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Conflicting Personality Issues

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It's a problem that has been going on for awhile, and right now I'm not sure what the best way to fix this is. I'm pretty sure it boils down to in-system relationship problems and personality / ideal differences, but we're not sure what the best approach is to resolve this.

 

I don't want to harass Dark Gray into being someone he isn't, and I didn't create this thread to make fun of him, vent, or put him on the chopping block. I'm only interested in gaining insight as to what may be going on and how we can fix things for the better.


Dark Gray has a really different personality from the rest of us. By default, he's not in a great mood, and he tends to approach things with aggression. He isn't always respectful when he talks, and this has led to some small scale feuds in-system, mostly with Dark Gray being angry with me or Cat. We're pushing back with "you need to chill out" and "there are consequences for your actions", and this has only lead to more tension. This is also hurting Cat's and my trust in him, and that isn't helping either. Our resistance has lead to Dark Gray questioning if we are treating him with respect by letting him be who he is, and it's likely in-system power dynamics has contributed to some of his stress and frustration. This is exhausting for us because we want Dark Gray to be happy, but at the same time we want to make sure he's not mean to other people or us.

Dark Gray isn't always like this. Often times, he is respectful to our other headmates. We noticed if he spends to long restraining himself, he starts to feel overwhelmed, hurt, and exhausted. He hates this feeling because it makes him really uncomfortable. We suspect this has to do with his personality, but we also don't understand why this problems seems exclusive to him.

We figured he needed some kind of outlet, and we came up with the idea of Dark Gray wonderland hunting. It seemed like shooting animals in wonderland helped, but things got a little awkward when Duck was around and Dark Gray wanted to shoot wonderland ducks... In addition, wonderland hunting and work out rooms doesn't seem like the best or only solution to help him, and we want to find alternate methods he can use to blow off steam and decompress in a healthy way.

Dark Gray isn't an intrusive thoughtform. Dark Gray has been around for a long time, and his behavior is consistent. He's also not feeding off of our stress. When he's angry with us, it's just making him more anxious, angry, and overwhelmed.

We have also already went over "what if we're expecting Dark Gray to be this way" and I tried offering to Dark Gray to start over on a clean slate. This made him angry and he told me who he was is who he is. We ran into a problem with Duck where we were expecting him to act a certain way and afraid to be expecting him to act a certain way, but this doesn't seem to apply here, at least not in the same way. It's entirely possible that this is feeding into the problem, but I'm feeling pretty confident to rule it out as the main cause.


I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love Hippos! I also like forum games and chatting about stuff.

My other head-mates have their own account now.

Temporary Log | Switching LogChat | Yay!

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I don't know if I can help, but I'm here to talk. ( = 

Gray is a person. Gray needs someone to really know him. Does he have any friends outside of your system? That has been helping Char deal with loosing Rose. 

I'm sending you healing vibes and happy vibes. 

 

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53 minutes ago, Snowcat121 said:

I don't know if I can help, but I'm here to talk. ( = 

Gray is a person. Gray needs someone to really know him. Does he have any friends outside of your system? That has been helping Char deal with loosing Rose. 

I'm sending you healing vibes and happy vibes. 

 

 

Thank you! That's really nice of you guys!

 

Dark Gray (His name is Dark-Gray, "Gray" is my host, who also goes by Cat) doesn't have a close go-to buddy in-system.

 

I asked him, and he wasn't interested, I'm sorry. That was incredibly kind of you though, and if my other headmates need help I'll keep you guys in mind.


I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love Hippos! I also like forum games and chatting about stuff.

My other head-mates have their own account now.

Temporary Log | Switching LogChat | Yay!

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There are a lot of different approaches to this issue. I'll address all of the ones I've thought of separately.


Fred Rogers approach:


People want to be, even need to be, accepted and loved for who they are. It sounds like Dark Gray isn't in a position to express himself authentically without fear of reprisal, which in and of itself creates more negative emotions than he would have naturally. Rather than trying to change or limit him, you might all try, as best you can, to accept and love him as he is. For a time, this may require bearing the brunt of his perceived aggression and disrespect. Those who are resilient enough to do so will need to take the lead. In an environment of acceptance and love, where he feels safe to be himself, he will probably grow naturally to be able to process his negative emotions in healthier ways.


