Growing up, you were probably taught to compromise in friendships and relationships. You were probably told that compromising benefits the situation and creates a resolution. However, you were not told that when you compromise, not everyone’s feelings benefit.
We often confuse compromising with collaboration. When it comes to making decisions with people, it should be based on collaborative thinking. Compromising usually only benefits one side while forgetting the other.
For example, everyone has that friend that calls them asking for a favor. In your mind, you are telling yourself that you don’t want to do it and would rather stay in bed. But, your lips move quicker than your thoughts and you tell your friend that you will do it. Your friend benefited, but you did not.
Ask yourself: “If I ever need my friend to do a favor for me, will they do it?” Nine times out of 10, most won’t or they would be hesitant to do so.
Compromise means accepting standards that are lower than desirable. How does that sound fair? Compromising in a friendship or relationship requires negotiation. We shouldn’t have to negotiate - we should respect each other’s views, opinions, wants and needs, then figure out how to collaborate to find common ground.
I am the friend that compromises all the time, and I am tired of it. I always use the excuse that I have a big heart, but that’s not it. I have a hard time telling my friends “no” when they need me to do something. Countless times, I have done things that I didn’t want to do. And when I ask my friends to do something for me, I don’t get a simple “yes” like I gave them.
I guess my friends learned sooner about not compromising than I did. I thought it was them just being selfish, but we are both being hypocrites.
You have to realize that your happiness matters most, and that you shouldn’t ever go against the things that benefit you. Being the victim of compromising and constantly pushing my feelings to the side, I once forgot the things that actually make me happy.
It soon led me into depression because I wasn’t friends with the people I compromised for. After the friendships and relationship ended, it was hard to get to know myself again.
You need to prevent this from happening, it isn’t worth your health. If the people in your life do not respect your desires, than they aren’t meant to be in your life, and vice versa.
"Solutions developed in a compromise framework may lead to increased frustration when needs aren't being met and less innovation because the solutions are not optimal for either side," professional mediator and attorney Ellen F. Kandell said.
Being such a compromising person has caused me to be a pushover without noticing. I accepted a lot of unacceptable things in relationships and no one ever asked me how I felt or what I wanted to do.
It has now caused me to be standoffish with new people and not allow others to get close. I do things on my own and I find a way to do things without the help of others.
Happiness is the greatest form of wealth, and you shouldn’t let anyone come in between you and your happiness. It isn’t worth it.
Do not compromise. Do the things that you want to do, and express that to your partner.
Te’Kayla Pittman is a 19-year-old mass communication major from Atlanta, Georgia.