During interpersonal conflict, when do you compromise?
Compromise is moderate toward another’s interest and moderate toward our interest. Each party in the conflict gives in a little. Consequently, we should compromise when both choices at hand are acceptable to us. The key word is acceptable. In conflict, if we can accept both choices (our initial position or the proposed compromise) because they have similar outcomes, then we should consider compromise.
Often we see compromise as similar to competing for the best deal. However, Proverbs says that we need to exercise caution in competing because we are not always as right as we think we are: “What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame” (Proverbs 25:8).
Proverbs tells us that partiality toward ourselves is not good, and it often takes very little incentive for us to demonstrate it: “To show partiality is not good — yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread” (Proverbs 28:21). Thus, compromise can be wise.
Are you in a conflict where you have hardened your heart to a workable compromise? Give in a little to the other person’s proposal to do the same or initiate a compromise.