by Suzie Doscher
Photo by Kaffeebart on Unsplash
Addressing the issue would bring clarity and awareness. And yet it is fascinating how quickly talking about a topic that in fact is hurting everybody in some way or another is avoided. The problem could be dealt with and a sense of clarity, peace, and calm could return. Yet the elephant, the sometimes very large elephant, is ignored and walked around, the behavior is to pretend the elephant does not actually exist.
Imagine you are in a situation with an elephant in the room. For example, let us say the issue is a miscommunication.:
It is painfully obvious you are walking around the elephant. The air is so thick you could cut it, anybody entering the room can feel the bad energy, it is that obvious. Rather than asking what the reasons for this behavior are, you mask your hurt, confusion, frustration, or anger by being superficial and polite. When If someone asks you what is wrong or if you’re okay, you answer: “Nothing” or “I am fine,”
Think about it, your polite “I am fine” in response is in fact a miscommunication. You are doing exactly what hurt, confused, frustrated, or made you angry… not communicating openly. You are withholding the truth by not communicating it. Communicating more openly would be to say one of the following statements:
The stories go on and on. There are lots of elephants out there!
Being the one who opens up the conversation can create apprehension. It can feel like walking into unknown territory. From my own experience, both personal and professional, one possible reason behind this tends to be some kind of fear of. In this case it could be a fear of the truth. You were not told because the other person thought you would not approve or that you might be judgmental. They might be worried that telling you what the problem is could result in creating a problem that is unresolvable. Or, they simply might be worried about losing you.
Being the first one to bring the elephant out into the open will only ever give you strength. Having courage to take a step always brings strength with it.
Ask yourself any of the following questions if you find yourself in a room with an elephant:
There will always be situations with elephants in the room. How long you ignore them is up to you. How long you make the choice to feel bad rather than confront the truth is up to you, as Susan Jeffers’ book title suggests, Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway. On a personal level, you can only gain from being the one who has the strength to clear things up. Whatever you feel you might be losing is most probably better off lost, if indeed you do lose it. More often than not, talking about the issue brings clarity and a resolution.
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