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Why we can hesitate in making “well-intended” compromises.


Recently I’m so sick and tired of people making “well-intended” compromises. These compromises against one’s standards or principles or whatever are usually made on the premise of “it’s for your best interest”.

In Chinese it’s called “好心做坏事”。A.K.A “Doing bad stuffs unintentionally, in spite of good intentions”.

Sometimes we anyhow assume what is”the person’s best interest”. For example, let’s say I want to dye my hair bright pink, which effectively excludes me from most professional positions.

How can anyone make decisions on my behalf–say, tell the hairdresser NOT to dye my hair bright pink–“based on my best interest”? How do you know that I would not succeed professionally with pink hair? Do you even know what I’d wanted?

So honestly, what a person regards as “well-intended” or “with the best intentions” for another might not be what latter appreciates. Even worse, this might eventually harm the other party.


I was told by someone whom I used to really look up to that he regretted not failing me in a particular task. My first thought was–Why didn’t you fail me then–because I would have then have the opportunity of learning the proper way of doing things, even though it might have taken up more time.

Now I’m just forced to shut the door, never open it again, and move on.

And then, -blank-. Without a doubt, this is a raw, open wound that would take a long, long time to heal.

So no–don’t compromise. Instead, learn to tell the person nicely why you chose not to compromise. Or at least ask for the other person’s permission or seek his/her views before you make compromises “on his/her behalf”.

This entry was posted in: Relationships


Wan Wei is a PR practitioner with a heart for pretty things. Formally trained in public relations and quantitative economics, she is also a contributor to various ecosystems in Europe and Asia. Drop her a PM or visit her blog! :)

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