Have you ever wondered how to make relationships less difficult? A relationship is defined by: “The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.” They come in all shapes and sizes. In connection with people, we don’t always get to choose our relationships. Find out a key way to make relationships less difficult. Why do we struggle so much with some and others come so naturally?
I am a wife, sister, mother, daughter, aunt, teacher, co-worker, granddaughter, and friend. Each of these relationships are different and vary. I have been a grand-daughter, sister, and daughter all of my life. I’ve been a friend to many for most of my life. The rest of these relationships came along later in life. Many of you can probably agree that some of these relationships come easy and some are very difficult to maintain.
Many of the above relationships I did not choose. You do not get to choose your parents, grandparents, kids, siblings, or other family members. That is the reason why some of these relationships are difficult. In general, you do have some control over who your spouse, friends, and co-workers are. In some cases, you are very limited to how much control you have over choosing some of these relationships.
Regardless of choosing or not choosing, these are the relationships you need to maintain in your life. I recently helped my children through an argument they were having last night. They were disagreeing about what they should play. One wanted to play Barbies and the other wanted to play “library.” Apparently, they played Barbies yesterday, so the logical choice would be to play “library” today. However, my youngest didn’t want to play library. I explained to her how we compromise. She got what she wanted yesterday so today she should compromise and play what her sister wanted today. Then everyone gets to play what they want. Compromise is a very hard thing for children to do but if you begin to show them how it works, they start to understand. Teaching this just might decrease the fighting at your house and make your kids relationships less difficult for them!
The same is true of any relationship. Compromise is the key. Compromise is also one of the most difficult things to do, but it will make your relationships fair a lot better. For instance, take a teacher and student relationship. Obviously, the teacher is in control and in charge of the relationship. However, a teacher will see better results if they work “with” the student. Let’s say the teacher has been teaching 20 years and has been writing notes on the board and having the kids copy them. This year a student is having trouble keeping up and never has his notes done. His grades are dropping due to this inability to take notes. The teacher could keep going the way they have for 20 years or they could compromise and offer an outline with minimal notes the students has to fill in. It’s a win for both the teacher and the student. The teacher wants to see the student succeed and the student will achieve better grades and learn more if they are not spending the entire class frantically trying to take notes. They both benefit from the compromise.
Friendship is also a great place to compromise. Sometimes this is an easier compromise. Friendship is usually a relationship you want to maintain. It is not one you have to maintain. If it is not a friendship you want to keep, then it’s not something you will care to work on. We enjoy friendship and it is healthy to have friends in your life. However, just like every relationship, it takes work and compromise. A friendship left unattended tends to die. Also, a friendship that has no compromise should also wither. It may not if one end of the friendship is always giving and the other is always taking. However, this is not friendship and it is certainly not a healthy relationship. Friends help each other out. Friends cheer each other up. Friends celebrate with each other. If all of this is only one-sided, I don’t think you have a friendship. Sometimes you do the things you don’t want to because your friend asked you to. You compromise. That’s what friends are for!
Let’s not forget marriage. This is definitely one of the biggest relationships of your life. You chose this person to be your companion for the rest of your life. You made a promise to be there for them until you die. I do not take those promises lightly and I hope you don’t either. Sometimes it’s so hard, right? They left all the dirty dishes for you, they walk over the mess, they leave the toliet seat up, or they ate the last of your secret chocolate stash! These things are not only driving you crazy but also driving a wedge in your relationship. I think compromise really helps take the tension out of your ever growing wedge. You do the dishes and he’ll clean up the floor. You take the kids to practice and he will make dinner. You may not realize how much you compromise and help each other out every day. If that is not happening at your house, I think it might be time to have a conversation about compromise. Marriage is hard work and it’s a give and take. If it’s just give, give, give, or take, take, take the relationship will not last. So you compromise and build your marriage stronger! Let’s make our marriage relationships less difficult!
The relationship between parents and children is a little different and yet similar. As a parent, I don’t want to tell my children we are compromising. It’s kind of my little secret. I want my children to know that my husband and I are in charge. What we say goes and no questions asked. However, it is a relationship, and it’s not fair to take, take, take. So we give and take. We give them their own responsibilities to take care of and in return, my husband and I take care of our responsibilities to them. We provide a home, clothes, food, and transportation. They are responsible for taking care of their possessions, cleaning them up, and helping with things around the house. It’s sort of an unspoken compromise, but it works and it creates order and maintains a good loving relationship for our family. I love my family very much and I know that they love me. A parent compromises every day for their children. Would I rather sit on a beach and drink margaritas today? Sure. However, I know my children need me and I love them and want to provide what they need from me.
Are you compromising in your relationships? If you don’t feel like you are, try it! Teach your children how to compromise. It really will help make your relationships less difficult!