Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The infamous "C" word

COMPROMISE (what did you think I was gonna say?)

A lot of people despise compromise. It can make your skin crawl if you see compromise as surrender.

I was listening to a radio show on my drive home the other night and the topic was about people who refuse to compromise in relationships.

One of the callers said she was married with three kids with a husband who refuses to compromise and the regret in her voice made me sad. She sounded strong, yet very frustrated from dealing with it. She warned others to get out while they can.

Now there are many things one can rattle off that you should not compromise about: Never let anyone abuse you. Not ever. No hitting, no insults. None of it. That's a given.

However you both have to play by the same rules.

If you demand something, don't be surprised if you get treated the same way back.

Some folks are hard pressed to say they are sorry. A guy I used to work with several years ago had a girlfriend who said the following to him: "Once you realize I'm always right, everything will be fine." She wasn't kidding. They eventually parted ways.

I think people confuse this with being confident. You can debate, argue, etc. but if someone digs in and refuses to budge, you are no longer having a conversation.

Even if you become equally uncompromising, it will likely be met with a shrug and a perfunctory "Fine, whatever" in response.

I can list a few personal rules I am not willing to budge from: No cigarettes or illegal drugs of any kind, etc. But that's not the same as someone stomping their foot and saying "Do what I say, or else!" I could list a number of ultimatums I have stared down over the years and they always came with a heavy amount of hypocrisy.

No comments:

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away