Compromise with your partner can be tough. Some issues are easier than others, but even small things that seem trivial can blow up if not discussed with respect and a open mind and heart. Here are 3 tips to help next time you and your partner go toe to toe.
1. Do Your Best to Know Your Partner
You might be thinking, ” of course I know my partner, we’ve been together for years!” But, do you really? Are there things that you once knew about your partner that may no longer be true? People change over the years, including their hopes and dreams. Before you get to a issue that needs compromise, it is important to lay the groundwork. If you know your partner’s inner world (their desires, dream, fears, dislikes), it can help you better understand where they are coming from during a disagreement.
2. Be Prepared To Be a Little Disappointed
Being upset about the way a compromise worked out is completely fine. However, it is not fine to allow that disappointment to color the rest of your relationship. No snide remarks or pouting. No ” well, you had your way last time, so now it’s my turn!” Your relationship is not a competition! There is no winner and loser, you are both on the same side. When in a discussion, think about ” What part of my partner’s request am I comfortable agreeing to?” You don’t have to agree with everything and you don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept and respect your partner’s point of view.
3. Focus on your goals
So many times in a compromise situation, we get bogged down in the details and the emotion of the other person’s request. We get defensive, anticipating a threat or how this request will inconvenience OUR lives in some way. Try to identify your shared dream or goal in the interaction. Does the fact that your partner wants you to work less hours because they are “selfish” or is it because they are lonely and want to spend more time with you? Is this something that is important to you, also? It is important to trust each other enough to get down to the dream or the need that may be buried somewhere deep.