Re conflict in cohousing, Mon, Apr 29 WebChat, "Especially Challenging Behaviors, " addresses this
From: Diana Christian (
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2019 17:06:01 -0700 (PDT)

Let’s say someone in one’s community frequently says things that consistently 
seem to trigger upset in you and others, and often results in wrenching 
community conflict too.

Is there anything you can do to remain peaceful and self-empowered when the 
person does this? To no longer be personally negatively affected, and even help 
reduce the community conflict? 

Yes! There are at least six different beneficial —“no shame/no blame” — things 
you can do to retain your peace of mind and not get triggered. And one practice 
a group of friends and neighbors can do together to help empower themselves 
when the person does this. And another action a whole community can consider 
taking to reduce this kind of conflict in business or committee meetings.

These are the topics of my WebChat for Coho/US this coming Monday, April 29:  
“Working Effectively with Especially Challenging Behaviors in Community.” (I 
previously called it “Four Kinds of Especially Challenging People in Community 
. . .” but now I’d like to focus solely on what I see as the most challenging 
kind of behavior.)

I’m referring to a set of specific behaviors one can sometimes see in 
intentional communities, including cohousing (as well as in the workplace and 
in life in general.) The person doing these behaviors doesn’t appear to care 
about the affects of their actions on others. If someone who is negatively 
affected by this tries to communicate about it with the person, the person 
often amplifies their original behaviors and can even accuse the other person 
of attacking them. The person tends not to seek help or mediation and rarely if 
ever apologizes.

The conflict Susan Rohrbach recently described in her Tucson community could be 
this kind of situation.
Liz Magill suggested that in situations like this there are ways to get help 
for oneself without involving the other person. Right on!

Karen Gimnig suggested seeking relationship with the person rather than feeling 
blame or judgment, and David Heimann suggested using NonViolent Communication 
(NVC). While I love each these remedies and highly recommend them in most 
cases, in my experience, with this particular set of behaviors trying to create 
a good relationship with the person and/or using NVC language doesn’t seem to 
result in peace or harmony, even though you’d think it would. But doing one or 
more of the six things noted above, doing the small-group process with friends, 
and/or doing the whole-community action, does seem to help.

I chose the topic of this set of challenging behaviors because coho users tend 
not to talk about it, and it’s too important to ignore. My personal mission in 
doing this work is to help intentional communities — of course including 
cohousing — be peaceful, healthy, and thriving.

WebChat times Monday, April 29: 8 pm, Eastern; 7pm Central; 6pm Mountain; and 
5pm Pacific. You can join with this Zoom link:
If you aren’t able to use the Zoom link, you could use iPhone one-tap :US: 
+16465588656,,202941610# or +16699006833,,202941610#
Or call from your telephone (and for higher quality, dial the following number 
based on your current location): US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833.  
Webchat Meeting ID: 202 941 610

         Please consider joining us Monday night.

         All good wishes,

         Diana Leafe Christian
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