moving forward on the anger expression issue
From: Victoria (
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 12:41:49 -0600 (MDT)
Dear All,

I originally posed the question on angry yelling, and I thought it might be
interesting to you to know what conclusions I have drawn so far:

Yet again I learn that every time I think a certain idea will be obvious to
all, I find the opposite side represented.  It is not uncommon for me to
balk at first sight of the other view, only to later see it as quite
powerful and well taken.  It seems that many - perhaps most - people view
loud yelling as destructive, but it is clear that not everyone does and that
needs to be taken into account. Taking a pragmatic approach might be
helpful, i.e., yelling scares many people away from honest communication, so
let's discourage ourselves from using it outside of relationships where we
know it's OK, like in Sharon Villines's family.

I think it is important to remember that cohousing differs from intentional
communities, families, closely knit groups of friends, and certainly from
therapy groups.  We want to continue to encompass a BROAD spectrum of
styles, beliefs, emotional health etc.  Few of us signed up for personality
overhauls so we may not want to find ways to DEEPLY UNDERSTAND and become
more like each other as much as ways to live together in ways that work and
feel good.  (It's good to deeply understand, it's just not going to happen
with everyone.) We are looking for ways to strengthen ties, not to police.

It's occurred to me that it may be useful to have a group of trained people,
let's call them ombudsmen, who others in the community can turn to when they
feel angry, frustrated, offended.  (This could be helpful for those who tend
to blow-up, also for those who have been distressed by blow-ups.)  Note:
ombudsmen are not mediators or conflict resolvers. Ombudsmen would help
concerned individuals explore all their options, whether to vent and feel
heard, or to approach another who is bothering them and how best to do it,
or decide to meet with a community mediator, etc.  I'm going to suggest this
to our Community Development Team.  (This idea is a little more fleshed
out - email me if you want more information).

I've found it incredibly instructive to hear all these points of view,
particularly the descriptions of what in people's backgrounds make them feel
OK or not OK about yelling.  Thanks everyone.

Vicky Leary

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