Tips on Compromising
Compromise and communication: love it or hate it, it’s a necessary part of our lives. There are a lot of times when partners disagree with one another, and it can be a battle to come up with a solution. Healthy discussions are great, but, speaking from experience, being unwilling to compromise or being stubborn can hurt relationships. Avoiding a subject or putting off an important discussion can also be detrimental to communication.
While there is never one right answer to how to compromise and communicate effectively, I have a few tips that might make the situation easier.
Realize that you won’t always get your way.
Relationships are a two-way street, and each partner in the relationship must be willing to change. That is why a discussion is necessary. By talking in a calm and controlled manner, you can understand how the other person sees the situation. You can share your beliefs and your emotions. You can then have a discussion on the best way to proceed.
Make important decisions as a team. Relationships thrive on making decisions together. When one person is making all the decisions, that can cause resentment on either party. The person making the decisions might get tired of the other not contributing. The one being told what the decisions are might get sick of having to do what they might not agree with, but feel they need to go along with.
Don’t avoid the subject.
It is always best to rip the band aid right off. If there is something bothering you, the longer you let it sit beneath the surface, the worse you are going to feel about it, and the stronger your reaction will be when the problem finally comes out. Here’s an example: you believe your partner loads the dishwasher “wrong.” You want them to be doing the dishes, but when you go to unload the dishwasher, you get angry because plates are too close together, blocking the sprayers. You decide that they will do better next time… and then they don’t. This cycle continues until one night, a full-blown argument breaks out.
What could have saved this argument? Communication and compromise! Maybe the compromise would be for you to load the dishwasher and your partner to unload it. Or maybe they didn’t realize that a plate was blocking the sprayer. Either way, avoiding the subject is a sure-fire way to create an even bigger argument.
Don’t put the other person on the defensive.
Bring up the situation by saying words that invoke a sense of calm instead of coming at them aggressively. It’s not always just what you say – it is how you say it. It might be worth your time to write down what you want to say. Even if it’s just a bulleted list, you won’t forget a point you wanted to bring up if the conversation gets sidetracked.
There are a lot of ways to actively compromise and communicate with your partner. The biggest takeaway is that we can’t be right all the time - as much as we might like to be. A relationship will thrive if compromise and communication are at the top of your mind. What tips do you have for compromise and communication that have worked well for you?