‘Learning to compromise has improved all of my relationships’

Mar 22, 2020
You could buy the $700-plus bottle or there's this $20 bottle ... Tough choice. Source: Getty Images

Quick now, spell compromise! I live by it every day, but my kids still hate it! Whenever they have a whinge about something I say “Quick now, spell compromise!”

In fact it’s one of the very first words I learned as a kid thanks to my own dad. It really is something I’ve said to my children over the years and quite frankly, to other adults (and kids) as well when something comes up that seems to be an issue.

To ‘compromise’ (that is, to make do, accept something is not perfect etc.) is something we should all be doing on a daily basis. Think about it.

You’re out shopping for the best birthday present you can find for the wife (or hubby/partner) or maybe a very close friend. You know they would love a Louis Vuitton ‘whatever’ but the price is just not you. Maybe they prefer a $700-plus bottle of 2003 Penfold Grange, but your budget is more like a $3 bottle of Bowler’s Run from Dan Murphy’s!

Next best thing? A ‘knock-off’ from Target or Kmart for the Louis Vuitton item and maybe up the budget a bit for a ‘decent’ bottle of red (say an $18 bottle of Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Sauvignon … but certainly less than $699.

Now that’s a compromise!

Okay, it’s not perfect but the thought was there right? And perhaps the message with the present could be “I know you love Louis Vuitton or Penfolds Grange but I just couldn’t decide what I thought you really wanted so hopefully this will do the job”.

You’ve compromised (because of price constraints) and even more importantly your intended recipient has (hopefully) compromised their expectations because at least the thought was there!

Compromise comes in so many shapes and sizes. For instance you really want to see Opera Australia or maybe Ed Sheeran/Bruno Mars/Taylor Swift/Rod Stewart/Elton John etc. in concert on their one and only tour of Australia. But the best seat tickets are $400-plus. You love them but not that much. However some ‘back row/last minute seats’ are just $60 each. Do you want to see your favourite performer, or not?

This is what a compromise is all about. What you want versus what you can afford or what you’re willing to accept.

Sadly today, I feel compromise for many seems to be a forgotten thing.

“I’m buggered if I’m going to put up with that! I want my meal served now or I’m leaving this (busy) restaurant.” The popularity of the restaurant has overwhelmed the owners and they are struggling to keep up. They still make the best food, but serving times have been stretched.

You need to compromise. You can have a really good meal, waiting a bit longer for it or you can have ‘any old meal’ now.

Compromise is all about accepting that in life, nothing is perfect. Love, life and laughter. Food, wine, work, transport … even our phones, TVs and … Us!

As humans we are all a compromise. After all if we didn’t have to accept compromises every day, we’d be perfect right?

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What's the main reason for making compromises in your life?

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