There's no getting around it. Exercising interpersonal courage is hard. Most of us grow up learning to be nice or tactful but not honest. It is as if honesty and niceness are two opposite ends of a continuum.
It is understandable that honesty would have a bad rap. When most people talk about being honest, they mean unleashing defenses on another person without any awareness or concern for the other person's well-being. Also without any understanding of their own reactivity and underlying fear or hurt.
Interpersonal courage could mean being like a bull in a china shop. However, I will use it to mean that the person who is expressing himself or herself is doing so from a place of self-awareness and is doing it in a way that includes awareness of the other. Interpersonal courage is needed when the person expressing himself or herself is concerned about the reaction of the other and is willing to take the risk and say it anyway, knowing that the other's reactions might be less than positive or affirming.
This practice is based on all the blogs and practices from the last several months which focused on mindful conversations and adds interpersonal courage. For the first practice of the month, we'll focus on awareness and possibilities, so it will be more of an exploration than taking action.
Next week, the practice will include taking interpersonal courage out of your head and into the interpersonal arena.