One of the reasons we get on so well is that when we tackle a problem, whether emotional or practical, we are adept at finding a mutual solution, an outcome that works for both of us. It is something that we have created together by contributing our different viewpoints. It is not something that either of us would have come up with alone because each of us brings different knowledge, views and insights to bear.
Because each of us is attempting to construct something that both works for ourselves and addresses the concerns of the other, we end up with a solution that works for both of us and does not involve compromise. This is possible because, in any situation, there are multiple possibilities, but at the start, we can usually only see one.
Compromise is the act of giving up something to get something else. It assumes that there are different sides, and that one must settle in order to avoid conflict. It does not allow for the possibility that a resolution can be found, a resolution where, instead of giving up or changing something, you can create a solution that was not originally imaginable to either person. Without putting down compromise or its benefits, we are discussing a different path– one that is not about giving up on some part of yourself, your wants and perhaps even needs, but rather a path that, by acting in union, allows you to find new mutual solutions. How Two: Have a Successful Relationship
We have examined how we go about this and identified a method for creating mutual solutions and incorporating this into your relationship. We call this Our Process (read about it here or listen to Phil reading it to you). This process can be applied by any two people who wish to experience peace together, and intend to share decisions and plans from a place of true mutuality. Here is a summary of it from our latest book.
A willingness to change and a belief that other positions are possible are both critical to this process. Our intention is to be together and to reach a solution or decision that is mutual. We are both fully present with each other, and neither of us has a predetermined answer. By hearing each other and being open, new ideas arise, and for each of us, our landscape of possibilities expands until we meet at a solution that neither of us imagined at the start. A new creation has emerged; something that is the product of both of us together, rather than from just one of us alone. How Two: Have a Successful Relationship
Our blog last week was on active listening, an integral part of Our Process. Whatever methods you use to reach a mutual solution, the magical thing is that, in a committed relationship based on a secure foundation, one is always to be found. If this hasn’t been your experience to date, then it’s time to revise your expectations. Talk with your partner and see if you can both move past the assumptions of win-lose and compromise and aim for a mutual solution. The magic is that there is always a rabbit in the hat, even though you both swore it was empty.
In summary, a mutual solution is
- Something new that arises from each of you working together.
- Something that neither of you would have come up with alone.
- Something that works for both of you because it is a product of the two of you.