An Elephant In The Room & The Art Of Eggshell Dancing!

Have you ever walked into a room and had the total icky knowing that you had just been “privately discussed (I mean, gossiped about)” and then felt horribly uncomfortable, ashamed, upset or guilty? Or, perhaps you have been among a group of people who were the gossipers or nay-sayers, and a new person arrived that wasn’t invited ‘per se’’ or, maybe everyone seemed to know something ‘sticky’ about her personal life… except for her? And soon, there was a palpable uncomfortable or heavy energy present?

All awkward elephant in the room stuff, right?

What about this scenario? Have you ever had the experience of being with a person who seemed to be perpetually ‘on the edge of upset, anger or anxiety’, and you were trying to keep him/her calm or stop him or her from getting triggered into a downward spiral? I used to play the role of ‘skillful comedian and jokester’ as a key way to lighten our family energy, or rebound everyone from a huge blow up.

Ohhh.. the art of eggshell dancing.

Everyone is acquainted with the the elephant in the room and eggshell dancing, yet some people are prone to experiencing these somewhat tricky and uncomfortable phenomena on a very regular basis. And often to our own detriment.

My jokester role could have been an ok role to play, except it was purely co-depend. It was an effort to manage or change others’ emotions. I believed for FAR too many years, that I was indeed responsible for others’ emotional wellbeing. And secondly, the jokes I would tell were to my own self- betrayal. I would poke terrible fun of my intelligence and my body shape. I fully traded myself, betrayed myself for a quick laugh or lightening of mood or energy.

Interestingly, the elephants and eggshells are far-reaching and include a barrage of emotionally harmful habits, limiting beliefs and negative emotional habits.

I grew up in a…, how should I put this? A family system with a wild excellence for enabling and co-dependence – the foundations of elephants and eggshells! It wasn’t all bad of course, and there was lots of love and care. But we did learn a few stress-inducing coping skills / defense mechanisms related to elephants and eggshells.

Let’s look at elephants in the room and the art of eggshell dancing one at a time. Below are a few classic characteristics or patterns that go hand in hand with elephant and eggshells

The Elephant In The Room

  • Gossiping, judging, condemning

  • Looking to be offended. In this way, people just seem to always be offended, wronged, experiencing ‘bad luck’ or generally victimized in some way.

  • Overly emotional outbursts are a common denominator among elephant and eggshell situations.

  • A lack of mustering the courage speaking your mind and your truth to others, especially with it feels very difficult, thus leaving ‘silent and negative energy between yourself and others.

  • A lack of handling and effectively solving difficult situations, and instead pretending to ignore them or forget things. Yet being able to recall said crimes weeks, months or even years later and while continuing to feel negatively about the situation/person involved.

  • A lack of holding others accountable in healthy and loving ways. Or not giving out appropriate consequences when needed.

  • Not setting or holding strong boundaries (and instead feeling angry, upset, run over or resentful when others breech your boundaries or behave negatively toward you). A lack of boundaries leaves us emotionally unprotected and vulnerable in potentially painful ways.

  • Not saying no, but instead committing to things you will resent later, but not actually communicating your desires or needs.

The Art Of Eggshell Dancing

A few classic characteristics of the ole elephant in the room are as follows:

  • Gossiping, judging, condemning

  • Looking to be offended. In this way, people just seem to always be offended, wronged, experiencing ‘bad luck’ or generally victimized in some way.

  • Overly emotional outbursts are a common denominator among elephant and eggshell situations.

  • A lack of mustering the courage speaking your mind and your truth to others, especially with it feels very difficult, thus leaving ‘silent and negative energy between yourself and others.

  • A lack of handling and effectively solving difficult situations, and instead pretending to ignore them or forget things. Yet being able to recall said crimes weeks, months or even years later and while continuing to feel negatively about the situation/person involved.

  • A lack of holding others accountable in healthy and loving ways. Or not giving out appropriate consequences when needed.

  • Not setting or holding strong boundaries (and instead feeling angry, upset, run over or resentful when others breech your boundaries or behave negatively toward you). A lack of boundaries leaves us emotionally unprotected and vulnerable in potentially painful ways.

  • Not saying no, but instead committing to things you will resent later, but not actually communicating your desires or needs.

“What, wait a minute…. The characteristics look identical?”

YEP! You read correctly!

Where there are elephants, there are also eggshells. Elephants are extremely large take up an inordinate amount of emotional space, and Eggshells are extremely prickly, painful and cut you emotionally as we create and walk on them!

There are certainly nuances and more characteristics, but in an effort to keep this concept simple, lets think of them as a destructive dynamic duo.

Elephants and Eggshells are a dynamic duo of discomfort, upset, suffering, lies, hidden agendas, mistruths, secrecy, hidden feelings, and resentment! Wow, not that awesome, huh?

Unfortunately, along the way, we learn dramatically fruitless skills that we take on as natural defense mechanisms before even know it or know better. But in reality Elephants and Eggshells are born of fear, distrust, enabling and co-dependence. Thankfully there are always paths to healing, elegant solutions and new ways of being.

Solutions Anyone?

Solutions abound! You can practice just one new solution habit per year and your life will change dramatically for the better! Here are a few changes you can make to begin eliminating Elephants and Eggshells!