A compromise is a way of settling differences by making concessions. If you want to stay out until 10 and your friend wants to stay out until midnight, 11 is a good compromise. Compromise comes from the Latin compromissum, which means “mutual promise.” It is the concept of a promise that gets people in trouble.
To start this off, you shouldn’t be compromising your self-esteem. You should never, ever be with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself in any way. Although all relationships indeed require some compromise, the best and healthiest relationships should also allow a lot of room to let you be yourself. In business, you should not compromise your values and think real hard about compromising your strategic plan. Those two guidelines are my boundaries when I am about to compromise.
There are times when you find yourself in an almost endless string of compromises. I find that this is a common tactic used in the compromise game. This happens over time, and sometimes it is so subtle that you get surprised when you discover that you just lost something.
The best way I know of to explain this is to use an example. The danger is that someone will claim that I am talking about them because the example matches something in the past. To overcome that problem, substitute anything you like in my example. If you don’t like an example about tools, use time off, the next vacation, or some work task. Here is my example; You have a piece of equipment, and you are asked to loan it out. You say this will never happen because this is special to you. Then the compromise comes in, but just this once they say and you are not using it anyway. Eventually you give in. Then the equipment is asked for again, and you say we agreed only once. They say, but the project has been started, he or she needs the equipment to complete, and you are not using it anyway. So much for promise one. So, you agree and say this is the last time. Then you come in, and the equipment is missing, and you search. You ask the person that was loaning it out, and they say what is your problem, you are not using it, and he or she needs it. So much for promise two.
This is where it gets messy. You can be told how much they need the equipment, or you can be shamed into giving in. Sometimes the circumstances change, and a new compromise makes sense, but often nothing has changed, and the focus is on some character flaw. The latter is the most hurtful. You give in, and eventually, the equipment never comes back. This is what the person asking wanted in the first place.
Now you are sitting on the back deck, drinking coffee, wondering what just happened. My answer is, they wore me down. At some point, I just gave up. I was thinking about buying another piece of equipment but finally said, why bother. Over time you start to shut down. My thought for the day, be wary about how much of yourself you give away.
Not everyone you meet will have the same values as you do. This story is not about a piece of equipment. It is about values, respect, and relationships. If this happens often, you lose trust in that person. If trust is lost, the relationship suffers.
Did you find some neat ideas in this blog? What are the exciting ideas you came up with, and how are you implementing them? Let me know by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on creating a strategic plan that works, contact email@example.com.