Especially because we can't even assume that of each-other despite how much we do tend to agree on major issues.