|Re: "Weirdos"||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Kay Argyle (argylemines.utah.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 11:39:51 -0700 (MST)|
Sometimes the diversity that's most difficult isn't the kind you can put a label on. I joined cohousing because I'm _not_ social. I'm skittish around strangers. I take a long time to feel comfortable with someone. I find parties exhausting, I miss social cues, I'm easily snubbed, I turn aggressive when I feel threatened, I need a lot of privacy and time alone. Over it all I've got this misleading gloss of friendly self-confidence. I'm great at pseudo-community (see Scott Peck's book A Different Drum). Real community is a struggle. I need the structure of my life to provide built-in interaction and time to get to know and trust people. I'm not looking for a bunch of people just like me. I'm looking for people who aren't bothered by the fact that I'm not just like them. I seek community because I want to find a place where I can "not fit in" and that's okay. As has been pointed out, most cohousing people have a high tolerance for meetings and are process-oriented (sometimes to the point that process seems valued above outcome). Most are optimists and dreamers (nobody ever built a better life without a dream as a blueprint). We have a member who is highly goal-oriented, frustrated by process, and always plans for the worst-case. She joined because she values working together, sharing resources, and having neighbors who care enough to check when something seems wrong. She puts in long hours on community projects, is generous with her money and belongings, and frequently knows before anyone else that someone is unhappy and why. She is presently refusing to attend meetings (I'll spare you the history of how that came about). A number of members get so stressed out by her what-if disaster scenarios that they don't want to listen to her anyway. A few people are concerned about her "participation," lumping her in with residents who do nothing, as though attending meetings is what counts and working is irrelevant. She gives our community a diversity that some of the members can't handle. Does that mean she doesn't belong in community? Kay Argyle Wasatch Commons
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