Relationships 101: Compromise

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If you’ve had the opportunity to get to know me, you know compromise is not my strong suit. I suck at compromising, usually because I think I’m right. The irony of it all? My husband is even more stubborn than I am. That’s right, I’m married to the one person who can out-stubborn me. My mother is surely laughing as she reads this (Hi mom!!!), because she doesn’t have to deal with her rather stubborn offspring on a day-to-day basis. That is now Joe’s job, the poor fool ๐Ÿ˜€

So trust me when I say, this post is as much for you as it is for me. We recently got some news that I’m not ready to share just yet, but suffice it to say, compromise is going to play a huge role in the next weeks and months, so I decided it was probably time to sit and write this out. The first step to compromising is realizing you’re not always right. I know, I know, this is hard for most people to accept (See exhibit A, the 2016 U.S Presidential Election), but it’s crucial. You can’t move past whatever problem you’ve got going on right now if you’re not willing to admit you *might* be wrong.

The next step is to LISTEN to the other person. If you’re in the heat of argument, you’re not going to listen, so if you need to, take some time away, allow the emotions to die down, then reconvene when both of you are ready to discuss like calm, rational, adults. Nothing will be accomplished in a screaming match, trust me (been there, done that, got the friggin t-shirt), and you’ll both say things you don’t mean. It’s okay to admit you need some time to cool down, it doesn’t make you weak. It means you respect the other person enough to not say things in the heat of the moment that could hurt them.

Once you’ve had a chance to cool down, talk it out, but actually listen to the other person this time. Do your absolute best to understand their point of view. Allow them to explain their point of view, and don’t interrupt. The fastest way to show someone you don’t respect them is to not let them finish what they’re saying. You do this to me, and I shut down. I wont talk, and you’ve just successfully shown me that you don’t respect me or my opinion, so why should I respect you or your opinion? So wait your turn.

The flip side of that is don’t try and dominate the conversation to the point where the other person has no choice but to interrupt you, because it sends the same exact message, just in a different way. By not letting the other person speak, you are telling them that your opinion matters so much more than theirs, that you’re just going to keep talking until they see it your way. Do you realize how condescending that sounds? My dad would do this to me ALL THE TIME, and eventually, I just gave up. He would scream over me and constantly interrupt me, which told me that my feelings didn’t matter. Have that done to you enough times, and even the most stubborn person (exhibit B, ME) will eventually give up. I don’t really engage him in conversation anymore, and when he brings up things he knows pisses me off, I just shut down until he gets the point that I’m not going to engage with him.

Last, and most important, is to actually look for a compromise that works for both people. Obviously, there are things that you won’t be able to compromise on (whether to have kids or not, for example), and if you find yourself in that position, think long and hard about whether or not this is something you can get past, and if its not, be honest with the other person. If you lie to the other person and yourself about this, it will breed resentment in your relationship, and you will be miserable, so don’t back down on something just to stay in a relationship that isn’t going to work for you long term.

 

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3 thoughts on “Relationships 101: Compromise

  1. “By not letting the other person speak, you are telling them that your opinion matters so much more than theirs, that youโ€™re just going to keep talking until they see it your way.” Can I get that cross-stitched onto a sampler for Sean for Christmas?? LOL The hell of it is that he gets SO INTO stating his opinion/side of things that he doesn’t actually even hear what I’m saying anymore. It’s annoying and the reason why it takes DAYS for us to resolve things when an issue does arise.

    ~4 or so months ago when we having an argument about something (I don’t even remember what) he complained that we don’t compromise. No…we don’t. 9 times out of 10, whatever it is doesn’t matter enough for me to compromise on it, I just let him have what he wants. For instance, he doesn’t like certain vegetables. I don’t make them. Sometimes I’ll order them when we’re out because I eat all the things, but I’m not going to insist that he eat or even try them. I’m not going to make something that only I like and have it go bad in the fridge before I can finish it. I didn’t really want to move to Michigan (or any of the other options we might have had this last round, to be honest), but this was where he could get a job that pays well, so I sucked (suck – present tense) it up and went with it/have tried to make the best of it. The other 1-out-of-10 times are things that I won’t compromise on; things like I will not play second fiddle to any other woman for him. There have been a few instances where I have been backed into a corner and have had to say, “Me or her.” and 100% meant it. He knows he would feel the same way if I ever put him in that situation, but, oh, yes…I don’t put him in that position so…I don’t think I’m wrong and he has yet to be able to provide a sturdy argument for why I would be “wrong” so… ๐Ÿ˜›

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    1. I can’t cross-stitch to save my life, but you’re more than welcome to use the quote any way you want, though he might not appreciate it ๐Ÿ˜€

      On second thought, if you find someone to do it, have them do a second one for me so I can give it to my dad.

      Liked by 1 person

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