Compromising Creates Conflict

Compromising our values so as to avoid conflict, in spite of our hopes, beliefs, or desires, creates dissonance not resolution.

Avoiding conflict at the cost of what we hold true is neither a win for us nor for those to or for whom we compromise. Compromising on the truth, on our truth, leaves that truth unaddressed, unsatisfied, and unresolved, resonating inside of us throughout our lives and shaking us apart from the inside out. This does not serve us, it does not serve the truth, nor does it serve the relationships we are compromising for.

Compromised truth does not resolve conflict. Compromised truth creates conflict. It creates conflict inside of us and that conflict manifests in our behavior, our attitude, and our relationships.

If we want to find resolution that serves both the truth and the relationship, we must begin with the fundamental understanding that some conflict is unavoidable, even if simply because we do not and can not control how others will react to what we perceive as true. If resolution is our goal, approaching our relationships with a hardened heart and a calloused take-it-or-leave-it attitude will not get us there any more than compromise will, however. Instead, we must find a way to represent our truth with both unwavering integrity and compassion.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as a founding member of the Severna Park and Baltimore Holistic Chamber of Commerce.

Street art photo taken by Robert Van Valkenburgh, artist unknown unless otherwise noted.

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