Sociable

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Elephant in the Room


I need advice. Have you ever been stuck in a situation where there's a huge issue or incident hovering over all parties involved, and everyone pretends it's not there?

If you've shared space with a big issue nobody is willing to discuss, what did you do? How did things turn out? Did your elephant ever leave? Please share your story.

19 comments:

GutsyWriter said...

I tend to evaluate the situation and pick one person aside to share my thoughts with, and see how they react, before bringing it out to the whole crowd.

GutsyWriter said...

You could always ask Gutsy Parrot to come to the rescue, depending on the situation. See Gutsy Parrot's post, and let me know if he can help.

Red Bird said...

Well, I can't say I've been in the same place before but I do know that honesty is always the best policy- even if some people get hurt feelings in the process. The key is to do everything with love and out of love- and I'm sure you do know that, Angie. I am sorry that you find yourself in such a situation, though.
I know when my daddy died, there were issues with one of my other siblings about things that went on before- and I was just harboring these awful feelings- and finally, it just all exploded up. I wish I would have done the smart thing and just expressed myself earlier... feelings get so ramped up and by then, it almost guarantees an uncomfortable outcome. But, as time does, feelings get situated, you're able to talk more freely, and there is relief somehow.
Good luck, Angie- hope that elephant gets smaller and smaller- and quick!
:)
*hugs*

Carrie Wilson Link said...

If it's alcohol related it will never go away, that's my experience. The elephant will just grow, so best to leave the room.

Marguerite said...

I've been in this situation many times in my life. It seems like denial runs very deeply in some families, even in the face of hard core reality. Guess you can tell that I'm talking about my ex's family. The elephant never left, so I did. Hugs!

BJW said...

I'm the dunce who always blurts out, "Hey, there's an elephant in the room."

Yes, I would also be the kid who let the emperor know that he was naked as a jay bird. And that he looked cold.

Yes, sometimes it gets me in trouble and I have to try and make amends. But often the elephant seems so much bigger when everyone is doing their best to ignore it. It usually shrinks to manageable size when discussed.

I also find a few "war games" or simulations in my head as to how people will react helps. Consider what I expect and then what I want out of the situation. Then what is the best way to connect those dots. Just think of it like you're playing poker. Keep your cards breasted and play your hand like it's four deuces. You'll do great.

And most importantly, don't listen to me at all. I'm the elephant pointer-outer.

K. said...

If it's my own business, I just come out and talk about it. I don't like having skeletons in the closet...better to just acknowledge the awkwardness, do what's necessary to fix it, and move on.

If it's someone else's business, I follow their cue. If it's a friend, I may talk to them about it. If it's not a good friend, I ignore it and allow the other person to deal with it however they want. I wish they would just come out and talk about it and get it over with, but people deal with things differently and we need to respect that. Also, since I am not close to them, it's not my place to intervene--that will only get you in trouble. Leave it to that person's close friends or family to decide how to handle it best.

Anonymous said...

I think the best way is to bring it up if I have a dog in the hunt. Then deal with the cards as they come up. If I can help, let me know.

Oren

Angie Ledbetter said...

THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELPFUL, KIND, WONDERFUL ADVICE AND SHARING OF EXPERIENCE!

LOVE YA

Janna Qualman said...

You do - or say - what needs to be said, especially if the result of not doing so could severely affect the life around you. It doesn't mean it's easy. But the elephant doesn't seem so intimidating once it's been done. And I always feel a huge sigh of relief when I did what I know was right, even if it put someone in a position to be upset with me. You have to take that risk.

Have I yammered long enough? Did anything worthy come out of that?

;)

Deb Shucka said...

You do what you need to for yourself - your safety, your integrity, your truth. You can't control the elephant (unless it's your personal property) and you can't control the people who don't want to see it. I've had to leave more than one elephant in a room, but I always leave the door open to whatever space I'm occupying (elephant free) in case someone might want to join me. Sending you prayers for insight, wisdom, courage and peace. Love.

Anita said...

Well like everyone else has probably said, I'd share it with someone I implicitly trust and then hopefully would then have someone to aid me in working out the issue.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Janna, Deb & Anita - thank you my sage friends. :)

Jessica said...

I was just talking about this with someone close to me. I hadn't even noticed the elephant until she pointed it out. It's a real big one, the kind that should never be ignored, but for some reason I thought it was normal until someone started talking about the elephant in their room. The same kind as ours. And this person was angry.
The person close to me was like, why wasn't anyone in our room angry? I didn't know why. I didn't realize how wrong it was to not be angry.
No advice here because I think everyone in the room didn't manage the elephant in the right way.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

I like what Deb said.

It truly depends on the elephant. And if it is harming your integrity. If it is someone else's problem (their marriage, etc.) -- they must deal with the elephant. You are only there to lend support. But not at your expense, your health, your integrity, etc.

Stephanie Faris said...

I've learned over time that most of the time nobody's discussing it for a reason. And when you try to press it, disaster happens, so I usually keep my mouth shut!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yes, what Deb and Boomer said! (although I didn't read them all, these two make a lot of sense to me!)
HUG

bythe way -can't see your followers, my followers, or anyone's followers STILL after a week - pah!

Hilary said...

I see that I'm late to this party room and that you've already received some fine advice. I totally agree with the concept of sharing views with one of the folks you feel closest to, to gain perspective and strength. I hope that by now, your elephant has packed up its trunk and trudged off.

MM said...

Most elephants never leave the room... Some of us prefer to live with it and some of us are brave to leave the room, but i can say that yes most live in denials and stay with their elephants. I did.. :)
http://malini-myvoice.blogspot.com/

Labels (Posts, not Peoples)