Just as a lot of thought goes into making a tulpa, a lot of thought should go into whether making a tulpa is the best decision in the first place. Here is a (by no means complete) list of pros and cons for consideration.
- Friendship. A host who creates a tulpa is rarely alone. A tulpa can help support the host emotionally, and provide an ear and shoulder in hard times, while always being close by.
- Tulpas often know you better than you know yourself. Tulpas and hosts understand each other on a level nobody outside of your system can, and thus can bond on a very deep level.
- Tulpamancy is adaptive. Having more than one person in a body with different interests and talents allows for more versatility in work and school.
- Tulpas and hosts can aid one another in doing a task, and examine a problem from different angles. For instance, working together to solve a math problem or write a computer program.
- Second opinions. A tulpa can have different values and ideologies than the host. They can offer suggestions, opinions, and criticism, and shed light on viewpoints the host would not have otherwise considered out of bias. (However, nothing beats physical others for understanding a different viewpoint, especially those in minority groups–if someone wanted to understand women’s experiences, for instance, they should not create a female tulpa for that purpose, but rather listen to the experiences of women from many backgrounds.)
- Insight. A tulpa can aid their host in introspection, mindfulness, and self-improvement. They can also directly assist with tasks such as meditation and lucid dreaming.
- Sharper memory. Tulpas usually do not have a greater memory access than the host does, but they can pick up on and retain details the host does not notice.
- Tag-teaming. A tulpa that has learned to possess, front, or switch can, to a responsible extent, divide duties with the host and assist in daily tasks. However, a tulpa should never be created for the sole purpose of having someone else do all the work, or coerced to do the host’s work.
Cons and Important Considerations:
- A tulpa will not always agree with the host, do what the host wants them to, or even approve of the things the host does. They may have a higher capability for understanding your motivations thanks to tulpish streamlining communication, but that does not mean they will always agree with your feelings and reasoning.
- Communication is important. Simply because a tulpa shares your head and can use tulpish does not mean they will automatically understand everything. Many issues that arise do so out of lack of communication. Be ready to talk things out and be open with each other.
- Tulpas can be selfish, sometimes even cruel, just as any physical person can be. Arguments and misunderstandings can happen between tulpas and hosts, and as covered in the previous point, it is important for a host and tulpa to communicate their wants and needs to one another, just as they would with anyone else.
- A tulpa may want time of their own in the body that the host is unwilling or unable to provide. Time management is important if a tulpa wants to interact with the physical world.
- Privacy can be a difficult matter for a host and tulpa to negotiate. A tulpa may want to spend time with the host when they want to be alone, or vice versa. Memory sharing can also mean little to no privacy for all parties. In addition, if a tulpa or host is unable to disconnect from the body’s senses when the other is in control, there is no privacy for the one in control and the one in control is forced to tag along. It is possible for the one not controlling the body to reach a very dormant state, but they will likely still have memories of what transpires.
- Imposition, and tulpamancy in general, also involves the breaking down of a lot of mental barriers, some of which were there for good reason. While hallucinations achieved through imposition are generally controlled, and ‘self induced schizophrenia’ is a myth, there is also no guarantee learning to impose will not prove distressing, or at the very least distracting, when taken to extremes. It is important to exercise some caution and discipline when learning to alter one’s perception of sensory input.
- A tulpa may have distinctly different interests then the host’s, or conflicting ones for that matter.
- Tulpas require time, effort, and commitment. A mature tulpa is capable of spending time apart from their host. However, as with a physical friendship, a tulpa and host may drift apart if they spend too much time away from each other.
- A tulpa is a lifelong decision. Unless dissipated, a tulpa stays around for life. And all ethical matters aside, dissipation is not always foolproof, and a sentient, well-established tulpa will not always disappear easily, or quietly for that matter.
- Tulpamancy can rewire the brain on a very, very deep level, and the long-term effects of this are largely unknown.
- Tulpas are, or resemble to an indistinguishable point, another consciousness co-inhabiting the brain. Dissipation has many ethical implications behind it, and on top of that, if something bad happens to the body, the tulpa will go down with the ship.
- Tulpas can have mental and emotional issues of their own, just as hosts can. These issues often cannot be simply “forced away”, no more than a host can “just get over” depression or anxiety. It is also imperative that a host treat their tulpa with kindness and respect. Tulpas, regardless of whether they are “truly” sentient or not, operate in the same manner as physical persons. Abusing a tulpa will result in them having the same emotional damage that an abused physical person displays.
- If you are currently the only person living in your body, making a tulpa can bring you stigma since you are making yourself plural (more than one person sharing a body). This stigma comes from society as well as the medical community. Socially, people who are told about tulpamancy might react with fear, ignorance, etc. and one could experience things such as losing a job, ostracization, etc. It is very common for people to equate tulpamancy with DID (formerly MPD), OSDD (formerly DDNOS), or schizophrenia, and then attempt to give an armchair diagnosis no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary.
Do not create a tulpa for the following reasons:
- As a cure for depression or anxiety. Tulpas are not a panacea for any affliction any more than any physical person is. (Note: creating a tulpa to “cure” depression is not the same as creating a tulpa or receiving support from a tulpa while depressed.)
- As a cure for loneliness or isolation. A tulpa may help, but they cannot replace physical social interaction.
- Similarly: to replace physical people.
- As a means of keeping a deceased loved one “alive”.
- As a sex slave or someone to abuse.
- To be “[Fictional Character] in real life”. (Note: this is not the same as a tulpa simply having a form and/or personality similar to a fictional character’s.)
- To have someone do all your work for you or to foist an unwanted task off on. (Note: this is not the same as voluntary sharing of responsibility and tasks between mature system members.)
In addition, you can find another discussion on this topic in this guide by GM and Twi.