Lynn Yeo || Contributing Writer
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over two million marriages in 2014. However, about 800 thousand of those end in divorce. When it comes to personal relationships between family and friends, finding the middle ground is what keeps these relationship going. According to Psychology Today, compromise is part of relationships, and most couples over time become acutely sensitive to each other’s likes and dislikes.
Compromise is not a “tug of war,” where one party loses and the other wins. It is a balancing scale in which partners look for the optimal decision for both individuals. Here are some tips for mastering the art of finding the middle ground, and improving personal relationships.
You don’t always have to win, but you don’t always have to lose either.
Most of us have had our fair share of compromising, especially if you grew up as the oldest sibling in the family. Most kids learn from a very young age that they don’t always win, but they don’t always have to lose either. To put it in the simplest of forms, all we have to do is share.
Be open-minded and be willing to accept suggestions from others
This is the crucial part of compromise. You should know that you don’t always have to be right. The US is an individualistic society and it is understood that we sometimes think our opinions matter more than other’s opinions. When it comes to compromising with a loved one, we should know what we are fighting for and when to let go. It is true that our perspectives make us who we are, but if we are unwilling to accept the perspectives of others, then we fail to compromise. What we think might not be always true, so be open and listen to the suggestions of others and go on from there.
Understand that compromise is not sacrifice
A relationship would not work out if one keeps taking and the other keeps sacrificing. Maria Droste Counseling Center’s website states that a synonym of sacrificing is “resigning”. A healthy relationship is all about knowing when to give and take. A relationship becomes destructive when one party takes too much and the other gives up much of themselves, thus leading the relationship to fall apart.
Empathy is an admirable trait a person should have. Empathy is not when you feel sorry for someone. Psychologytoday.com states that empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. It is the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes, understand where they are coming from and why they do what they do. When we understand the reason behind their doings from their perspective, it would be easier when it comes to decision making in a relationship.
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
When in doubt, talk it out! The key to a successful relationship is communication. Talk to your partner about your feelings about a situation that you might be going through or uncomfortable about. It is important that your voice is heard and your partner’s as well. Compromising is all about meeting halfway.
Let things go
Know that you don’t have to always be right. Even if you feel that you have to be correct maybe it’s someone else’s turn. Be sure to not bring up anything from the past that is irrelevant to the current situation, it might make things worse. Only fight for what you stand for and learn to let things go or else you may end up angry and bitter all the time and it just isn’t worth it.
“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious” – Sun Tzu