The Elephant in the Room
Conversations are as natural to us as the air we breathe. We engage in them every day at work, school and at home without giving it much thought. Yet, when certain pollutants get into our air and it starts to affect our breathing causing us to suddenly begin to choke that’s when we realize that we need to move to a cleaner location in order to improve our quality of life.
The same is true for conversations. When communication becomes difficult, the relationships are strained. We will have these internal conflicts brewing inside of us taking a harsh toll on our energy, attitude, and spirit. To avoid having that important conversation some would say they don’t like conflict. Which to me sounds like a contradiction, since the conflict you are avoiding is conflicting with your internal being.
We are so mesmerized by all the reality TV drama, yet run from our own issues. We are great at giving advice to others on how to deal with their relationships as long as we are not involved we welcome the controversy. Maybe we avoid conflict because we reminisce over those conversations we’ve had that didn’t go so well, so we focus on the emotions we had at that time. Whatever the case sometimes we need to just address the elephant in the room, but not before we prepare ourselves to be comfortable bringing the elephant up. Because if we don’t have those conversations we can become bitter and all those pollutants will only get thicker making it hard for us to swallow or maybe even breathe.
I can remember a time when I had to have an important conversation with someone who I care for deeply. The situation had caused slight friction in our relationship, and although within myself I had forgiven them for what occurred, they had no idea that what they had done had such an impact on me. So for me to ease my own mind and get the pollutants out of my environment I had to let them know how I felt about the situation and how what they did was really bothering me. In order to do this, I had to first take the time to think things over and clarify my own position on the issue. I had to also figure out what is truly important to me and what I can live without. Not that I could/can’t live without this person, but this person is an important part of my life, however, if my expressing my feelings severed the relationship, then so be it. However, since I know the person pretty well, I did reflect on how the conversation may impact the relationship with that person.
By doing this I learned that you can express yourself without getting your emotions involved. I also had to look at the situation from various perspectives by playing out several scenarios in my head of which I made my character in my head (the other person) to be very cooperative to what was being said to them. I had to check out their motives as well as my assumptions. This helped me to prepare for their response as well. Because let’s face it, in real life when we decide to confront someone we don’t take the time to think things through. We are fueled by our emotions and say things that we may regret later. By playing scenarios it helped me to take the time to think about how I was going to go about expressing myself. It also helped that the incident happened a while ago, which also gave me time to marinate over the situation. I am glad to say it went well.
So when there comes a time in which you feel the need to confront someone with an important conversation that needs to be had, you must remember that the conversation may not go according to plan, but you must remain present and also flexible to the conversation, because being prepared gives you an upper hand in addressing the elephant in the room.