By Enid Westerlund 17 May 2023, 1:00PM

There is a lot to be said about compromise, finding the middle ground in a relationship is not easy work. It means two parties coming together for criticaldecision making around how they will live together, spend their time and accomplish things. When we are in conflict with each other, there is pushing and pulling at both ends, no one wins. It can be very stressful situations regardless of how healthy and happy your relationship is. People are not the same. You and your spouse or friend are not the same so we are bound to experience friction and disagreements in relationships. There are differences in opinions, food, entertainment options, hobbies and so forth. Compromise is necessary ever so often if we want to make things work. This is what I have learnt this week.

Compromise is the settlement of differences by mutual concession. It doesn’t mean you completely agree with the other person. Far from it and it is healthy to maintain your personal values, beliefs, opinions and preferences while still meeting halfway.

Not all of us have learnt to do this by watching our parents and other adults in our lives. There is far too much dysfunction in today’s family settings to assume that we will learn this early on in life from the adults who are supposed to be responsible. for things to work there are a few tips suggested by The source, 2022.

1. The Sacrifice is mutual not one sided: In many relationships, there’s one person who’s naturally more giving, so it’s easier for that person to make the other person and sacrifice in order for things to go smoothly. Consistent one sided compromise is common in unhealthy relationships where one person does most of the work, heavy lifting, caring and over time, this person can feel taken advantage of and will grow tired. We all will feel this way at times especially when it comes to people we love. Have you ever felt like there is a stranger living in your house? Like the person you married is just someone else?

This can also lead to resentment and frustration which sometimes will lead to the breakdown of the relationship.

While both parties are coming from different perspectives, for a healthy relationship, both people need to consistently give up something and it is never easy. We must be willing to give up something to reach an agreement. You will have to take some time to reach a reasonable compromise for both people. When you are married and have children, this becomes more complicated or easier.

2. There is good intent: You may not always see eye to eye and happy all the time but you must bring your best to the table. Just do your best and it is completely normal for you not to feel in a giving mood. Being manipulative, selfish or angry will not do you any favours. We must actively say and do things to help in the relationship and not make others feel guilty if they don’t sacrifice more. If both people are interested enough in the success of the relationship that they approach compromise with a giving, humble desire to see any disagreement settled.

3. Both people to maintain their unique identities: Do not lose yourself in a relationship. Do not give up aspects of yourself and your values just to please other people. If you do, it will endanger individuality and your own soul. A good relationship means encouraging each other’s uniqueness to flourish. Both people should shine in a relationship and you shouldn’t dim your own sparkle for the other person. While we enjoy this skitzo weathered week, let us compromise when it comes to the important things. Everyone deserves to live a life of their own and not lower themselves to put others on the pedestal. Communicate properly because at the end of the day we have to be patient with ourselves and others. 

By Enid Westerlund 17 May 2023, 1:00PM
Samoa Observer

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