You know, I sorta talk a lot about communication – good communication – and how important that is. Well, a key component to getting along with others is: COMPROMISE. Let me share about this guy I knew who was always fighting with his girlfriend. It’s because he HAD to be right! He didn’t realize that compromise was the key. So they kept fighting. But when I talked to him and explained about the AGREE TO DISAGREE concept, which IS compromise, I think he really listened, because I haven’t heard about any more fights!
Whether it is a relationship with your loved one or whoever, you need to learn the art of compromise. Whatever the situation, you may be called upon to compromise, and the more willing you are to do that, the less disagreements or uncomfortable situations you will have to face.
So the first thing is: WILLINGNESS. You have to be willing to compromise. Now, that’s hard for some people to do – Like the guy I told you about who had to be right all the time. At least until he became willing to compromise. Then he started getting along more not just with his girlfriend, but in other situations and with other people, too. If you are willing to compromise, you will get along a lot better with your loved one who has bipolar disorder. Hopefully, you can teach your loved one about the AGREE TO DISAGREE concept, or even show them the blog posts (that one and this one). Then, as long as they are WILLING to compromise, especially if they agree with the concept, your communication will improve. So, the first step is WILLINGNESS.
Then you have to have the DESIRE to have effective communication. Like this guy I had told you about, it was either learn how to compromise, or to have to break up with his girlfriend, because they couldn’t just keep going along fighting all the time. If you have willingness and desire to have good communication, you will be more apt to have it.
You also have to have a GIVE-TAKE attitude. Like that guy who learned in the end that it was ok not to be right all the time! Having a give-take attitude means that you will have a more positive attitude, not shutting the other person out.
You also need to have an OPEN MIND. Understand that it’s ok for your loved one to feel the way they do. If you keep an open mind, it will be easier to separate them from their disorder.
It will also be easier to see where they are coming from. If you do that, it will help to explain why they do the things they do. In turn, if they keep an open mind, they will be able to see where you are coming from as well. And why you do the things you do.
If the two of you can do these things, you CAN have good communication, in spite of the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder. Good communication is crucial to any relationship.
Even one in which one of the people in it has bipolar disorder. But the key is really all about compromise.
Well, I have to go!