Re: Division question
From: fergyb2 (
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2020 08:41:08 -0700 (PDT)
     It seems to me that as groups rub along together after awhile trust builds 
as you live together and make many decisions together.  One of the advantages 
of a long multi year planning process is you have a chance to really get to 
know each other and the folks who absolutely can’t compromise and MUST have 
their own way get weeded out over one issue or another.  The rest learn to 
trust the consensus process and put the necessary time and attention in to 
arrive at a decision acceptable to all.  That’s not to say it’s easy.  There 
are always unexpected surprises that come up and must be dealt with.  Folks who 
are used to efficiently run business meetings can have a hard time adapting to 
a model where everyone needs to have a say.  We run into trouble most often 
when we try to skip through the process too quickly and some  people feel 
unheard or disrespected.  That will always come back to bite you later, 
     Also certain issues are predictably contentious, like Pet policies, and 
standards around child behavior, and how to get exactly equal amounts of 
community work out of everybody; what's acceptable and what’s not.  The more 
you talk these out and come to common values before move in the less time you 
will spend in meetings arguing about it later.  And then just when you think 
it’s all settled after 19 Years a bunch of new folks move in who weren’t around 
for the previous agreements and want to revisit all  those topics again.  
Prepare to get a Ph.D in communication if you live in Cohousing.   
     Finally, certain narcissistic personalities will always create drama and 
division in any group, cohousing is no exception.  Beware of people with a long 
history of dramatic break ups.  Don’t bend over backwards to keep people in the 
forming group who threaten to leave if they don’t get theIr way on some issue.  
It’s part of the weeding out process, let them go.  Groups have dissolved after 
years due to the divisive nature of one or more members.  You want folks 
capable of being considerate of everyone’s welfare and opinion.  Even so there 
will always be differences of opinion but they can be worked through with care 
and respect.  If a new narcissistic person moves in later you would be 
surprised how quickly an established community will come together and resist 
their attempts at division because the trust has been built over time.
    Good luck and love,
     Bonnie Fergusson
      Swans Market Cohousing
      Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

> On Aug 1, 2020, at 7:46 PM, CJ Q <homeschoolvideo [at]> wrote:
> Hi all!
> I’ve heard about conflict in Cohousing especially in newer groups where 
> people tend to take sides and the whole place gets divided up m. I’m 
> wondering what makes those type of things happen and how do communities heal 
> from it. you can email me off list if you prefer.
> Thanks,
> Carol
> homeschoolvideo [at]
> Sent from my iPhone
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