Often, rather than addressing an elephant in the room, we avoid it.
Dealing with it causes discomfort, so we blame other things or people for our problems.
If you’ve done that (or are doing it now), I have one question for you:
How are you feeding the elephant?
For example, maybe you avoid asking for what you need.
When you do, you’re feeding an elephant.
If you don’t communicate to someone that you need something, it can cause a barrier.
When that happens, the elephant will grow and grow.
Once, in response to the question “How have you fed an elephant?”, a survey respondent wrote:
“Somebody tried to call the elephant out, and I got mad at them.”
What was it that triggered their anger?
Anger is a secondary emotion, meaning it is fueled by other emotions.
It arises when we are trying to protect ourselves from things like fear, humiliation, sadness, shame, and hurt.
When anger and frustration show up, these are cues that we have needs that are unfulfilled.
They may need to be heard, included, respected, or safe.
So, the next time you feel angry or frustrated, look at it as a sign.
Think about whether your needs are being met.
If they aren’t, consider directly communicating your needs rather than blaming them.
Ready to get really clear about your work values and stop avoiding frustrations? Pick up Don’t Feed the Elephants! today.