Some thought, idea, occurrence, subject which we are so uncomfortable with that we declare it taboo. We do not know what in the world to do with the elephant. My ideas on the subject of elephants are not 100% right each and every time, but as a rule of thumb~they are not all bad.
1. Ignoring it will not make the elephant go away.
You know it--everyone else knows it--but no one mentions there is an elephant here. Refusing to speak of the elephant will not make the elephant disappear.
2. Acknowledge the elephant up front.
With practice it becomes easier. Say the words, " I miss _____ tonight, sure wish they were here." Speak the taboo subject and set everyone at ease. Others will pick up on the signal that you are okay with talking about the elephant and the tension will be broken.
3. After introducing the elephant, allow the conversation to move forward.
The elephant has been acknowledged, so listen to the conversation concerning the elephant. Discussing the elephant will diminish the unease with what was thought to be an emotionally charged or awkward subject. Listening gives affirmation to the emotions of others and acknowledges our respect for their feelings.
4. Don't allow the elephant to take up all the air and space in the room.
Once the elephant has been acknowledged and discussed, move on. The elephant will suck the air from the room, if we are not willing to allow the subject to change. People run from uneasy subjects, and if we are unwilling to talk of nothing else, we will find ourselves being avoided. Yes, there is an elephant in the room, but the elephant should never be the center of attention for the entire time. Acknowledge the elephant, address the elephant and then move on --let Old Peanut Breath have a rest.
Elephants come when life throws us curve balls or we fall off the cliff of despair. At times our friends and families are unwilling to discuss the occurrences for fear of upsetting us. They do not know how to help and are uncomfortable with our pain. We need to acknowledge the presence of the elephant with them and allow them to hear our thoughts. The dynamic duo of talking and time will help us to deal with our circumstance, but first we have to be willing to introduce the elephant in the middle of the room.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen