Re: Gossip vs. venting
From: S. Kashdan (
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 09:21:28 -0700 (MST)
Hi Tree,

This is Sylvie Kashdan of
Jackson Place Cohousing
800 Hiawatha Place South
Seattle, WA 98144

Can you recommend some other good systems and books, etc., in addition to
"Non-Violent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg?

Thanks in advance.

Sylvie Kashdan
skashdan [at]

"Tree Bressen" <tree [at]> wrote:
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 9:21 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Gossip vs. venting


I've appreciated the great stuff already posted in response to this topic,
and would like to add the following comments in three sections.


>> *    I undertake to keep my relationships within the group clear by
>> with my problematic issues directly with the persons concerned. [Cathy]

Kay wrote:
>Phrasing it this way puts no responsibility on the "persons concerned."
>reason this isn't already the obvious first line to follow is that people
>have a lifetime's experience of it being at best a waste of time and
>sometimes actively backfiring.

This sounds really familiar to me; when i show up to work with groups i
frequently encounter an attitude of despair based on people's negative past
experiences.  I think that's very understandable given how poorly our
culture trains people in conflict resolution skills.  So part of my goal is
to offer people a sample of a better experience, to give them hope that
it's possible.  Once they get that taste, i figure they are more likely to
try learning the skills to make it happen.

Amazingly, the skills are not actually that hard.  Sure it takes practice
remembering to do it in the moment, getting smoother at it, and so on.  But
i am convinced that anyone with a commitment to making peace with others
can learn this stuff.  There are various good systems around, "Non-Violent
Communication" (by Marshall Rosenberg) is one of the more popular ones
these days.  My observation is that what the various systems have in common
is *reflective listening.*  Saying back what you heard the other person
say, with as much compassion as you can muster.

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