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Circled around the Elephant

There's an elephant in every single room.

In most rooms, that elephant is conveniently ignored or passive aggressively acknowledged.  Now I don't know about your experience with elephants, but I have never seen an elephant that I could ignore and there is nothing passive about their aggression.

So what is it about elephants inside of rooms that makes us so uncomfortable?

Is it the conversation surrounding the elephant that we are avoiding?

Or is it the possible reactions once the elephant is called on that we are afraid of?

I'll be honest in saying that I still struggle to pinpoint which side of the spectrum is the real reasoning behind this obvious discomfort.

In either scenario, one thing I am confident about is that I think the elephant should be recognized.  Personally, I find that the recognition encourages more open conversation.

Although delicate is rarely a word used to describe an elephant, it is necessary when dealing with these types of elephants....awkward elephants. 

Calling one out in the middle of a group meeting might not be the best idea, because as stated before, the reactions are subject to those who are in the room...and sometimes, that can get ugly.

It takes a certain type of person to consistently call out awkward elephants, and not be phased by the repercussions.  Cheers to those bittersweet people.

Realistically, the elephant conversation is best served, initially behind closed doors...typically just with the person who is carrying the weight of the real King of the jungle on their backs.  Sorry Lion Kings...I love you, but we all know how elephants make you feel at the waterhole...

Once those private conversations are had, it doesn't mean we should run around yelling out potentially awkward comments every chance we get; but being in the room with someone who knows how awkward those comments are, surprisingly can be quite comforting.

It might not be huge, but the dialogue can serve as support when entering a new room with that same elephant on your back.  If nothing else, together, you can talk about it, laugh about it, and prepare to deal with any possible comments that may arise. 

Considering everyone is already aware of the elephant anyways, why not open the lines of communication regarding it, and make the moment come and go more smoothly?

Eventually, maybe the whole room can know and we don't have keep pretending the elephant isn't there...

If the topic is discussed, you'd be surprised at how unnecessary the awkwardness really was. Most likely, the room will address it for a couple of moments, then proceed to pass by that conversation entirely.

Obviously don't just rush and start picking off elephants left and right, but it may be beneficial to stop avoiding the obvious.  Work together to remove these elephants from the rooms, and find ways to laugh about them...

And not those awkward laughs reserved for drowning out the sound of stomping elephants at our feet and the forefront of our consciousness.

Until next time,

Long Live The People 

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