Sometimes I write pieces about how people who are coming from different places on something can compromise. Usually, this is in the form of sharing a compromise I made with someone else. A few recent examples of this:
- What Meeting in the Middle Re: Love Languages Can Look Like
- When One Partner Wants to Have Important Relationship Discussions Via Text & the Other Wants to Have Them in Person
Inevitably whenever I post one of these articles, I’ll get people who chime in saying that they’d never compromise. That whatever the topic of the day re: compromise is, well, it’s a dealbreaker for them.
And you know, this is 100% fine. If you don’t want to compromise, no one is forcing you to.
In fact, some people rarely, if ever, compromise.
Some people even pride themselves on it, the fact that they don’t compromise. They consider it part of their core identity. And a sign that they have high standards.
Me, I am not like that. I’m absolutely fine with compromising when I consider the trade-off to be worth it. I’m a pragmatist, not an idealist.
I’m concerned primarily with whether things work in whatever context I’m living in. And less concerned with how things would be in an ideal world. Because I don’t live in an ideal world.
True, whenever I can, I try to improve the situation I’m in. Bring it closer to what an ideal world, an ideal situation, would be. But at a certain point, you have to be realistic.
And in my way of viewing the world, there are definitely compromises worth making. And there are definitely partners worth fighting for. Worth moving outside of your comfort zone to accommodate them (especially if and when they’re willing to compromise to accommodate you as well).
Anyway, this way of interacting with the world has brought me huge amounts of happiness. And I’ve found that I’ve also grown in the process.
This is not to say that this is the only way to get to happiness. But it’s what’s worked best for me.
The First Step in Compromise Is Wanting to Compromise — on Both Sides
Anyway, if you’re a person who doesn’t compromise, then that’s fine. The next time you see an article that talks about ways to compromise, you can consider it advice that’s not intended for you. Not better or worse. But more like advice that’s targeted towards dog owners when you own a cat.
But for the rest of us, for those who are reluctant to compromise but will in certain circumstances, those who welcome compromise, and everyone else in between, it’s an important thing to keep in mind: The first step in compromise is wanting to compromise.
And both sides need to want it. Sometimes no matter how willing you are to compromise, the other person just won’t meet you there.