Compromise, By Lorie Sheffer

When did compromise become a dirty word? When did it become something that is seen as a sign of weakness? What has become of our sense of fairness to everyone?

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of give and take being something that should be avoided at all costs.  I suppose the idea of compromise, as a sign of fairness to everyone, is just too ingrained in me. I am not an only child. I grew up with an older brother. We get along fairly well, but always have had very different interests. I have memories of wasting a good beach day by touring a stupid, boring battle ship when we were on family vacations. We had one television set and sometimes I had to give it up so that he could watch a football game. If one of my friends was at the house for a sleepover, my brother had to listen to the baseball game on the radio because we were watching a movie on TV.

As an adult, I have used the ability to compromise on an almost daily basis. One time an unmarried female friend of mine asked me why, if I love English floral patterns so much, there aren’t more of them in my house. Why do I have a pair of antique wooden skis on my wall in the family room when I detest skiing? The answer is simple; I do not live alone. My husband lives here, too. I have a few Dale Gallon civil war prints (Yuck!) on the walls of the living room, and there are antique botanical prints (YAY!) in the dining room. I will not have the Shaker style kitchen cabinets that were my first choice for our new kitchen, nor will my husband have his first choice of cabinet style. We compromised on a style that we both like.

When we get so entrenched in having to have our own way no matter the cost, it seems to me that we end up as miserable as the person with whom we are doing battle. Sometimes it all boils down to this: Do you want to win at all costs, or do you want to find a way to peacefully coexist in a world where you just cannot always expect to get your own way?

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.