Diversity [was NVC and conflict resolution
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2019 11:55:22 -0700 (PDT)
> On Apr 29, 2019, at 12:06 PM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at] gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> While I also doubt that a whole community will learn and use NVC
> routinely, I don't think the goal is to *eliminate* conflict.

Amen. Without conflict the world would be a very boring place. Fortunately 
there is little chance of living without conflict — with ourselves if not with 
others. I have conflicts with my kitchen faucet.

One of cohousing’s central values is diversity. That right there is built-in 
conflict. We want to live with people who are not like us — who have different 
life experiences, different relationship expectations, different values, right?

The goal is to welcome conflict as an opportunity to understand the other 
person’s point of view. Understanding is not likely to lead to personality or 
behavioral change, but can change reactions — fight, flight, or flavor. 
Understanding how someone else feels may change my behavior in limited 
situations — like leaving my trash outside my door for 2 weeks — but I am who I 
am. And everyone else is who they are as well. If they were just like me? Or 
you?  Remember the Truman Show? Or a religious sect? That’s what it would be 

I think denial of conflict, even beyond avoidance, is the most important 
problem with conflict in cohousing. What we need is help discussing conflicts — 
facilitators, processes, expectations, skills, etc. NVC works for some people 
but is too programmed for others. Just talking works for some but others need 
more help finding the right words. There is a bunch of stuff out there, most we 
don’t use, but eliminating conflict isn’t what cohousing is all about.

Sharon Villines
Sociocracy: A Deeper Democracy

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