Even if it’s not a big problem, cohousing moves at glacial speed. Everything has to be decided as a group. However, I recently noticed that means they can tell you to f off in a way that shirks their responsibility. I’ve heard a few times, “I’m sorry. It’s not my decision. We have to decide as a group.” A simple no would have sufficed.
I heard that one cohousing group in California took a year to decide what color to pain their common house front steps. As Charlie Brown would say “Good Grief!”
To me, splitting hairs over decisions seems ridiculous. I was interested in relationships and people and figuring out conflicts so we’d have an amazing community.
Someone pointed out that flailing groups usually have issues with power. They said that communities avoid conflict when it deals with people with less power. That’s how I felt – no one cared! I wasn’t in the cool group and even groups without much power traditionally – ethnic minority family unit, single parent home, specifically a woman, autistic person, and even LGBTQ.
Another contributed that one way to hold onto your power is by saying nothing. Wow, that summed up my group. Those who kept silent, kept their status in the group. No one minded pushing me in the middle saying – she’s the only one who disagrees with this (though that wasn’t true and many told me in private that they also wanted some things to stop). So, mazel tov. You get to keep the dysfunctional cohousing where others are leaving now too. I’ll take my beach! Which I realized is what I really wanted – nice, fun neighbors and we are having a patio beach party this month. It’s so much easier here!