We don’t always get our way. Depending on the situation, we may seldom get our way. Life is full of compromises. How and where do you draw your personal line in the sand?
Compromise is inherent in your relationships
The most compromise we face is in our relationships. The closer the relationship, the more willing we are to compromise. At what point do we call a halt? What brings us to the place where we will compromise no further? How do we recognize our line in the sand and how do we change it – move it either closer or further away?
The line in the sand comes from your personal values
I’ve been a vegetarian for 50 years and a vegan for two. I live near two of my children in the mid-west and they are major meat eaters. In one family, there are many hunters. The latter in particular are hard for me to be around. What do you do when your belief system is so radically different from those around you?
I say nothing. They do know not to talk about hunting around me because that is truly painful for me to hear. I was bringing vegan dishes to our gatherings but now it seems to work better for me to simply eat what I can of what is presented. I’m also careful not to make them feel criticized or wrong about their choices. I just quietly do my own thing. It’s even hard for me to eat out with them. There are some vegetarian recipes on the menu but seldom a vegan one. I’m in a minority and I know and accept that. And I deeply value the choices I have made.
But what if I were the cook and some members of my family wanted meat? In my case, they would have to learn to cook for themselves. Just as I would expect to make my own meals when they differ so greatly from the choice of others.
What personal values are important to you? What lines do you need to draw about your participation in certain activities? As you change, as your lines change, you may need to seek new relationships.
A line in the sand comes from honoring your own needs
I drew a line in the sand regarding my tribe. The senior community where I live is full of people who are looking at aging quite differently than I do. It was literally pulling me down. If I bought into the do-nothing, expect-nothing, contribute-nothing ambiance I would have been very depressed. The more involved I became in my own areas of interest, the less I had in common with the people around me. I defiantly didn’t fit in and when I realized I didn’t want to fit in, I did something about it. I found a new tribe online where I am contributing and welcome. It is full of like-minded people who nurture and support me. Plus I’m making a difference in their lives too.
If your own needs are not being met, you are the only person who can make the changes you need. You are the only one who can draw a line and say “No more! This is not working for me!” How deeply have you allowed yourself to be influenced by the people around you? Have you given up your own beliefs in compromise? Or are you taking steps to find your own tribe?
Compromise is in your work
I haven’t worked for anyone else for a long time. I don’t think I was ever very good at it when I did. I have always been very independent. I always had ideas on how something could be done and I have never had much patience with people who do not work full out. But that’s my problem, not theirs. It worked very well for me to become an entrepreneur, a Content Development Coach. I was in a position to help people and teaching them helped me learn more. It was a double gift. I had control over who I worked with. I could fire a client if it was not a good fit or not accept one in the first place. In my working days when a job ceased to be in alignment with where I wanted to go, I simply changed jobs. Part of that was because I love to learn something new and once I learned it, it was boring. Maintenance is not my thing. It was very helpful for me to recognize that need and adjust accordingly.
I remember talking to a photographer who took the majority of Broadway cast show photos and she said she enjoyed her work, but she did not have time to do her own creative exploring.
I was a professional copywriter in my youth. I had to write about whatever the client wanted to sell. I remember once having to write 20 television commercials for some meat products that were going to be aired during one football game. That took some doing to create a variety of approaches for the same topic.
I much prefer writing about things that interest me, using the unfolding of those ideas as a way to enrich my own life. How are you compromising in your work – either in your own business choices or the work you do for others?
The line in the sand helps you be responsible for your own well-being
If you are not happy, if you are not being fulfilled, what are you doing about it? What other job can you take that will be more fulfilling? What other team in your office can you ask to transfer too? Are you looking around for situations that will be more in alignment with your needs and wants? Don’t be afraid of change. Go exploring and see what else is possible. Then decide.
Don’t compromise your personal values
Personal values are probably the easiest place to stay true to yourself. For instance, the energy of anger is physically painful to me. I absolutely refuse to be around people who are angry or judgmental. I have spent many years learning to think and speak from a positive viewpoint. No way will I spend time with people who are negative. That may mean leaving a group, quitting a job, or ending a relationship. There are some personal values you will not, cannot and should not compromise.
Where and why do you draw a line in the sand?
There is always compromise in life. Your choice is to decide how much and what kind of compromise you are willing to make. Maybe you make a list – the good on one side, the less-than-good on the other. Talk your needs over with the people involved. See what/if/how much they are willing to change. See how you can change. If you don’t ask, it won’t happen. If you don’t know what you value, need, want and deserve for yourself, then you will allow others to cross over your line or push it way too close to you. Just be aware.
Where is your line in the sand and should it be moved closer or farther away?
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