Re: I never join a club that would have me for a member...
From: Racheli&John (
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2001 10:12:02 -0600 (MDT)
** Reply to note from Judy Baxter <BAXTER [at]> Sat, 07 Apr 2001 
10:28:07 -0600 (CST)

>From Racheli (at Sonora)

> Jeanne Goodman of the Jamaica Plain Cohousing group in Massachusetts. 
> wrote:
> <What should we do if someone wants to join the community and we don't like
> the individual? Apparently there was one group that was almost pulled apart
> because someone wanted to join who was very demanding, opinionated and
> intolerant.
> We have been advised that this is a self-selecting process 

For us, the self-selection process worked fairly well - I really think that
most of the truly unbending/overcontrolling types fell by the wayside.
I'm also quite doubtful how good other processes of selection work, unless
you get to live with people for quite a while before making a decision.
(Having been born on a kibbutz, where the membership voted on
whether to give newcomers full membership or not, I wasn't impressed
by the results).  

In addition, while I acknowledge that there are people who don't know (and
perhaps don't want to know!) how to work cooperatively with others,
most people are able to learn.  So someone who initially seems demanding, 
opinionated and intolerant might mellow out as time goes by.  Or, they might 
that way, but you'll find that in spite of it they have some good qualities
which the community benefits from...  I'd like to add that I really think
that the people who bother us the most are the ones we learn from the
most in some ways.  I know this might sound ridiculous, but when someone
bugs you, it really gives you the opportunity to look inside yourself in
order to see *why* that's the case.  It also makes one work on improving 
one's own level of tolerance;  on developing better communication skills - 
in an effort to reach through; on learning to resolve conflict more
effectively, etc.

Hope this helps,


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