Duaa asks: How much should we compromise in life?
Your question is wonderful, and very very important. Especially because it’s one that you’ll keep asking as long as you live! Everybody has to ask themselves this question all the time.
From your question, it’s clear that you know the word “compromise,” but in case any of our other readers don’t, it means to take what you want and what someone else wants into consideration, and either find a way to “meet halfway” where each of you gets a part of what you want, or for you to just give them some or all of what they want, and not get what you want.
Confusing? Well, for example, when Handsome takes me for a walk, I like to sniff a lot of things. And he usually wants to keep walking, while I want to stay and make sure I’ve gotten all the information that tree trunk or fire hydrant offers. If I had my way, we’d be out there sniffing the neighborhood all day. And if he had his way, we wouldn’t stop at all. So we usually Compromise – he walks quickly and I walk with him most of the time, but when I pull him to the side because a smell is just too wonderful or fascinating, he stops and lets me check it out. So that’s a case where we try to “meet halfway.”
Then, there’s the fact that I like to sleep across our bed. Not up-and-down the way people do, but crossways. And so every night, Handsome comes to bed and shoves my body to the side so that he can get in the way he wants to. I don’t really like it, but I’m not going to fight him about it, so I Compromise – by giving in (usually with a big loud groan!).
So, back to your question: How much should we compromise in life? The answer is all about you. What sort of person you are, and what sort you want to be. Do you want to be someone who never compromises, who always insists on getting what he wants? That sort of person probably doesn’t get many friends. But do you want to be the person who always gives in, who never stands up for what she really needs? The funny part is that sort of person doesn’t get many friends either — they’re too boring!
One thing we dogs tend to be better at than people is being very open and direct about what we want. If a person walks by a hamburger grill they might think, “Hmm, that smells good. I wonder if my friend here would like a hamburger as much as I would. I’ll think about how to discuss it with her, and maybe we can have one if she likes.” But when I smell that delectable aroma, I run to the door that second, and will gladly jump up on tables and counters to grab me a few!
Now I’m not exactly suggesting you do what we dogs do (you’d probably get arrested), but the more you can be aware of, and honest about, what you really want, the better off you are. And the better you’ll be at finding the good kind of compromise you really want. See, if you’re not sure what exactly you want, you can’t know what to compromise about.
And here’s what matters most: You need to know the difference between what you want and what you absolutely demand. If Handsome walks me past that hamburger stand and says we can’t go in, I’ll tolerate that. But if I’m eating something and another dog comes along and tries to take it from me, she’s gonna get a really nice look at all my beautiful shiny sharp teeth, close-up! In other words, I will not compromise on that.
Know yourself. Know what you want, know what you need, and know what relationships you have that are worth giving anything for.
And when you have all that clear, Duaa, you’ll know exactly how much to compromise, every time you have to decide. Which, again, will probably be every single day!