Going Halfway Is Only A Halfway Measure - Grasshopper
“I’ll meet you half way” may work well in negotiating a deal, but in a relationship it leads to a stalemate.
If you examine successful relationships, you will find that each of the members goes more than half the way depending on which issue they need to move forward on.
It seems they take turns on who will extend themselves past the middle to keep cooperation a fluid process. Interestingly, this extension is arrived at without any stated rules. It’s not a structured “if you do this, I’ll do that” negotiation.
A relationship will suffer if most of the extending is done by one of the parties. An unstated resentment will begin to grow within the one who overextends, and a false level of expectation is engendered in the other.
A working relationship is not a negotiation. Constant negotiating is focusing on who does what rather than noticing the unstructured cooperation that contributes to success.
Like chaos, even unstructured cooperation has a pattern. It can be summed up in a word - Flexibility.
The more inflexible one or both of the parties remain, the more the relationship will suffer.
50-50 does not exist in a relationship. If it did, the see saw would never move off the middle and nothing would get done, and the ride would be devoid of fun.
It’s mutual flexibility that puts fluidity into a relationship.
Inflexibility is the bane of relationships. If yours is suffering, you are either giving too little or too much too often.
We can take a lesson from nature. A new tree branch can survive an accumulation of snow because it will bend and it will bounce back when the thaw begins. An older, more rigid branch will snap under the weight due to lack of flexibility.
Unlike trees, it’s never too late for humans to become more flexible when relating to one another.
If you’re only going halfway, prepare for a cold snap.
All the best,
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