I’ve been reading Kathryn’s posts on our life here at Pacific Gardens and am finding them really interesting! It made me think about what makes a successful cohouser, and so, removing my “rose-coloured glasses", this is what I have noticed.
Usually the only people who don't fit in have totally unrealistic expectations, and can’t cope with reality. We are just people....and people come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, with various opinions and personalities. Throw in youngsters with exuberance, and we have a real mix of what it is like to be in a community. People who are completely stuck in their ways and how everyone else should be, get stressed when we use consensus, and not the "loudest voice wins!!".
Compromise, flexibility, compassionate communication, understanding other points of view, and co-operation go a long way to make life enjoyable for yourself and others. If this fits for you, I think you will thrive in cohousing.
Not everyone here has let go of "being right", but it sure helps to do so, if you want to make friends and reduce conflict. The dynamics of our life at Pacific Gardens change with each new resident. That is the joy and the challenge of living in community. Remember that it is a "personal growth opportunity!!"
P.S. Here is a picture of me taking part in a permaculture course at Pacific Gardens.