Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Art of Sacrifice

Lately I've been thinking about the sacrifices people make in their relationships, and not just boyfriend-girlfriend type relationships, frienships included. It's funny how we tend to try to gravitate towards those who have similar interests as us, give us access to a social life, or have a likeable personality that's easy to get along with when in the end, both parties could be as different as night and day. We make sacrifices because we want to be able to get along with that person and I don't think there's one person who wouldn't sacrifice something to maintain relationships.

So why do we do it? First thought that comes to mind is that we are all afraid to be alone. We need these relationships to give us a sense that there is something worth getting out of bed for. We were born with people around us, we need them when we die. Because if not for others, why are we living and breathing?

Second reason that I believe people make sacrifices is to eventually change themselves somehow. Afterall, to sacrifice is to change oneself. And while it hasn't been intentional, this makes me wonder what I've changed about myself because I've sacrificed something and how much more I'm willing to sacrifice. Without going into detail, I've concluded that I have changed, and will change the more relationships (both friendly or more-than-friendly) I get involved in.

I recently had a discussion with a friend who is maintaining a long-term relationship and has definitely changed due to their sacrifices. I believe this person has turned into the epitome of the type of person I despised way back when I was young, inexperienced and naive. Of course, I've changed my views slightly but after our little conversation, I realized it's probably worth the change if the consequences of sacrificing isn't deteremental. However, it's hard to measure how detremental a sacrifice has become until it's too late. Sometimes it's just too hard to stop and say "is it worth their happiness for me to do this?".

Relationships are hard, but they become even harder when both parties refuse to settle and this probably attributes to about 75% of relationships. I've been in countless situations where I'm "caught in the middle" between two friends who, while they both insist on being friends, clearly should not be because each side is not willing to make some sort of sacrifice to dumb down obvious hostility. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be themselves, but there is a fine line between pure stubbornness and just plain bitchy. In these types of situations, if one cannot help but not change, they should just end that relationship for the good of themselves and everyone around them. Ridding of sour relationships is hard, especially if it means you'll be giving up all sorts of social realms, but the art of sacrifice may be too much and end up making you sour.

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