Like most kin-related experiences, shifting is different for everyone. There is no one right way to do it, and the length and intensity of your shifts are no indication of your validity.
– You can experience only minor changes to behavior when shifted, while everything else stays mostly the same.
– You might also have very intense shifts that significantly alter your speech, interests, moods, and other behaviors.
– Some shifts may be stronger and more intense than others, and you may find that this pattern remains the same (for example if you have an elf and a dragon as kintypes, you may find that you have very intense dragon shifts as a rule but are barely affected by elf shifts).
– You may have a shift that seems to be your “default” state of being, occuring much more frequently and lasting for extended periods of time while others shifts are noticeably shorter-lived.
– When shifted, your hobbies and interests may change. One shift might lead you to be more interested in drawing, while another will make you want to get back into tabletop gaming again. Additionally, these interests may not always seem appropriate to the kintype you’re shifted to, and that’s okay. If you’re Sailor Moon and you have a particular interest in taking up gardening when you’re shifted, just go with it. Your interests don’t have to be “in character” because being kin is not a roleplay.
– You should probably not be losing memories when you’re shifted. For many people with very intense shifts, memories of what happened during them may be slightly fuzzy or distorted due to the drastic change in thought patterns, but if you completely lose your memories of what occurs during your shifts, or if you feel like you “lose yourself”, it’s likely an indication that something else is going on. Consider looking into the possibility that some of your kinselves may actually be soulbonds who are fronting.
– It’s fine to want to be called by different names when shifted, if it makes you more comfortable or helps you feel at home; however, be prepared for a negative reaction, as many people in the community view it as bordering too close to role-playing or “wishkin” territory. It’s also fine to not want this and to be perfectly comfortable going by the same name during every shift.
What shifting is not:
– Role-playing. Some people enjoy immersing themselves in things that remind them of their kinselves and help them feel more at home during shifts, but shifting does not involve voluntarily taking on a role and playing pretend with it.
– An excuse. When shifted, you are still responsible for your behavior, regardless of the shift. It’s never okay to use a shift to excuse manipulative behavior, violence, or any other form of abuse.
– Physical. Your thinking and behavior may change, you may experience phantom limbs or appendages, and you may have noticeable changes in your behavior, but your body remains the same. Physical shifting (commonly called P-shifting) is not possible, no matter how intense your shifts may feel.
– Necessary. Many kin do experience shifts of one kind or another, but it isn’t required, and doesn’t determine the legitimacy of your kintypes.