We have been talking about the importance of knowing your walk away point in relationships, whether they be business partnerships, friendships, romantic relationships, or any other relationship. This is not a blanket suggestion to cut people off, but it is an acknowledgement that some things do come to an end.
I’ve been drawing a parallel between knowing your walk away point in business negotiations and knowing your walk away point in relationships. Each week I have shared part of a personal car buying experience to illustrate this point. Before I tell you how this story ended (you won’t believe it!) and my final insights on this topic, I want to summarize the gems we’ve covered so far
Know Your Walk Away Point: Before I started the car-buying process I identified what I needed in a car and how much I was willing to pay. In relationships, we must determine our standards, our must-haves, and our minimally acceptable outcomes on the front-end. If we are not clear on what we are willing to accept and what are willing to concede, then we are in danger of giving up too much, staying too long, or being taken advantage of.
Trust But Verify: I found the car that I thought I wanted, but before I bought it I took it for a test drive. In a similar way, we should take the time to vet people and opportunities before we commit.
The ME MARGIN: Then with my walk away point firmly in mind, I started the price negotiations. Ultimately, the salesman wanted more than I was willing to pay, so I walked away. I was not willing to exceed what I had budgeted or give everything I had, because I knew I needed to have something left for me. When it comes to relationships, we have to create margin for ourselves. Instead of expending all of our time and energy, we should budget it wisely and include a line item for ourselves. This is what I call the ME MARGIN.
So let me close out this topic by sharing what happened after I walked away.
Well, I got in my car, fastened my seatbelt, and before I could I start my car, the salesman came running out the dealership to the parking lot to flag me down. He then told me that he and his manager had talked it over and they were willing to lower their price. I bought the car that day.
I wasn’t trying to play a game of chicken to see who would fold first. I didn’t know that the salesman would change his mind. In fact, I fully intended to drive off the lot that day empty-handed and continue my search elsewhere. And that would have been ok with me. Why? Because I was hungry, but I wasn’t thirsty. I was eager to buy a car but I wasn’t desperate for it. I was excited about what a car would mean for my niece, but I wasn’t willing to overpay for it.
Sometimes people just need to see that you are willing to exit. And let’s be honest, sometimes you need to see that you are willing to exit, too.
So what did this experience teach me?
- That I was worthy of what I was demanding
- That my boundaries and limits were justified and necessary
- That is ok to have standards and hold the line
- That sometimes people will underestimate you. And sometimes you will underestimate you. Show them both that you’re worth it.
Friends, I hope you have enjoyed this series. My prayer is that you step into a new level of relational health and personal wholeness that will empower you to establish and honor your walk away point.
Living In The Light,