University of Southern California

Healthy Relationships

Compromise

ompromise requires:

  • A willingness to reach a consensus
  • Active listening by both partners
  • Practice in the art of negotiation.

This is where the concept of “give-and-take” comes most into play. Compromise involves both parties expressing their point of view, in open communication, and being heard equally; after which a decision is reached based on reasoning and negotiating – i.e., “giving and taking” on both sides.

Compromise is not the same as capitulation. Capitulation involves submission to a situation in which the person who gives in has no other alternative, a condition in which there is no room for negotiation; an individual capitulates because he or she has no control over the circumstances.

While it may seem needless to say that caring is an integral part of a healthy relationship, it is nevertheless an important point of discussion for one simple reason: if you do not care enough about your partner or about the relationship, there can be no effective communication or compromise. On the other hand, if you care deeply, you will be willing to work out conflicts through compromise, and you will be open to expressing and accepting sincere communication of feelings and views.