You don't get unity by ignoring the questions that have to be facedJay Weatherill
Is there a pink elephant in your living room that is no one is talking about? Is your best friend drinking too much or are you and your partner arguing constantly? Are your children consistently getting in trouble at school? Is your dad beginning to lose his memory on a consistent basis?
The phrase there is an elephant in the room or others like it refers to the existence of a significant problem or issue that is obvious yet no one is willing to acknowledge or discuss it. I believe that most of us have come across this phenomenon at some point in our lives.
The issue may not be as huge as those mentioned, yet is still problematic to some degree and not being addressed. Often, too, we may have grown so comfortable with the situation that we consider it normal. We may not even entirely recognize that there is a problem at all, and we may just be left with a vague sense of unease in our daily lives.
Check in with yourself regarding your current relationships:
- Do they bring a smile to your face?
- Do you feel as if your interaction with the person drains you of energy or makes you tense or angry?
- Do you look forward to seeing this person – whether it is your spouse, child, or friend? And if not, why not?
There Are Many Reasons We May Invent For Ignoring The Pink Elephant
Fear: At the heart of most of our reluctance to have these difficult conversations is fear. Many of us fear confrontation.. We worry that the other person may get upset, angry, or sad, and, ultimately, a fear of rejection by the other person. Who doesn’t want everyone to like them?
We also might fear that the problem may grow if discussed, as if giving it our attention will add fuel to the fire. We might worry, too, that even if we were to talk about it, it might still not help, and so we add a fear of disappointment or failure to the mix.
If you do decide to have the conversation:
- First, remove the emotional charge: attempt to first work through the heavy emotions before bringing up the subject.
- This may mean waiting a day (or a week) or writing down our thoughts and feelings before speaking with the other person.
- You will know when the time is right if you can begin the conversation without becoming overly emotional (whether that be anger, tears, or frustration).
- This does not mean that we ignore our emotions, only that we allow ourselves to be in a calm and grounded state before initiating the conversation.
My wish for you today is that you choose to address the pink elephant in the room!
--- Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director.