When should I compromise?
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When Should You Compromise

Whether we're talking the boardroom or the bedroom — how should we make healthy compromises while staying true to your core values?

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When Should You Compromise

Any relationship requires some degree of compromise. Whether it's your other half, your boss, your colleagues or your friends, we can't agree on everything. Compromise can be a very tricky thing to achieve. What's touted as a meet-in-the-middle, a win-win solution can sometimes feel like a lose-lose scenario for both parties involved.

Compromise is sometimes the only way to move forward and make progress. But at other times, you may feel that by compromising you are being too much of a pushover. Compromising at every turn isn't good for your relationships in the long run. You need to be able to assert your needs and requirements as well as working to meet those of others. You're an equal player in any relationship and should be able to retain your integrity and sense of self, even when working to overcome conflicts of interest or disagreements.

When conflicts involve longer-term issues, tensions, or unsatisfying patterns of behavior, people are more resistant to making compromises or carrying out the compromised agreement. For example, if we are trying to find a time to meet for our cup of coffee but in the past, I have either canceled several times or shown up late regularly, you will be more hesitant to make an agreement with me. We have a history of tension and unresolved conflict making you now appear resistant and unreasonable until the pattern gets addressed. If this long-term issue does not get addressed and we are pressured into compromise anyway, I would probably continue the same pattern and you would continue to be frustrated with things not going according to plan.

Healthy compromise, where both the people in the equation are prepared to both give and take, is a good way to resolve a conflict. Healthy compromises benefit both parties, enhancing each other's authenticity and bringing the people involved closer. Unhealthy compromise, where one person is repeatedly giving in to the other, is likely to create long-term problems. It will eventually lead to bitterness and resentment between the parties involved.

We can't always get everything we want, of course. We can't always be in total control. But we can certainly get a lot of what we want if we prioritize what's most important to us. Just because we can't always be in control doesn't mean that we're never in control. Compromise is how we deal with the fact that we don't know everything. It's also the way that we deal with having to live with other people. While compromise may mean giving something up, you can make healthy compromises without neglecting your core values and needs. And by communicating clearly and empathetically considering another person's perspective, you'll find that by giving something up, compromising gives you something essential in return: stronger, healthier relationships.

This truth presents a natural question: when should we compromise, and when should we hold our ground and keep fighting for what we really want? When you encounter a situation in which you need to choose between compromise and holding firm, it might help to think about a different question: "Do you need it, or do you just want it?".

Being able to separate needs and wants is essential. Never let go of something you truly need but be more flexible on the things that you want. If you're choosing your battles, don't miss the forest for the trees. Don't give up a third of your life by working a dead-end job that you hate. Don't abandon your dreams, especially if they've stayed with you for a long time and you can't stop thinking about them. If you need something, fight for it. For everything else, let go a little. Make trade-offs, compromise, let go. Settle on the unessential to get what you really want.

Compromise isn't always the answer. If you think you compromise too much, do your best to stand firm. Sometimes refusing to compromise can be the key to your emotional health and your happiness. Little compromises are natural and unavoidable, but be careful not to give up too much of what is important to you for the sake of a relationship that should help to affirm who you already are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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