You can’t make everyone happy.

I know it seems obvious. In a way, I’ve known this in the back of my head from the beginning, but it didn’t stop me from trying. The situation I have the most trouble with is when two people have a disagreement, and I have to choose who is right. As a neutral party that both disagreeing parties trust, I feel a weight on my shoulders to correctly pick who is right. I know it sounds like a terrible idea, to get involved in the first place wouldn’t be my first choice either. However, the case I’m describing is when you aren’t given a choice and are forced into that role of judge. Maybe it’s your job or responsibility. Whatever it is, in this scenario you can not relinquish this task and you have to choose.

Then, the next step becomes gathering all of the information. Often times, neither party has a full understanding of the situation, or they each have pieces, which for whatever reason, they have neglected to share with each other. Sometimes just unraveling the complete picture is enough to end the conflict, but what I want to discuss are the situations when it isn’t. The problem for me at least occurs when the issue becomes a philosophical one. In those cases, no one side is fully right and what the right action is is debatable. Each side has their own perspective, and I usually try to elucidate it to the opposing party in the hopes that they will understand the other’s actions and hopefully let it go. However, there are some incredibly obstinate individuals that just will not let it go even after months of argument.

That brings me to my point. It is impossible to make everyone happy. In that final case where the right course of action could go either way, you have to choose one, and one side will be happy and the other will feel wronged. Whenever you choose, there is always a side that doesn’t get chosen, but I’m okay with that as long as I can provide them with a logical reason as to why they weren’t picked. For the most part, people understand the reason and accept it, which I classify as them being, probably not happy, but at least okay with my decision. But when the person keeps bringing up the same issue over and over again, I feel stuck because I don’t know what to tell them to appease them. I can’t tell them that they’re wrong because in a way they really aren’t, at least in the specific case I’m thinking of. I want to just agree with them and get them off my back, but it would not be fair to the other party. That person deserves a chance to make their mistakes, and no matter how likely it is that they will, I still have to give them that chance. I can’t preemptively go against them because they might do something wrong. At the same time, there is a good chance they will do something wrong, and it can cause extensive damage that can be avoided otherwise. Basically your average rock and a hard place situation. When you feel stuck, but you’re forced to make a decision, you’ll end up making a decision. The catch is living with the consequences of your actions. That’s something I kinda want to talk about in an upcoming post.