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Codependency and Compromise

The difference between codependency and compromise

Compromise is always codependency, because compromise means that you are giving up what you want or need for someone else; there’s an element of loss. When you compromise you give up something for the sole purpose of giving somebody else what they want or need instead.

This seems like a really strict guideline, I know, but let me give you a solution. Truly living without codependency means that majority of your relating happens in win-win situations we are both parties in the relationship get what they want. Yes, I said win-win. People with primary codependent behavior tend to forget that there is such a thing as win-win. We get stuck in the feeling that in order for someone else to win, I will always have to lose. What if that is not the case?

What Is A Win-Win?

A win-win lives in the space where both parties are open, curious, and committed to respecting each other. You will need your authentic vulnerability and healthy healed perspective online for this. You will need conflict resolution skills, discernment, and a commitment to speaking your truth with the most compassion possible regardless of the outcome. I said it was possible, but I never said it was easy.

The need to work toward a win-win means that you are experiencing relational conflict. The natural choice for a person with codependent behaviors is to choose the easiest thing that reduces the conflict the quickest. Instead, practice creating space for conversations in conflict and tolerating the conflict enough to deploy a few of these strategies.

Strategies For Creating Win-Wins

  1. Curiosity: You both look for what might be misunderstood. Often times it’s a win-lose situation in perception only, and using curiosity to make sure you fully understand is all that is needed to shift to a win-win. Ask curious questions from a place of wanting to understand better, not from a place of judgement, and you may see a more clear perspective of how this benefits both.
  2. Vulnerability: You communicate clearly why this does not translate to a win for you and offer a win-win solution instead. This is called an invitation. You take the time to explain how you are feeling and what your expectations are, and you do it from a place of vulnerability with power and compassion. You are showing up for yourself here. Saying what you mean with an even energy (not crying and begging, and also no blowing up and offering an ultimatum) takes practice. It takes knowing who you are and what you want. It is a skill that needs refinement.
  3. Open-Minded Reposition: You consider all of the available information and adjust your stance based on a new value proposition. This isn’t a compromise, it is a deeper dive into making a conscious decision based on new information that you had not previously considered. This is not codependent because we are not sacrificing our needs to reduce conflict.
  4. Ground Work: front-load your relationship dynamic with autonomy, respect, and boundary practices to improve tolerance of misalignments. When an invitation is declined, ground in your commitment to neutrality. Choose not to see you partners preferences and choices as an extension of you or the relationship. Choose to let your partner have the experiences that they choose for themselves without making it be about you, while also being present in the experiences that you share together inside the relationship.

These strategies may not work for every situation and every partnership. Staying true to yourself while working toward a win-win takes a tremendous amount of self awareness, emotional resilience, and a commitment to repair work. It is important to practice even if/when the outcome is not what you wanted. When this happens you will need to remind yourself that you don’t control other people and create space for yourself on feeling into whatever comes up for you in those unmet needs.

The less you compromise, the more you challenge your automatic codependent behaviors, the more room for healing your attachment wound there will be.

Get More Support

If these strategies sound good to you but you are worried that you can’t follow through with them, reach out to me. Here are a few ways you can get more support:

  • 1:1 Coaching with me
  • Becoming Me Again eCourse
  • Integrity Mastermind for recovering codependents

This blog is a part of the feature content for the Becoming Me Again eCourse. If you liked this content, you will LOVE the course!