Re: offensive words in the cohousing game
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2021 08:13:31 -0800 (PST)
> On Mar 6, 2021, at 7:26 AM, CJ Q <homeschoolvideo [at]> wrote:

> So I have two questions. One is what is another way to discuss troubling
> behaviors?  Cooperative people is what you expect in cohousing but not
> everyone is that way. I am not advocating not to have empathy, but how can
> you steer your community so empathy is the go to and not be swayed by
> personalities that can take up a lot of energy and cause heartache?

Or how do you deal with frustratingly agreeable (and smiling) people who take a 
lot of time and energy because they never volunteer or show up for work days or 
respond to requests for information like changes in phone numbers or car 

> The second question is for the listserv - when everyone wrote these
> scenarios and solutions it was here - to the listserv.  Is my game
> anonymous enough that everyone would feel okay with sharing it on a
> cohousing national  website? It'll still be free but I don't want anyone to
> feel like their community's "dirty laundry" is now out there for the world
> to see. The listserv is available to everyone (right?) and is a safe space
> so I don't want anyone to feel exploited.

Editing is always advisable. Shorten, clarify, change possibly offensive words, 
and even combine two questions/responses. Just note that they have been edited. 
Editing usually improves the readability as well.

Definitely try to make the community anonymous, but you will find multiple 
communities claiming that you revealed their community secrets no matter what 
you do—unless you mention damage to a rare vintage car of which only 2 exist in 
all the world. Make it an ancient voodoo doll.

I once wrote an article on the process a new community had used to explore and 
make a decision about including a new member who had a criminal past. It was a 
positive article focusing on the ways in which the community members had 
examined all the issues and what they meant in terms of the values of 
cohousing. Even though all the people and the community were anonymous, since I 
wrote it the community would be assumed to be mine. In addition, the “truth” of 
the article was questioned by the same people whose archived emails I had 
quoted. “That never happened, ever.” So the people claiming that it was not 
accurate would also have outed the source.

Sharon Villines

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