The cornerstone of any relationship is agreement although it is virtually impossible to agree on everything and still be your authentic self. The key to not getting into an all-out war is negotiation. Negotiation isn’t difficult and you’ve been participating in it ever since you convinced little Jenny on the playground to let you go first at hopscotch. It does get a bit more complicated as you get older but the basic premise is the same – distributing the gains and losses to make it come out even in the end.
The difference between negotiating in relationships and negotiating in business is that in relationships you will be facing that person on a daily basis – so a win-win is truly necessary. While it will be difficult, do your best to be generous in a negotiation and trust that the other person will be generous in return. You may also find that what you thought was a need is actually a want and faced with a decision between that want and your partner, that your partner will win out (and rightfully so – an object or service can never replace another human being).
Getting to negotiation can be a bit awkward to begin with…that is, until everyone involved grows comfortable with the process. Expect a bit of resistance from your partner or even a feeling of self-consciousness from yourself the first few times. As you repeat the process and both partners see how well it works, you’ll move more quickly from arguing to negotiating.