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Monday, July 1, 2013

Compromise is not Surrender

The compromise between Black and White is Gray.

When you look up the word compromise in the dictionary you get definitions like: A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.

Doesn’t that sound like a 50/50 deal to you? 

From things I have been seeing on line and in life lately it feels like people assume compromise is a synonymy for Surrender.

To surrender is, to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand.

Yikes, those are two things you do not want to get mixed up!

I know from a recent conversation I had with a friend going through a divorce/separation there can be relationships where one person always feels like they are surrendering or giving more in the compromise AND the pendulum never swings back the other way.

So when it should be 70/30 sometimes and 30/70 on others and still 50/50 more of the time it might be 80/20 again and again with them being on the short end of the negotiation beginning to feel smaller and smaller or more and more powerless as time goes by.

Yes, I guess I can see how these terms can get a bad rap. 

Still I think it might help people to understand when they are negotiating in a bad relationship and thus less likely to get to a neat and tidy end result in the coming decades and when they are simply going through a rough patch or maybe even needing to as someone on my Facebook posted “sacrifice the selfish urge to have one's own way…”.

Maybe we should teach classes in school on relationships. All too often people have no frame of reference for the idea of fighting fair when it comes to working out their differences. 

To have a fair verbal, emotional fight in a relationship means dealing with the issue at hand. 
Not being petty, mean or passive aggressive, not saying things just to win the argument that might cut your partner down or shame them. 

Fair fighting includes being willing to compromise or surrender when it will be the best thing for the relationship and the relationship is worth staying in.

People have to learn (by doing) how to relationship. It is apparently not instinctive for everyone. Furthermore we all venture out into the world with our own issues and ideas about life. 

We can often carry around problems or hang ups that need to be addressed. They are revealed when situations present themselves and our hackles are raised about something.

When was the last time you had to compromise with someone? Do you understand how to give as good as you get and not be satisfied with less? 

Do you ever start to feel in relationships like you are being taken advantage of or for granted?

Is it because you always do what they other person wants to do and have lost your voice?

Learn to negotiate and compromise. Stand up for yourself a little more. Recognize that if anyone is holding you back from that they are not doing you any favors. 

There are good books to read about learning to get what you want without turning into a curmudgeon.


  1. Not all compromise works like that. Because it's black and white thinking. Let's say one person wants to go to the beach and the other wants to eat a wonderful dinner... Doing both means it's not 80/20, 70/30, or 50/50. It's 100% for both.

    1. There was only so much I could do with under six or seven hundred words. I agree with you. I like win win and 100 100. I seem to have instinctively given as good as I have gotten in my relationships and kept from feeling less than.

      Not everyone seems to be able to navigate that strongly. It is also not always possible for both people to get exactly all that they want especially not all in the same time frame.

      Thanks for reading and chiming in. I love it!