Consensus and conflict.
From: Susan Hills (
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2021 07:25:34 -0800 (PST)
Melanie hits the nail on the head.  After a two year stint in Cohousing, where 
“consensus” is purportedly practiced, and diversity is “preached”, we left 
because we held some different views than some of the dominant players in our 
community.    Our New England community was totally conflict averse and kept 
trying to hire mediators, and set up systems to neatly deal with internal 
differences, but was completely unable to honestly confront differences and 
hash out compromise.  Their conflict aversion became so personal that we were 
excluded from some activities, called “outliers,” “heretics” and more, and 
nobody had the courage to say that was wrong.  We began to realize that the 
community was fundamentally dishonest and undemocratic.

If you’re unable to incorporate different points of view into your process, you 
become subject to a form of group think and intimidation that allows a few 
people to run roughshod over the group and silence naysayers.  Winners and 
losers are created.  

We still like the concept of Cohousing, but fear that, as Melanie said, until 
people can depersonalize conflict and accept compromise as opposed to winning, 
they will continue to drive people out. 

Susan H
Die Gedanken sind frei

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