Examples of functional blending

Quora Question:

Can you have a new alter in DID that would blend in with another alter when it comes to mannerisms, behaviour, etc.?

Definitely yes. Especially when in comfortable or rehearsed situations. Let me share my personal experience.

Rehearsed situational blending

Rehearsed situations is when I have practiced certain behaviours, mannerisms, and expressions (both verbal and facial). So, for example, when in a pub with colleagues there will be a different mix of selves then when in a pub with mates. V5 was particularly good at this and he could mix the social side with the professional side to provide an appropriate balance discriminating between different audiences.

All of the adults in my system (who each is now a sub-system I think is the correct terminology) have always only interacted with people in rehearsed situation. Everything was extensively tried and tested with small groups (often one-to-one in risk-free situations) before being incorporated into daily life.

Eventually, rehearsed situations can be sufficient to deal with almost all aspects of daily life. Situational scripts can be broken down by line and mixed and matched to provide the flexibility required in social interactions at all levels of responsibility (here’s a trite expression!)

Good communication between parts means everyone will play their role to the best of their abilities.

So, for example, System 5 has a nerdy and a social front, a businessman and an IT engineer at the back. Plus there are other parts involved, but that’d make it complicated, so let’s just stick to these. So, in a business situation social front provides most of the mannerism (amicable, open, small talk), while the nerdy front mixes in his own (serious, grave, or light, tone, etc.), as and when appropriate in the conversation. The businessman and engineer parts will provide topics of conversation, relevant Q&As, engagement, jargon, in-depth knowledge, etc.

In my experience, when you have an efficient and collaborative system (or subsystem) rehearsed situations can be very effective at managing formal situations where there is a degree of etiquette and conformity in behaviour and expectation. The downside is that it requires a lot of inside knowledge and patience to set up. It also requires a huge amount of mental and emotional energy to maintain.

I have now come to the conclusion that one should only use rehearsed situational management when strictly necessary, and ensure recharge and self-love as soon as practicable.

Improvised/organic blending

Who am I now?

The previous solution worked really well when there was only one system working at any one time. Before 5, previous systems simply stopped operating when a new system became active.

However, here comes Lil’ One. Out of the blue, a blast from the past. The system had to adjust to become a sub-system in a bigger system where there were “entities” that were separate from the currently operating system.

So there was no terms of reference and no script available to tell each part what was expected. So, V5 had to set up a whole new way to relate to others in the “super-system” and to work out how everyone can contribute and be active participants in daily life as much as the part of a sub-system were.

And that’s how improvised blending started. This is like a free-for-all now-space opportunity. Anyone can take part in what we are doing in the “now” and be as far front, or back, as they wish.

Admittedly when dealing with other people things can get a little overwhelming. Often the young ones may start something (like a conversation, or a walk, or a shopping trip) and then get scared and retreat. The adults prefer to be back seat drivers; the way they see it, they did their job, now it’s my turn. So I’m often left smiling awkwardly while trying to make a dignified exit somewhere where I totally forgot what I was doing.

Privately, however, this blending is really fun and I feel that it is building a sense of unity and solidarity.

I have mentioned in some of my answers the multilayered influences (see Neurodivergent UK’s answer to When another alter is out, what are the different ways you have experienced what is happening in the world or inside your mental awareness? in Multiplicity)

I think the way it works is that we can share inputs (e.g. sight, sounds, thoughts, emotions) but only one self can manage each physical output (hands, feets, speech, etc.).

So, we could be watching a movie, and everyone sees it, hears it, and everyone has their own specific response. The more front they are, the more they can control physical aspects. So, someone could cry when there is an emotional scene, while someone else might tap a finger neurotically because emotions are for wimps. And someone else in the background might react angrily or have any other emotional or cognitive (or both) response. While all this is going on, the adults might be chattering in the back about something completely different.


In my case, because we are a new system and are still learning about each other, we are still trying to work out how to use this blending/merging.

From the experience of my previous systems (now subsystems) this process can be extremely natural and symbiotic and enables everyone to participate in the now-space if, when, and how they wish. All is needed is good communication.

What is your experience? 💜

See other posts of Functional Multiplicity