It's Me Time: Why You Should Stop Compromising In Your Early 20s

by Cashie Rohaly

We have been taught that compromise is a positive way to ensure that everybody in a situation feels like his or her wishes are being respected and upheld.

This type of negotiation is used to please the greater good and maintain harmony. It is also a helpful tool that should be demonstrated in different areas of your life… but not always.

When the phrase, “Let’s compromise,” is uttered, it is like you are being told you cannot get what you want, so you better lower your expectations. I, for one, would like to reject that.

If you are constantly compromising, you risk losing pieces of yourself. It may be fair to the greater good, but if it is unfair to you and your individual desires, the last thing you want to do is regret a decision that was made to guarantee somebody else’s happiness before your own.

Compromise Means Settling

Though it is beneficial and sometimes necessary, you should not aim to settle while becoming a functioning member of society. Settling is for average people. Are you average? I didn’t think so.

Think of it this way: You have been in a relationship with yourself from the second you entered the world. You will be in that relationship until your last breath.

People can walk out of your life just as easily as they walk in to it, but you cannot break up with yourself, become estranged from yourself or leave yourself. You will always catch up to you.

This is why your early 20s are the years to withhold yourself from constantly compromising. Automatically submitting defeat without putting up a fight will result in a life of dreams left unachieved.

You Should Be A Little Selfish

You have the right to be selfish every once in a while. If you’re always doing things to benefit other people, you wind up feeling empty.

Imagine always using your money on someone else’s lunch; sure, you will feel good that you helped somebody out, but you’ll still be hungry. That hunger will grow into starvation and then into deterioration. The same thing happens with relentless compromise.

It is easy to forget that being selfish is necessary in certain situations. That is the downside to being a good person: Sometimes you can get so absorbed in other people’s lives that you forget about your own.

You owe it to yourself to get exactly what you want before you have a spouse, a family of your own or a different relationship that requires full cooperation.

Not only do you need to figure yourself out for you, but also for the people you bring into your life. After all, you cannot know and love somebody until you know and love yourself.

That is why your early 20s are the years of “you.” Give compromise the middle finger and do what exactly what you want because looking out for yourself first and foremost while figuring out who you want to be is crucial in this transitional period.

Where You Reside

If you want to move, move. Sure, college debt may give some of us no other option than to compromise. Still, I would rather live in an apartment that resembles a cardboard box than live in a place I do not want to be in (I’m talking to you, suburbia).

Even if it ends up being a bit farther than your parents would prefer, even if you do not know a soul there and even if you have to pinch every penny, start your life somewhere that captivates you and makes you feel protected.

Who You Love

Never settle for an ordinary love. Sometimes these relationships can be like a pair of sweatpants: very comfortable, but not suitable forever. Feelings of uncertainty and doubt can paralyze you from taking risks.

As for being told you cannot love whom you love by a third party, you should not compromise a relationship because of other people's opinions.

If your love is real, it does not matter whom it is with or what the circumstances are. You can be straight, gay, bi or uncertain; don't let outdated values or social stigmas compromise your romantic life.

What You Do

Money makes it very easy for us to compromise our morals and our dreams. Do not accept a job just for a great salary and an even greater office view.

You may seem like you are winning, but you’ve accepted a job you know you will hate, you are cheating yourself. Money is temporary; true happiness is everlasting.

I vow to choose passion and struggles over a monotonous and well-paying job, and I challenge you to do the same.

Important Decisions In A Relationship

Yes, relationships are based on compromise, and true love is someone else’s happiness being your own, but there are some instances where you can and should draw the line.

It comes down to two things: the seriousness of the relationship and the severity of a decision being made. These elements will determine whether you are compromising or truly surrendering. Surrendering is making a sacrifice that you are sincerely unhappy with.

We are young and therefore we cannot surrender, not yet at least.

Really evaluate these big decisions. Do they require you and your partner to meet each other halfway, or are you sacrificing more than the other person?

If you are even a little bit unhappy when the option of your compromise is brought up, then perhaps you need some time alone to ensure you are getting exactly what you want and need.

Aim To Please Yourself. You Deserve It

My message is not to be a stubborn jerk all the time, and I am definitely not saying that you should adopt the mantra, “My way or the highway.”

Like every rule, there are always exceptions. Thinking of other people is something you should do if you want to be considered a decent human being. However, when the consequences can drastically affect your way of living, you must be sure to think of yourself and how a compromise can hinder opportunities to live life to the fullest in your early 20s.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It