How to deal with an elephant in the room

Why is it so hard to deal with an elephant in the room? The elephant in the room is an idiomatic expression representing a person or truth that is an obvious problem, but never gets addressed. Thus the people in the room with the elephant ignore it because of a reticence to pay the price of confronting and trying to solve the problem.

Elephants are hard to confront because usually their sheer size has an intimidating and controlling effect on people. Their opinion carries a lot of weight. Once they have settled on something they are almost impossible to budge. Or if you get them going on something they may run you over while what ever truths or opinions you have to offer are cast aside. Sad to say they have a thick skin that is hard to penetrate with the truth. Even though they have big ears they often are not open to hearing what others have to say.

And so we try to pretend the elephant is not there. But in the end that does not do the elephant any good and those in the room with the elephant have to go on suffering.

The elephant in the room syndrome has troubled me for some time. Number one, if I were the big guy in the room I would want to know it and hopefully be helped to deal with it. Number two, those affected by the elephant are hindered from bringing their best contribution to the table. The dysfunctional effects of the elephant reverberate throughout the room and beyond, multiplying hidden suspicions, whispered conversations and frustration.

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