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Give and take, push and pull.

Compromising is the task of two people presenting one side of an argument, and through discussion (and some hard work), achieving the goal of meeting in the middle in order to somewhat meet the needs of all parties involved. As simple as compromising sounds in terms of all relationships, when it comes to actually putting the art of compromise into practice, it’s easier said than done. So why is it so hard? For two reasons: Many people are selfish and want things to go their way. And in some cases, people may not know how to compromise without setting their expectations too low or too high. So how does someone reasonably compromise?

For one, let the other party state what they want. Once you fully understand what they’re saying, then you share what exactly you want. Listen to what you both have to say and try your best to make a decision together. Not only will this help in compromising, but it will help strengthen your communication.

Secondly, be sure that everyone has reached a happy medium when it comes to the decision made. The whole point of compromising is to meet each other in the middle so that things balance out for both parties involved. This is the hardest part of compromising because it’s the first real step toward putting everything into practice.

Thirdly, be mindful of your standards, but keep an open mind. Be open to new suggestions that may take you out of your comfort zone. It’s okay to move in a different direction as long as your basic non-negotiables aren’t forgotten or overlooked. Besides, this can be an opportunity for growth and discovery of something new that you may like that could benefit you and your relationship.

Also, be mature enough to be selfless, but wise enough not to sell yourself short. This can be tricky for the simple fact that when you’re not being selfish, you’re vulnerable and unguarded, and sometimes people can take this for weakness. In order to avoid being taken advantage of, you must set boundaries for yourself. That way, you won’t come up short and you will still be able to find balance.

And last but definitely not least, remove all petty differences and focus on building the relationship together. Many people fail to compromise within their relationships because of something one person did in the past that is being held over their head. And sometimes people are just too busy focusing on small things within the relationship rather than looking at the bigger picture. Trivial matters in life and love, and old wounds holding us back, can and should be overlooked when it comes to being happy and working towards meaningful goals as a unit.

In order for a relationship to maintain strength, stability and growth, all parties involved must learn to compromise. It takes two to tango, and it takes two to make a thing go right. Everything can’t just be one way all the time. Take time to learn the art of compromising, but don’t sell yourself or your partner short.

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For and advocate for single women. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.

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