I was having a really insightful conversation the other day with someone about relationships and how we are often preaching compromise as the solution to all conflict and problems and I was struck by something really startling in this conversation. The question that jumped out at my was how do we know if we are compromising or being compromised?
So often in relationships, whether it be our partner, family member, friend or co-worker, we are really focused on finding common ground and resolution to our conflict. But what happens if the common ground we find ourselves standing on is ground that we are not truly comfortable with? What if the said "equal footing" is a space where we begin to realize that we are compromising the most essential parts of ourselves? Our morals, our values, our beliefs?
How do we safeguard against this and how do we regain the footing onto ground that is safe, secure and built out of respect?
This is my two cents on how to achieve just that:
1. Before you agree to compromise, run it through your internal filter of beliefs, morals and values to be sure that it isn't in conflict with any othem.
2. Make sure that the compromise is not only for the good of the relationship, but also good for you as an individual.
3. Make sure that the compromise is something you can stand behind and stick to. There is no sense in saying "Yes" when your head is screaming out "No".
4. If a proposed compromise doesn't feel right to you, say something. You should never feel obligated to say "Yes" or agree with someone if it goes against who you are as a person.
If reading gets you thinking about the difference between compromsing and being compromised, I would love to hear from you. I would also love to hear about the ways in which you have regained footing when you have felt things shift into the realm of being compromised.
And lastly, if you have felt yourself being compromised and would like to recalibrate your relationship so that it is full of compromise, respect and love...give me a call! Now may be the perfect time to work on just that in individual or couples counseling.