Re: offensive words in the cohousing game
From: Chris Hansen (
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2021 08:39:04 -0800 (PST)
Haha- thanks Sharon!
I have to say, as the person who requested the words 'personality
disorders' be removed from the document, that I did appreciate the
document, and the stories/challenges outlined, because it's really
validating as someone in a community that's been going over a decade to
know this all happens.
AND- I do think that 'just because someone wrote it in an email'
doesnt mean it should go in a public document. We wouldn't allow those
words like 'cretin' or others to be there, and I do think that implying
that a certain group of people are not suitable for cohousing should not be
I think healthy, robust discussion about things such as background checks,
people with histories of all sorts is really helpful, as long as we are
careful not to 'weight' the discussion with labels, assumptions and
Theres many people living in cohousing who are challenging to be with who
have successfully managed to escape getting 'caught' by the psychiatric
system- and I think it's also helpful to talk about some of the behaviours
and attitudes that are challenging, such as hyper-sensitivity to any
criticism or feedback, unwillingness to engage in the sorts of negotiations
and compromises required of consensus decision-making, rigid need to follow
the letter of process/need for many 'rules' etc....

On Sat, 6 Mar 2021 at 11:14, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> > 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 licenses.
> > 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
> ———
> Sharon Villines
> _________________________________________________________________
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Chris Hansen
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