Re: Definition of Bullying
From: Joseph Wheeler (
Date: Wed, 16 May 2018 20:23:04 -0700 (PDT)
I have done extensive research on bullying among youth, particularly with
respect to its intersection with deprivation of civil rights, and
contributed to the federal government's years-long effort to reach a
consensus definition of the term:

The term "bullying" does not apply to every conflict or every person with a
strong opinion. It applies to people who repeatedly exploit power dynamics
to control, abuse, or limit the equal participation of their peers.
Bullying prevention efforts are meant to facilitate constructive resolution
of conflicts and protect people who are more vulnerable to abuse.

In my opinion, it is a mistake to dismiss concerns about bullying,
particularly in communities committed to consensus-based decisionmaking.
Cohousing communities should take bullying and other forms of interpersonal
misconduct seriously if we are serious about using consensus to genuinely
share power, protect minority interests, and advance social justice.

In some ways, a consensus-based process is uniquely equipped to address
bullying. But practitioners urge caution in using conflict resolution
methods like mediation when the conflict is rooted in abusive power
dynamics. Similar concerns could be raised with respect to consensus-based
decisionmaking, which is why it is critical to have a vigilant facilitator
and a community committed to preventing and effectively responding to


Joseph Wheeler
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC

On Wed, May 16, 2018 at 7:26 PM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> “Bully” has become a buzz word that people have weaponized. Every conflict
> has become an example of bullying.  Every person with a strong opinion is a
> bully.
> Definition of Bullying from the American Psychological Association:
> Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally
> and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can
> take the form of physical contact, words, or more subtle actions.
> Some definitions are limited to physical threats to force people to do
> what they want. Or define it as having power or taking power over another.
> I find this to be a very limited and obvious definition.
> A definition including “intentionally" and “repeatedly" causing injury or
> emotional distress is more specific and covers more instances.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
8:58 AM (13 hours ago)
to Alan
Cohousers - I was in the common house today and one of my neighbors pointed
out an interesting article on the bulletin board. It was an AP story about
the unseen bullying epidemic in senior communities. I've been trying to
claw my way to the bottom, and there are old people still trying to claw
their ways to the top at the expense of their neighbors.

I was surprised to read that one out of five seniors are the targets of
bullying. Having just received my Silver Sneakers card, I'll think of think
about my five closest neighbors and if they seem okay, it must be me!

Here's the link ...


Alan O.*******************************************
Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
EnviroCultural Organization Systems
Colorado 303-910-5782
Wyoming 307-274-1910
Nebraska 402-327-1652
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