This week on the Gottman Relationship Blog, we will be wrapping up our coverage of Dr. Gottman’s 6 Skills of Conflict Management with a discussion of the final skill: Compromise. To give you a sense of the state of compromise in your relationship, we would like to share the following questionnaire designed by Dr. Gottman. Review the following 20 statements, marking each one True or False:


  1. Our decisions often get made by both of us compromising (T/F)
  2. We are usually good at resolving our differences (T/F)
  3. I can give in when I need to, and often do. (T/F)
  4. I can be stubborn in an argument, but I’m not opposed to compromising (T/F)
  5. I think that sharing power in a relationship is very important (T/F)
  6. My partner is not a very stubborn person (T/F)
  7. I don’t believe that one person is right and the other wrong on most issues (T/F)
  8. We both believe in meeting each other half way when we disagree (T/F)
  9. I am able to yield somewhat even when I feel strongly on an issue (T/F)
  10. The two of us usually arrive at a better decision through give-and-take (T/F)
  11. It’s a good idea to give in somewhat, in my view (T/F)
  12. In discussing issues, we can usually find our common ground of agreement (T/F)
  13. Everyone gets some of what they want when there’s a compromise (T/F)
  14. My partner can give in, and often does (T/F)
  15. I don’t wait until my partner gives in before I do (T/F)
  16. When I give in first, my partner then gives in too (T/F)
  17. Yielding power is not very difficult for my partner (T/F)
  18. Yielding power is not very difficult for me (T/F)
  19. Give-and-take in making decisions is not a problem in this relationship (T/F)
  20. I will compromise even when I believe I am right (T/F)

Now, check your score! If more than half of your responses were False (10+), you’ve got some work to do on compromise in your relationship. If less than half of your responses were False, you’ve still got some work to do on compromise in your relationship! Trick question. You can always work on compromising with your partner. This questionnaire is simply meant to give you an idea of the state of affairs between yourself and your partner in this area at the present moment. 

Compromise is difficult for all of us, and it is something that we struggle with on a daily basis. In our relationships, our ability to compromise with the other is in constant flux. Compromise is further complicated by the beastly situations in which we must compromise with ourselves first! But building skills that improve your ability to be successful in compromise will put you ahead of the game, not only in your romantic relationships, but in all of the others you have throughout your life.

This week, we would like to teach you a few of these skills by taking you through a brief overview of Dr. Gottman’s research-based tips on the art of compromise. Look forward to a step-by-step lesson on our method for reaching compromise in our next blog on Wednesday, and an exercise that you can use to practice your new skills on Friday!

More in The Archives
Quiz: What is the State of Compromise in Your Relationship?
Ellie Lisitsa

Ellie Lisitsa is a staff writer at The Gottman Institute and a regular contributor to The Gottman Relationship Blog. Ellie is pursuing her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis on Cognitive Dissonance at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.