What Moving House Taught Me About Compromise

moving

While packing our house I have realized (yet again) that my wife and I think differently. Not only that, but we think differently from two different perspectives… even when we have the same goals. This isn’t because we’re two different people (it’s not a personality clash for once), it’s because we have two different roles.

Her role is the organizer. It’s her job to keep the family working during this entire process. She wants to keep us comfortable and herself sane. My role is the loader. It’s my job to do the heavy lifting and get everything from here to Florida in one piece. This translates into one person who wants everything in a box and every room cleared out… and another person who wants to keep a lot of stuff right where it is till the last moment.

This is more than about moving… It’s given me a chance to think back to past conflicts and wonder how many of them were not because of some huge, deep-seeded issue, but rather just because we had two different jobs to do.

Jennifer is a Mother, for instance. She has a different role with the kids than I do. She handles them differently than I would… but that doesn’t make her wrong. We both have the same goals, to raise great kids, but we have different parts to play in that goal. We’re not always going to be working together to see our goal reached. If it really takes two to make things go right, it takes two perspectives as well.

If two people have the same goal, there is no reason they can’t find a way to come alongside one another, even though their roles differ, to have harmony in the process. An added bonus would be to have those two roles not only accomplish the task, but benefit and enhance the other’s role as well.

In the case of our move, giving each person a chance to represent and explain their perspective can go a long way. Understanding how the other person sees things, rather than simply defending your own view, can relieve tensions and build unity. Our roles in the move appeared to be in opposition to one another. This created conflict, but once we explained our views and understood one another, a compromise was possible.

Compromise doesn’t always mean nobody gets what they want. Sometimes it means you adopt a little of the other’s way of thinking as your own. You realize that your perspective was a bit to limiting and you weren’t 100% right. A perfect compromise is when both parties do this.

So in the end… I’m going to get to pack up more than I would have… and she’s going to be able to keep out more than I had wanted… and it’s all good.