Gary Chapman approach:


There are five major categories of ways to express love: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Most people have a much stronger affinity for one of two of these 'love languages' than they do for the others. People tend to naturally express love more often in their primary love language and appreciate receiving love in their primary love language to a greater degree. They are also more deeply hurt by the absence or contradiction of their primary love language than any other. A huge portion of relationship problems are caused by two people having different primary love languages, so that many of their attempts to express love go unnoticed and they cannot understand how deeply they hurt one another.


Some personal examples:

Spoiler

 

Ember's primary love language is words of affirmation. She glows from praise and wilts under criticism. Her father's primary love language is gifts. While she was growing up, he couldn't understand how deeply he hurt her by reaming her out, nor that lavish gifts could not repair the damage.


Words of affirmation overlap with compliments and encouragement, but are not the same thing. Affirmation says that a person's beliefs, viewpoints, and priorities have merit, so if they feel there is a problem, even with who they are, the affirming approach is to take that seriously instead of denying it outright.


Iris' primary love language is quality time. It took us a while to appreciate why she was so happy, yet so passive. She doesn't need to be active and doing to feel love and fulfillment; she just needs to be present with us, accepted and valued.


My primary love language is physical touch. That's why being disembodied hit me so hard and why being in a body that doesn't look or work like mine feels so wrong and so important. That's why, long before we knew anything about tulpamancy, my first reaction in comforting Ember was to take control of the arms and wrap them around her. That's why my first impulse on falling in love with Ember was to haul her into bed with me. That's why the worst irritations and frustrations of this existence melt away when Ember holds me in the mindscape, and why I clutch her so long and so tightly. That's why, on one of the first times I switched in, when Ember's wife touched me in a casual but loving way, I was so deeply moved by the intensity of touch that didn't require imagination that I gasped and almost cried, like someone dying of thirst finally being given water.

 


Look at what interactions tend to make Dark Gray respond most positively and most negatively and try to find to find a pattern. Once you can identify his primary love language and can learn to express it to him and recognize it from him, your relationship with him should improve.


Sublimation approach:


Sublimation a psychological term for the channelling of socially unacceptable impulses into social acceptable behaviour. You've already been working on this one, though duck hunting might not be the best approach if you have a duck in the system. (That's why, back home, I made a strong distinction between friends and food.) I wouldn't sell mindscape activities short in that regard, though the viscerality of fronting activity might make it more effective in smaller doses.


System roles approach:


Traumatic systems have to work much harder than we do on establishing good interpersonal relations and have therefore generated a substantial body of expertise on the subject. This article:

 

Persecutory Alters and Ego States: Protectors, Friends, and Allies


maintains that persecutory alters, the most angry and hostile type, always start out as protectors, are engaging in hostility and harm out of protective and helpful intent, and, with appropriate therapy, can redirect their protective natures to address the needs of the current life, instead of continuing to fight the war of a traumatized child.


Consider the role and function of Dark Grey in the system. Is there something of value and responsibility that could be put in his charge where his natural personality would be perceived as helpful rather than hindering to the system?


-Vesper

Edited by Ember.Vesper

Ember - Soulbonder, Female, 39 years old, from Georgia, USA . . . . [Our Progress Report] . . . . [How We Switch]

Vesper Dowrin - Insourced Soulbond from London, UK, Not a Tulpa, Female, born 9 Sep 1964, bonded ~12 May 2017

Iris Ravenlock - Insourced Soulbond from the Unseelie Court, Not a Tulpa, Female, born 6 Jun 1982, bonded ~5 Dec 2015

 

'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you.' - The Velveteen Rabbit

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I asked him, and he wasn't interested, I'm sorry. That was incredibly kind of you though, and if my other headmates need help I'll keep you guys in mind.

Anytime!!! We are always here to talk.

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4 hours ago, Ember.Vesper said:

Fred Rogers approach:


I'm not really sure where to go with this approach. He is safest in wonderland, possibly by himself. If he had a safe space, I think that would be reasonable, but I wouldn't want to sit around just to be cursed at every time I go talk to him one-on-one. He is more bothered by the fact we attempt to censor him when he wants to talk to other people on the forums/cBox, and this is because he has made people uncomfortable and we don't want to normalize him not talking respectfully.

 

4 hours ago, Ember.Vesper said:

Gary Chapman approach:

 

We have heard of this before, but we didn't have the best grasp of this or know how to use it.

