Re: Disillusioned with cohousing
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 16:26:00 -0700 (PDT)
The author of the message below wishes to remain anonymous,
I'll tag him/her  Drew.
It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

June 30th 2006

I have lived in cohousing for many years, and often have felt that it's not
worth seeing, intervening, and sometimes becoming involved in inter-personal
emotional swirls.  The upside I get from chatting, company, easy friends,
exchanging favors, and access to knowledgeable neighbors, also has a
downside: unpleasant calls on my attention.  People in my community spend
too much time talking through the negative interactions they have all the
time with some residents.

People who are considering cohousing may want to ask themselves some

Do you avoid expressing ignorance or asking for advice?

Are you often misunderstood?

Do you feel pressure when someone does you a favor?

Do you pay close attention to how your neighbors do work or whether you do
more work than your neighbors? (if you haven't lived in cohousing, then ask
if you pay close attention to fairness among your siblings)

Do you express righteous anger when you are frustrated that others don't do
their work?

Do you generally know what's in someone else's best interest?

Are you more comfortable interacting by email than in person?

Do you think that bad people who don't "follow the rules" can be pestered
into following them?

Is it hard to express your wants and desires as your individual preferences?

Is it hard to say "no" when someone asks you to do a favor that would stress
you out?

Are other people more social than you are to a degree you think is
ridiculous? (think grasshopper and ant)

Would you rather ask someone else to talk to a neighbor about their problem
than speak with that neighbor yourself?

Can you help other people resolve their problems about a wide range of

(This list could go on ....)

If you say "yes" to many of these things, then maybe rent in cohousing for a
year, before taking the plunge of buying in.  Someone who says "yes" to many
of these might feel angry or put out or ignored a lot of the time.

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