February 1, 2023 @ 7:00 AM

What does it mean to “go along to get along?” It means setting aside your feelings, opinions, or values in order to keep the peace. The thinking is “this is what it takes to get along with this person.” Is “go along to get along” a good strategy in a relationship such as marriage? No. It ultimately leads to the person “going along” becoming resentful because their true feelings, opinions, or values are not being expressed, heard, or accepted. Instead they are always trying to keep the peace by giving in to their partner. If you think this is limited to marriages, it is not. Going along to get along is often the policy of people in business, government, church, and the media. Many Christians feel they have to go along with the “woke” policies of their company to keep their jobs.

In the 1930s, British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, thought he could “go along to get along” with Hitler. He sought to get along with Adolph Hitler through appeasement. Here is what the history books say of that policy:

Instituted in the hope of avoiding war, appeasement was the name given to Britain’s policy in the 1930s of allowing Hitler to expand German territory unchecked. Most closely associated with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, it is now widely discredited as a policy of weakness.

Going along to get along was a failed policy that ultimately fueled World War II. It is a policy which provides short-term peace at the cost of long-term resolution. Why do people go along to get along? The primary motivation is fear. People are afraid of conflict, afraid of the consequences if they push back, afraid of rejection, ostracism, or termination of employment. As some husbands have exclaimed to me, “Irv, it just isn’t worth the hassle!”

So, what’s the answer to the strategy of “go along to get along?” The answer is resolution through honest communication so that both sides feel heard and understood.  Compromise is often a necessary component in reaching resolution. We may not get everything we want but if the end result is a solution we can both live with then it is a win-win.  Don’t let fear keep you from speaking up. Be courageous enough to push for resolution and not “go along to get along.”  In the long-term it didn’t work for Chamberlain and it won’t work for you.

Gracious and direct honesty is still the best policy,