Day 148 Question 148:
Is compromise a good or bad thing?
Compromise is one of those things that can be both good and bad. It is obviously something that is completely circumstantial. According to an online dictionary, the following is a definition of compromise:
An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.
Settle a dispute by mutual concession.
noun. agreement – accommodation – settlement – conciliation
verb. come to terms
So, I met a guy this past weekend….unsure if it will go anywhere or not….not going to stress about it either way. We ended up going down to the beach and we talked for about 2+ hours. We discussed past dating situations and just where we were at in life. I stated my views on relationships and the changes I have made in my life. I admitted that in the past I would compromise myself, my beliefs, my wants and my needs to meet the needs of the person I was dating. I have decided (very firmly) I would no longer do that. In my opinion, that just makes for an unhealthy and (for the most part) dishonest relationship. In truth, there was no agreements or concessions being made, I was giving up myself to please someone else.
I believe strongly in compromise in certain situations. For a relationship (of any form) to be successful compromise is a must. It is guaranteed that at some point two people are either not going to agree about something or are not want to do the same thing and the solution is to meet at middle ground…TO COMPROMISE. This can be tricky though. How much does one bend? How often should one compromise? If there is the need for constant compromise, is the relationship really healthy?
We all have wants and needs for a reason. We all think and act as we do for a reason. I love being exposed to different ideas and different points of views and there have been many times that I have changed my actions and my viewpoints because of this. I, however, feel inside of me that there are certain things I am unable to compromise on…no matter how much someone may try to persuade me or twist my arm. I have also been in the situation where I have compromised and felt so completely guilty for doing that. For example, I worked for a nonprofit organization that focused on positive youth development. We recruited over 200 students from 6-12th grade and these students did various community service projects and were part of different teen outreach classes. The students were always coming into our office to visit with the staff. The staff was made up of only 3 women (myself being 1 of them). The two other women were natives of the town and were first cousins. They were devout Christians (which I had great respect for). The two of them were constantly bringing religion into the organization which went against the rules of the grants that we were working under and on more than one occasion I heard one of the staff members say to the students that “gay people had something wrong with them.” She was more or less implying that homosexuality was a sickness. I respect people for having their viewpoints and have strong beliefs but IN MY OPINION, this crossed a HUGE line. I spoke up and expressed my concerns but my concerns were swept under the rug. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I was desperately needed a job and I loved working with the kids but I was working in an environment in which I did not agree with the way things were being done at all. I felt that the actions of the staff members (and even a few of the board members) were extremely inappropriate. I compromised my beliefs in order to keep a job. I felt guilty about this for a very long time. I felt like I was giving up a big part of myself to collect a paycheck…I needed that paycheck though in order to pay my bills and have a roof over my head. There was a very big divide between these two staff members and myself and the more time went by the bigger the divide became. The grant that I was working under was not renewed because of the downfall of the economy. The money was just not there. It sucked to be out of a job and I hated to collect unemployment but it was a HUGE sigh of relief. Compromising oneself can bring so much stress to a person both mentally and physically. I needed out and although the circumstances were not the best, my wish came true.
Compromise can be one of those tricky things. It requires a great deal of balance and what I believe to be a great deal of knowing oneself. Throughout life we are constantly learning who we are and it is so important to expose ourselves to as much as possible. It is the things outside of ourselves that help us understand what we believe in and why. I believe that the more we know ourselves, the more we are able to decide what things we will compromise on and what things we won’t.