Re: Issues in Cohousing [was Play/toy weapons
From: Rick Gravrok (
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:16:45 -0700 (PDT)
Six quick replies,

First, This is what I’ve usually heard: The three big issues in community
life are: Children, Chores and [Cherished] Pets. (I just added in
‘cherished’ for the first time)

2nd) Conflict is a normal part of life.

3rd) The violence of grudges, gossip, hard feelings, dissing, etc. can most
easily sneak in the back door when conflict is not welcomed in the front
So welcome it in, invite your neighbor(s) to have the necessary
conversation to resolve things respectfully and promptly even though that
talk is uncomfortable.

4th) If someone chooses to not let conflict in (it is a choice) - if the
choice is to not have that talk - watch your back door because violence
will possibly sneak in for more pain and grief and months of disconnection
and suffering than if folks took the time and energy to resolve the issue
up front.

5th) Find someone to sit in for that conversation, someone as a support for
respectful conversation, not someone to take sides. This is often a job for
an elder if you can find one. Not just someone who is an “older” (folks
like me who are 60 or older). I’ve heard that only about 15% of a
population is elder-capable, but that may not be true.

6) When talking about a problem, instead of identifying “what’s wrong” or
“what someone doesn’t like” (both of these contain negative words that set
a negative tone), identify ”what’s missing” i.e. what *interest* or *need* is
not being met or is lacking. Talk about needs or interests, not wants,
needs and interests are things we can all relate to (wants are personal
choices about how to get needs met and are usually different for each
individual). Once “what’s missing” has been identified, you’re probably
half-way to finding a solution.

PS (# 7 snuck in) - get copies of ”GETTING TO YES - Negotiating Agreement
Without Giving In” by Roger Fisher and William Ury of the Harvard
Negotiation Project”.
In the chapter titled *“Focus on Interests, Not Positions”* it lists 5
Basic Human *Needs*: Security; Economic well-being; A sense of belonging;
Recognition; and Control of one’s life.

 Happy co-living!,

Monterey Cohousing Community

Rick Gravrok
St. Louis Park, MN
952-926-6655 (landline preferred)
iPhone 952-220-8153

On Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 9:10 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]>

> Also:
> Do we need a policy, a best practice, or just a discussion?
> If its a best practice do we have to follow it?
> Its more welcoming to have more rules. Its more welcoming to have less
> rules.
> Smoking.
> When can you call animal control?
> -Liz
> (The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
> 508-450-0431
> > On Jul 21, 2016, at 1:41 PM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at] 
> >>
> wrote:
> >
> >> On Jul 21, 2016, at 11:27 AM, David Heimann <heimann [at]
> <mailto:heimann [at]>> wrote:
> >>
> >> P.S. -- During our development, someone referred to the four P's as
> potentially contentious issues: "Pistols", "Pets", "Progeny", and
> "Paying".  Guns and swords are on that list!
> >
> > Another version of this is Parents, Pesticides, Pets.
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