by Jackie Lapin
We live in a fast-paced world, where there are interactions between many different people – friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, even online friends!
Many of us find it very difficult to know when compromise is the right thing to do – especially if you are a woman.
Too often women compromise as a matter of course because we are the peace makers or because we feel that we are the weaker party in a relationship. Furthermore, by feeling the pressure of being superwomen with all of the responsibilities on our shoulders, we compromise because it is easier. But none of those are necessarily the right reasons for choosing a course of action.
Compromise for women–or men for that matter—should be based on not what is convenient, less-resistant, from a position of weakness or obligation. It should come from a position of strength.
[box type=”success” align=”aligncenter” ]To know when to compromise and when not to, is really to know how to live a more authentic life. [/box]
Compromise is the ideal solution if two parties have differing needs, intentions or preferences, but a common goal to create mutual success from a joint effort. Compromise can be a well-thought-out strategy for two people or companies to achieve a middle ground that provides each of them benefit. Compromise can also be used as a means to give up something in the short run to achieve something greater in the long run—which could simply be trust.
But compromise must not be a person’s default position because of low-self esteem or a desire to please. Giving in to someone who is bullying or manipulating you is not authentic. You are sublimating your own desires or integrity for the sake of someone else. Compromise when you truly want to do so, not because you feel you have to, have no choice or feel devalued. Be true to your own soul and spirit.
Nor should one compromise because they are being pressured to relinquish their values, or give up their standards. If you are being asked to sacrifice your values, than stand your ground. No compromise should be acceptable if it violates your beliefs and values.
Compromise should ask an equal amount of both parties. If a compromise requires one party to give up far more than the other, the ultimate result will be resentment and it is likely that the compromise will fail. If you are the party with the power, give other people their dignity and allow the compromise to be an act of generosity on both sides. However, don’t simply resist compromising because you are stubborn. Recognize when there is value in compromising, and loosen the reigns. The more you give up, in some cases, the more you can ultimately gain.
Compromise can be a wonderful way to create peace in a confrontational situation. But compromise for the sake of peace only is destined to fall apart. Each party must come away with a sense of gain in order to sustain that peace…It can’t just be a way to keep everyone quiet.
Compromise with children must come from a place of strength, not weakness. It cannot be a way just to shush a child. It must be a form of give-and-take, a way to teach values, a clear understanding that you still hold the power. The child must not come away thinking he or she has gotten the better of you. That would undermine your authority and give the child the wrong message.
So really think hard when you are asked to compromise. Ask yourself these questions in each and every situation to be sure it is the right thing to do:
- Is this the right circumstance,
- Am I being asked too much,
- Am I truly willing to give up my position,
- Does this keep me in my integrity,
- Is this my authentic self speaking,
- What is to be gained, and
- Am I being asked to sacrifice my values or my self-esteem?
Only when you have answered the above questions will you be able to make the right choice – should you compromise or not, and if so, what will be the best compromise to make.