He made the statement in his speech at the Indonesian Young Leaders` Forum here on Thursday, dismissing several quarters` views so far.
He admitted he sometimes had to give in when facing some political conflicts.
"I indeed sometimes had to give in when there were political wrangling and conflicts. At one time, I looked for a compromise, a consensus (but) it does not mean that I have no guts," he said.
President Yudhoyono said he sometimes had to give in so as to avoid political conflicts and clashes so that they would not develop to set the country back into a situation like ten years ago.
He admitted he often had to control his emotions and take pragmatic decisions when settling various problems but he remained sticking to the national vision and ideals.
Leading a pluralist country like Indonesia he said he had to be smart enough in finding balance and compromises without having to sacrifice peace and the bigger national interests.
"I accept criticisms but I see goals that are more important. Why conflicts have to happen in a pluralist country like this country. I have to be smart enough to find a balance or a better compromise," he said.
President Yudhoyono said the political stability that the New Order government had prioritized was actually a correct policy because it was impossible for a country to develop its economy if situation was not stable.
"The question now is how to maintain the stability according to norms that do not run against democracy and the rule of law," he said. (D013)