Compromise is vital in any relationship, whether it’s with coworkers, friends, family members or your partner. It’s important to know when to stand your ground, but also to know which battles are worth fighting. Check out these seven tips on learning to compromise, and how it will help improve any of your relationships.
1. Don’t always try to be right.
The first problem with fights is that everyone involved wants to be right. We all want to win! It’s understandable that you feel that way, but it’s something you need to stop feeling. When you want to win, you’re not listening to the other side of the argument or conversation. Suspend your need to be right and listen to your partner, friend or coworker.
2. Let things go.
Needing to be right is just the first thing you need to let go of. Don’t hold so tightly to all the past wrongs the person may have done for you. The saying is “Forgive and forget”, not “Forgive but hold a grudge”. Just because you got into a disagreement with your spouse a few weeks ago doesn’t mean it’s relevant to the one you’re having today.
3. Rethink your expectations.
Have you ever kept an argument going just because you were on a roll? But halfway through, found that you weren’t really passionate about what you were fighting for? It’s tough to admit, but it can happen a lot. One way to avoid this is to stay calm when a discussion arises so you’re not pulled into a fight. Keep your emotions in check and think about what you really want, both from your life and from the relationship. Is it important you stand your ground so firmly, or would everything still be ok if you gave in a little bit? This is important in all relationships, whether it’s with your kids, your siblings, your partner or your coworkers.
4. Be willing to change.
After you rethink your expectations, be willing to act on the changes as you see fit. It’s one thing to say you’re willing to compromise, but another thing entirely to actually act on that change. A major part of compromising is actually following through with the resolution. This will show others that you’re willing to compromise completely, not just make false promises in order to end a fight.
5. Share your beliefs and emotions.
Compromising is about meeting halfway. Don’t forsake yourself and what you believe in in order to be seen as a great compromiser. Make sure that you express your beliefs and emotions about the situation. Everyone involved in the situation needs to be heard, and the easiest way to do this is to clearly and honestly state their parts. Use “me” and “I” statements so it’s clear that this is how you feel, and that you’re not trying to force your feelings or opinions on others. If your issue is at work, make sure you don’t over-share your emotions — stay professional, but make sure you’re heard loud and clear.
6. Show appreciation.
No matter the resolution of the compromise, make sure you show your appreciation to others involved. Being willing to compromise, instead of fighting until the finish, is an admirable trait. Make sure you show how much you appreciate the other person working with you to find the best solution. Take time to evaluate the solution together and express what you like about it. Being appreciative of the positive social interaction and how working together to find the best solution made you feel.
7. Keep an open mind.
You made it through a compromise intact! How does it feel? Remember this for next time. It’s important to keep an open mind — not only for future compromises, but also in all future interactions. Keeping an open mind, being willing to change your expectations, and not trying to be right in the first place might help you avoid arguments in the future. But even if you can’t — at least you know how to compromise!
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