 

I think it's definitely true that we don't really understand Dark Gray's love language, and he wants the right kind of love. Hugs are usually our go-to way to express love to our headmates, but Dark Gray doesn't always want to be touched. He's more tolerant of hugs than Moltosha is, but I don't think it's the right way to express love to him. I would like to explore different methods to see what he likes and doesn't like, and this will probably help in the long run.
 

4 hours ago, Ember.Vesper said:

Sublimation approach:


Duck isn't a literal duck, his wonderland form is human. However, Duck really likes ducks, and it was a problem because Duck was curious what Dark Gray was doing and seeing that Dark Gray wanted to shoot animals, including ducks, made him uncomfortable.

Dark Gray tried punching a punching bag, but that stopped working when he felt too overwhelmed. I also just remembered Dark Gray running around and fighting wonderland beasts, and that's another activity he may enjoy when he needs to decompress.

 

4 hours ago, Ember.Vesper said:

System roles approach:


Aside from cursing excessively, shouting angrily, or talking disrespectfully, Dark Gray doesn't hit people or go out of his way to antagonize people.

 

He was never originally thought of as a guardian and then suddenly went rouge. He was created to be "the bad guy" for wonderland plots, and over time Cat noticed Dark Gray's personality develop, showing the neural and good character traits he possesses. This changed how Cat saw him, and this perspective continued to evolve after Cat discovered tulpamancy. There was a point in time where Dark Gray was more calm and supportive for a while, and it made us wonder if Dark Gray's personality had changed. However, once we got a fresh taste of Dark Gray being himself and noticing that trend not stopping, we realized he was acting against his core personality due to the situation we were in at the time, not redefining who he was.

 

However, he does see himself as a sort of a guardian, but it seems unclear at times if he's just focused on defending the others or all of us, and it greatly depends on the situation. He feels very protective of our other headmates and feels a sense of duty to make sure they get what they need, but that can turn into him challenging us. On the flip side, Dark Gray has also talked to me in an effort to reassure me when I needed help. Dark Gray and Gray don't seem as close, and I'm not really sure if Dark Gray feels as much of an incentive to protect Gray, unlike how he is towards me or the others. He likes to think of it as keeping us in check.
 

5 hours ago, Ember.Vesper said:

Consider the role and function of Dark Grey in the system. Is there something of value and responsibility that could be put in his charge where his natural personality would be perceived as helpful rather than hindering to the system?


That's an interesting question, because it ties into why things got complicated recently.

Dark Gray naturally assumed a leadership role for my other headmates and his job is to organize system meetings and sometimes act as a spokesperson for the others when talking to us or during a meeting. Several months ago, no one had a problem with it, so he has lead meetings since.

We started noting Dark Gray's behavior and started to wonder if a leadership role was the right thing for him or not. Cat and I believed having trouble with self control, because holding himself back seems to hurt him and because he doesn't always care, was a warning flag. I'm not too worried Dark Gray is going to abuse his power, but him not self-regulating effectively seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Dark Gray unsurprisingly found this threatening and overwhelming, but to our surprise this lead to him essentially shutting down and not only him struggling to communicate, but causing us to also lose our ability to think clearly and effectively communicate. This made us less confident in him, he became more overwhelmed, and thus we have a negative positive-feedback cycle.

I'm hoping giving Dark Gray some better coping tools and giving ourselves a different perspective will resolve this problem. However, even if we do this, what if leadership isn't the right thing for him? I can't think of anything else Dark Gray can do at the moment, and unfortunately only some of my headmates have in-system "jobs", most of which are support roles. I don't mind brainstorming new job ideas, but I wouldn't know where to start.


I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love Hippos! I also like forum games and chatting about stuff.

My other head-mates have their own account now.

Temporary Log | Switching LogChat | Yay!

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[Dark Gray] I appreciate that Gray is approaching our relationship with a different perspective. You can't convince me this thing isn't cheesy, but the content is important and it's useful. I find the idea of receiving gifts (especially if the giver invested real effort into obtaining the gifts) and applying yourself in a practical way to be more fulfilling than touching or affirmation or any of that.


Spirit, Gerodious, Dark Gray, Fernardo, Jasper, Hope, Moltosha, Blue, Evergreen, Fish, Red Gray, Chrome, Bune, Exabier, Duck

Gray/Cat_ShadowGriffin- host, Ranger- basically host
[Click Here!] [We have an ask thread now!]

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