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Monday, October 1, 2012

Change vs Compromise

So you're not happy with some aspect of your life?

What is it? 

Your Weight, Your Job, Your Marriage, Your Debt, Your Loneliness, Your Emotions, Your Social Interaction,Your Parenting, Your Parents.... Pick one or two or three..... Hell - make a list.... and then what?

Prioritize.... what is it you are most unhappy with?

And then identify whether you have total control of that element of your life or if you have to work with someone else to improve that element of your life.

You know what? 

I'll bet you that 90% of the elements that you want to work on will require you to make the following decision....

Do I affect the change myself or expect a change from someone else......


Do I work with someone else to make those changes?

In other words, other people are involved besides you.

Which boils down to....

Change vs Compromise.

How's that? 

Pretty simple.... if there is another person or persons involved and they have partial control or influence over some aspect of something you are unhappy about you have 2 choices:

  1. You take sole responsibility for the Change (You make the Change) or You place sole responsibility for the Change on the Other Person (You Expect Them to Make the Change).  Obviously, this requires either Change from You or Change from Them but little Change between the 2 of You.
  2. Work with that person on a compromise between what they want and what you want to achieve a "middle ground" happiness.  This requires Change from Each Person designed to Meet the Needs of the Other Person.
Let me expand on each option a little bit with a real world example..... a relationship or marriage in trouble.

Let's take the typical scenario....

The man is unhappy with the physical part of his marriage, the intimacy, the sex.

The woman is unhappy with the understanding (I love this one - it's so nebulus) and communication aspects of the marriage.

Under Option 1 - Change (through Individual action), either partner can elect to take matters into their own hands and select from the following options (or some others not listed):

Note:  Notice how "sterile" this approach is.... it requires no communication between the parties... it just requires Self-ish action.
  • Seek individual counseling.
  • Have an affair.
  • Get a divorce.
  • None of the Above.... you name the option ______.
Under Option 2 - Compromise, both partners sit down and discuss what they want and what they need from the relationship... what they are unhappy about. 

Quick Note - It's likely that some damage may have already been done to the relationship to this point.... so it may take some TIME and PATIENCE, let me say those 2 words again..... it may take some TIME and PATIENCE.... to get to this point.... Maybe a Counselor is necessary.... but for the purpose of this example, let's assume the couple are self aware, level headed and reasonable enough to at least discuss each other's needs.

Let's go through some Steps to Compromise here with a little Role Play:
  • Husband tells the Wife he wants more Hugging, Kissing and Sex. 
  • Wife tells the Husband she wants more Understanding and Communication.
  • Now here's the sticking point, the point where almost every compromise fails.... Each Person has to be specific about the changes they feel are necessary to improve the other's shortcomings.
  • So the Wife, listening to the Husband's concerns, says "Ok, Rambo" (not really.... unless that's his real name).... redo.... "Ok, Honey (now that's better already - what guy doesn't like Honey (Ok - maybe it's too sticky - but I digress)), so how often would you like to have sex?"
  • First of all, the guy is all ears and googly eyed because the more SOB ain't had sex in umpteen months and now his wife is asking him how often.... little tip here Guys..... go for something reasonable.... cause #1 - you can't do it 6 times a day and B - even if you could, there's other things to do in life like your job or your kids or golf or Fantasy Football or Poker or whatever.... anyway, here's some stats on frequency of sex data just so you have some basis for your expectations....
  • So the guy exercises some good judgment and says "Sweetie (cause he knows she likes to be called that), I would love to have your beautiful body close to mine and make love to you at least 3 times a week."
  • And the woman responds..... "Darling, I would love to do that but I just don't feel the connection between us right now and I need you to listen to me about the troubles I've been having at work and I need help with the kids and the house".
  • And the man says...."Baby, I can do that.... Let's get up an extra 15 minutes early in the morning and have coffee together and go for a short walk and you can tell me what's going on at the office and what I can do to help with the kids.... Oh and I'll unload the dishwasher tomorrow morning before I head to work".
  • And the woman says "You'd do that for me? How 'bout we go to dinner tonight and snuggle a little after?"..... Any red blooded American male knows what "snuggle" means!
Is the scenario and dialog above realistic?

Maybe....Maybe not....

But you'd be amazed at what can happen with a little attention and effort and Compromise..... from both sides.

You never know until you try.

So what'll it be....

Do You Want to Watch Someone Dance?

Or Do You Want to Dance With Them?

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