How to compromise when you really don’t fucking want to

Hi – my name is Lisette, I’m 26 and I hate compromising. I wouldn’t say I’m an inflexible person (apart from in the physical sense) I just know what I like and I expect 100% from every situation. Up until recently compromise to me was exactly as the definition states ‘accept standards that are lower than is desirable’ or ‘a settlement of a dispute reached by each side making concessions’. But if I feel like I’m in the right… why should I make concessions?

But then I realised… I’m an actual grown up. One part of being a grown up is not always getting what I want and accepting that I also need to get on with other people who probably feel the same as me – that they’re right. Along the way I’ve learnt a few things which might make compromising a little easier for you – I know they have for me…

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1.TAKE A BREATH

This is the number one thing I do when I don’t want to compromise. My immediate reaction to a situation I don’t like is to want to bark at the problem like a demented jack russell. In case it isn’t obvious… barking in an office isn’t really seen as the norm. So, when faced with a situation I find annoying I quite literally bite my tongue, count to 5 and exhale. I found that this is really important for giving me a little time to think about the best possible scenario.

2. OFFER COMPROMISES

This is a really big one that can work in work and at home with friends, family or better halves. If you can do this before tackling a situation I recommend it because thinking on the fly can be a bit tougher. Make a mental list of the things you want to achieve and aren’t willing to compromise on. Then make a second mental list of things you’re willing to compromise on. The next step is the big one – start freely offering compromises. I can hear you reeling… WHAT?!?! But hear me out, offering to compromise on certain aspects will engender a feeling of good grace and congeniality – this means that the other side are more likely to offer to compromise on the areas you won’t.

3. FIND A SPONSOR

This has been the most beneficial thing I’ve found. This can be a friend, housemate or someone you work with. A sponsor is someone you run the situation by and get what in work we call a ‘sanity check’ – to make sure your point of view is easy to understand and your requests aren’t ridiculous. They can also act as someone to vent to if things aren’t going quite as planned.

4. LEAD IT

This is similar in some ways to tip number two – offering compromises – but this is really important to ensuring you’re happy with the final compromise. If you can, always put yourself in the position where you are bringing up the need for compromise, you’re leading the discussion and

5. WRITE IT DOWN

It’s all very well ‘visualising’ what you want but the best way to make sure you don’t forget something in the ‘heat of compromise’ is to write a check list. Make sure you address every point in one go if possible otherwise you’ll be back into the compromising ring sooner than you want to be

6. LISTEN

This might sound stupid. But when you’re in a conversation you need to really listen. Try and empathise and understand the other side of the argument. Don’t just consider the ‘asks’ from the other side consider WHY they are asking them. What is the motive? If you can show that you’re really listening and understanding in the conversation the outcome will be much more positive

7. ACCEPT

Sometimes you’ll meet people in life who just aren’t willing to compromise. Accept that you can’t reach a happy compromise – in which case you either leave it and accept your differences or bring in an impartial ‘mediator’

Hopefully some of these tips will help you deal with and accept compromises a little better. Or even help you ‘win’ more battles – if you have any nuggets of wisdom comment down below or leave me a comment over on the gram!