One of the tricks to finding a better way to resolve conflict than compromising is to pay attention to what’s inside you and be open to seeing something new.
So often, when there’s conflict, it feels like you have to compromise where one person is the winner and one, the loser.
It feels like one or both of you have to “give up” something you want in order to get along and get whatever problem that’s come up resolved.
It’s so easy to fall into resentment when it seems like you’ve had to give up what you believe or want in order for there to be peace.
But resentment usually ends up killing relationships,
So what’s the answer?
How can you resolve conflict without compromising?
Here’s how one couple resolved their conflict…
Kelly and Fred always argued about money.
His income was a lot higher than hers and Kelly believed that Fred should pay for everything except for a few personal items that she bought.
Fred had become resentful, felt used and was tired of carrying the financial load for both of them.
Neither one of them wanted to compromise because they believed it wouldn’t be “fair.”
Kelly thought it was “fair” that Fred pay all their living expenses.
Fred thought it was “fair” that Kelly contribute a portion of her income to their joint account to pay for expenses.
No compromise was in sight but what did happen next was better.
They came to us and we encouraged them to take a few moments to listen to what was inside.
We urged them to listen to what they had been telling themselves and believing to be true.
When Kelly took some time to reflect on her thinking and beliefs, she saw that she had carried the idea from childhood that she needed to be taken care of by a man (first her father, then Fred) and that she couldn’t take care of herself financially.
She saw that she had been living as a little, helpless girl and she could make another choice.
When Fred took some time to reflect on where his beliefs came from, he saw that he had watched his father become resentful of his mother because he had been the sole bread-winner for many years.
His mom was a stay-at-home mom and although that was their agreement, his dad was still resentful.
Fred saw that he was just re-creating his parents’ arrangement without realizing it.
When Kelly and Fred had an honest, revealing conversation about what they each had seen inside themselves, they saw each other with more compassion and love.
They saw that they each could make some changes in themselves that would be more in alignment with the life they wanted together.
When you suspend the “I’m right”–“You’re wrong” struggle and take a pause to look inside yourself, you may be surprised at what you see.
You may be surprised that you don’t have to compromise.
While compromising is fine if you truly are okay with what you’re agreeing to…
It’s not okay with you’re doing it to keep the peace while holding in resentment.
There is a better way.
It just takes looking in a different direction and that’s love for self and love for the other person as well.