RE: Selection and Weirdo stereotyping
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 21:52:29 -0700 (MST)
Man the world seems to work in circles these days. I just finished teaching
a workshop to a group about this VERY thing. I call this the perception gap.
We all are ego-centric at times, and it is common to beleive that how you
think about things is the "right" way, and the "normal" way and that others
that do not think this way are abnormal. This drives a lot, include most all
of your assumptions and inference about another person.

There are some interesting and fun excercises which expose some of these.
The other problem is checking out your perception against that of the rest
of the group. Am I the ONLY one who cares about the toliet handles not being
cleaned? Doesn't everyone in the group beleive ________.

This is great fun to explore with each other, especially when you can walk
away having learned that, hmmmmmm. everybody does NOT think just like me,
how wonderful. When your nose gets rubbed into this a few times, you learn a
HUGE skill and value, called humility. I find that personal humility is a
core compenent of being successful in a collarbortive process.

Rob Sandelin
Northwest Intentional Communities Association
Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cohousing-l [at]
> [mailto:cohousing-l [at]]On Behalf Of WOLF1GDSFM [at]
> Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2000 6:45 PM
> To: Multiple recipients of list
> Subject: Re: Selection and Weirdo stereotyping
> Little things can drive a behavior that might be called "stereotyping."
> Maybe it would be called something else.  Anyway, an example:  A
> person donates something to the Common House.  It is of an
> inexpensive make, because that is all this person's family could ever
> afford.  Another person comes in and says, "Oh, my, we can't have this
> in here!  Not in the Common House!  I want the common house to look
> nice."  This is not an intentional slight, but a gut level raction by
> someone who is used to a certain standard of living.  People, not of a
> different race, not of a different religion, not of a different sexual
> orientation, but only of a somewhat different income bracket, are
> deemed as having "no taste."  There are many, many main-stream
> Americans whose decor comes directly from places like K-Mart.  They
> think their houses look "really nice."  Others have been brought up in
> different surroundings.  Their reaction to this decor is more
> like, "yech."
> Each person seems to feel rather uncomfortable in surroundings that
> feel just right to the other.  People with "no taste" tend to
> self-select off
> of the decorating committees, unless they are also very strong.  It is
> difficult to articulate this; it is subtle, but it keeps some people from
> being fully a part of things.  Some seem to feel superior; others may
> end up feeling less-than.
> Also, what about a post from someone who never, ever uses words like
> "articulate"?  How would that be received?  How welcome might that
> person feel, reading this post?
> Jan Ankney
> member of Sunward Cohousing
> Ann Arbor, MI

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