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Jennifer Seip, MA Individual, Couples & Sex Therapy
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Love, Sex & Life Blog

The Art Of Compromise

The Art Of Compromise

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I’m sure you’ve heard this story before. You and your partner are trying to make a decision. For example, let’s say you’re planning a vacation. You want to go to a nice relaxing beach resort and they want to go hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Because you’ve been watching my video’s, you plan to figure out which place will be best to visit over a great conversation and some compromise this Wednesday night during your Wednesday Check-In Therefore, you’ve been thinking all day exactly how you will be framing your argument in favor of the beach. You’re compromise?

“Next time, I promise we will do the hiking thing.”

By the time you’re check-in starts, you’re ready. Then BAM! A great conversation just turned into another argument. You think,

“how could that have gone so wrong?” 

Compromise is a lot easier said then done. It truly is an art form that must be mastered. This conversation went cross-wired because this person never intended to really compromise. Sure, they came up with a solution that they thought would be favorable to their partner, but in reality, they never entered the conversation with a plan to listen to other opinions. It was one sided from the beginning and ended in disaster.

If you want to master the art of compromise, you must first do a self analysis. What is it that you absolutely cannot and will not sacrifice? These are things that you won’t budge on. For instance, I will absolutely not go deep sea diving. Even with lessons, I would be too scared. I also, will not go back-packing through the woods. No way. I can sleep in a tent but I need a car and access to some technology.

Secondly, you must be willing to hear the other person out and most importantly accept some influence from them. Hear what they are saying, be willing to agree and you must even be available to change your mind when their version makes more sense. 

Thirdly, you must understand what your partners non negotiable are and why they believe in them. We cannot expect for someone to accept us if we do not accept them.

From there a compromise can be made.

Everyone wins something and everyone loses something. The vital thing is that you leave feeling heard, understood, and respected.  Remember that you’re in a partnership now and that you’re not always going to get everything you want. But being in a relationship teaches us how to grow and how to think about the ones we love.