Having Dissociative Identity Disorder can make you an absolute master at teamwork with your alters. But what do you do when you have to work together with an external person? Maybe this person is your spouse, co-worker, or partner in crime. They may or may not know that you’re a system. Whoever they are, there are some key tips that will make teamwork with an external person easier when you have DID. Let’s jump right in!
WARNING AND DISCLAIMER
Because of the nature of D.I.D., it’s possible that something in this article could be triggering to your system. Please use caution and your best judgement when reading this article. Safety first!
Disclaimer: We are not doctors, therapists, or mental health professionals. We’re just a bunch of alters that are speaking from personal experience to help other systems live their best lives.
No matter how well you know the external person, the first step to working well together is to get some clarity. Your system can’t realistically get fantastic results if they don’t have a clear idea of what is needed. Here are some things to get some clarification on:
Once your system has clarity and information about these things, your system will have a vision for what needs to happen in order to successfully work together with an external person.
Sum It Up
After you’ve gained some clarity on the project you’ll be working on together, the next important step is to confirm everything (and we mean EVERYTHING). This step is often overlooked but it’s truly one of the best kept secrets to success.
Here are some examples of summing things up to get you started:
By summing things up, your partner will be able to further clarify or modify the perimeters of the project before you both get started. This will dramatically cut down on miscommunications and setbacks for everyone involved and it only takes about 30 seconds. Win win!
Pro tip: Keep in mind that some singletons are very “easy breasy”. They may prefer to go with the flow and to fly by the seat of their pants. That’s ok! Clarify as much as you can so that your system will know if you’re on track and your system can wing it from there.
Share The Info
Once you know exactly what is going on and what your system needs to do, it’s time to share the information with your headmates. To cut down on miscommunications, go ahead and share the information both internally and externally with all of your alters.
Internally, you can share the information quickly by making a system-wide announcement. This way, every single alter will know the gist of what is going on even if they don’t front.
Externally, putting a post-it note in your planner or on your cork board can be really helpful. We’re also big fans of putting a note on our phone so that every fronting alter can quickly get the information that they need.
Whatever you do, ask yourself “How can I make sure that all of my alters have access to this information?” Every system is different so whatever works for your system is perfect for your system!
The next thing to do is to assign things out to your headmates. Every task is unique but here are some things that might need to be assigned:
The overall idea is that you’re trying to minimize the chance of every alter thinking that some other alter has taken care of something. That can happen fast!
When assigning tasks, it helps if ever task has a “buddy”. That way, if an alter is unable to complete the task (for any reason), their buddy will be able to finish the job the next time that they front.
Pro tip: When assigning jobs and tasks, keep every alter’s current limitations in mind. You want to set your system up for success by giving headmates jobs that they can confidently tackle. Everyone can contribute in one way or another!
One of the best tricks that we have for successfully working on projects with external people is having routine check ins with our system. During a check in, we confirm that the project is on track to be finished on time and to our standards.
We like to have a weekly check in just to see how our fronting life in general is shaping up. This is when we’ll talk about our progress on any projects. Sometimes we’ll have more check ins but once a week seems to be the sweet spot for us.
In addition to regular check ins, we also like to review our progress the day before we need to meet with our external team mate. This way, we’re all on the same page before we meet up with our external team mate.
Now that you know how to work on a team project with an external person, what’s the next step? If your system could use a little more unity, check out this article about The Golden Rule of DID. If your system could use a lot of help with working together as a team, check out our course, Of One Mind!