“When there’s an elephant in the room, introduce him.”
The study of human nature is interesting, isn’t it? Take, for example, the way people often react to uncomfortable situations. Silence, avoidance or complete retreat are common responses that we, as humans, have – when faced with an embarrassing or awkward moment. In an effort to avoid unpleasant confrontation or negative reaction, we often choose the path of least resistance – by acting “pc” (politically correct) or “civilized” … which translates to “we don’t say what we mean or mean what we say.” We either say nothing or give a very watered-down version of what we really want to say. This, in my opinion, does everyone a disservice. Kind, constructive criticism or commentary may be quite helpful to the person for whom it is intended – that is, if that person chooses to hear, digest and heed it. The choice (of hearing, digesting the information and heeding it) is always his/her prerogative, after all.
Now, I most definitely do NOT advocate mean-spirited criticism or commentary. That does no one any good.
Nor, by contrast, do I agree with ego stroking or pretense.
What I DO support is that people cut the BS and simply say what they mean and mean what they say. As the late Professor Pausch once said, “introduce him”…. the elephant, that is. Deal with the elephant in the room, gently and elegantly – but deal with him.
It is far better to clear the air, than to leave things unsaid … because when things are left unsaid, they often fester.
This, I know for sure.
Photo via vet.cornell.edu.