Can We Talk?

Ever asked yourself how the elephant got in?  Or, what was ‘that’ certain something that invited this BIG obvious obstacle, we call THE ELEPHANT, to squeeze in the room?  Which by the way, noticeably makes itself at home and is more noticeably unaddressed, causing you to casually angle around it and go about your day.  Days go by until they are too numerous to count, and it’s still there – hugely present.   

I introduce the blog series called, The Elephant in the Room.  I decided to write a series because there’s so many rooms where elephants hang out, a single blog wouldn’t be enough.  The first thing I’d like to say is, having an elephant in the room doesn’t make us bad people.  I believe quite the opposite as I feel some of the elephants exist in rooms because of the consideration we have for others. Which simply means we care.  Besides that, learning how to navigate obstacles that appear bigger than us is a part of life.  

Second, let’s make a decision.  Let’s decide if we want to permit this elephant to stay in the room, or face it away.  If we decide we want to face it away, we’ve got some work to do.  Let’s get started! 

A Torn Page from a Good Book 

So, what’s the deal with the elephant in the room?  Imagine reading a good book.  The page turning kind that’s hard to put down.  If you have to, you’re sure to come back to it as soon as possible to read the next chapter.  Locked in the enjoyment of reading, there was never a thought of landing on a single page that could twist and change the narrative of the entire book.  And wham!  There it is.  That certain something that showed up on a page that you didn’t expected.  You close the book.  It hangs out on your coffee table and could potentially be on its way to a half priced book store for someone else to read – just not, YOU. 

Face It Away 

The elephant in the room is like living life around that one page you didn’t expect to read and don’t quite know if, whether, how, or when you should address it.  There are days where you just want to man up, face the issue and go on happily with your life.  But the fear of the unknown is real.  The carefully rehearsed words in your head never left your mouth when you considered how the other person was going to think or react.  You wonder:  

  1. Will they understand?   
  2. Do they even care?
  3. Will I be rejected
  4. Will bringing this up make matters worse?
  5. Am I the only one seeing this elephant? 

There’s a number of really good reasons for not addressing the issue, but there’s also a number of great reasons to face the issue away.  Instead of thinking of all the things that can go wrong, you can choose rather to think about the positive outcomes a resolution can bring.  Expecting beautiful outcomes can increase your desire to face the issue. 

Turn the Page 

Remember the book you stop reading because of the one unexpected page?  Suppose you picked it back up, finished it and realized that the one page didn’t ruin book.  It was a necessary twist that drove the book to a meaningful conclusion.  One that you would have missed if you stopped reading.  

Think about turning the page to resolve the issue.  If you have a gut feel that a resolution is worth it, go for it and plan a sit down to talk.  Here’s a few ideas to help you prepare: 

  1. Discover the ONE THING you want to get from the resolution 
  2. Be authentically YOU – bring you to the table
  3. Listen well
  4. Be willing to compromise

It takes radical generosity to give your time and effort to resolve big impactful issues, but it’s well worth it in the end. Kudos to you for trying!