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Courage to shup up

The courage to shut up


In the video above on the right, neither the man nor the woman is choosing the courage to shut up. Each of them is not willing to make friends with their fear of not being able to control the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of the other.

Most often choosing courage means taking a new action

I have often spoken of the courage to express your feelings and thoughts, to say “no” when you need to say no, to set and maintain good boundaries, and to make requests.

Sometimes choosing courage means not taking an action you would normally take


But there is also a different expression of courage, an expression that is not as obviously courageous: the courage to remain silent, the courage to keep your mouth shut, the courage to just listen.


The courage to accept our powerlessness

Sometimes we talk too much or talk when we shouldn’t talk because we’re trying to control the situation or control how others perceive us, trying to control that which we have little or no control over. And, in the process, we end up damaging whatever influence or results we might have achieved had we remained silent. When we stop talking and remain silent, we embrace our fear and this is a choice of courage.


The courage to be patient

Sometimes we talk because we are impatient with listening, or have a certain fear of really listening and thus losing control of the conversation.


In fact, if we focus on listening, we are much more likely to influence what we would like to influence. When we stop talking and listen, we embrace our fear and this is a choice of courage.


The courage to let go of trying to control

Sometimes we talk in order to ensure that others see us, that others appreciate us, that others understand us. However, in doing so, we create the opposite result, preventing others from seeing us, appreciating us, and understanding us. When we stop talking and listen we embrace our fear and this is a choice of courage.


The courage to not let someone know how we feel

Sometimes we talk because we have to get something off our chest, to tell someone how we feel, or to just "be ourselves." However, in doing so, we can damage important relationships and cause unnecessary problems.


The courage to hold your tongue

Holding your tongue can be a choice of courage, especially if you embrace the fear and pain that you want to get off your chest. Instead, you can express it privately, in a non-destructive way. It's very important to get it out; just be judicious if you do it publicly. When you hold your tongue and focus on listening you embrace your fear and this is a choice of courage.


Prep yourself for choosing courage to remain silent

Think of three recent times where you had an opportunity to choose courage by remaining silent. Did you choose courage each time?


What might be the next opportunity to choose the courage of silence?

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