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  • Esther Ruth Friedman

A conversation with A Little Bit Culty & a head's up about Living Cult Free!

Hi Everyone, It's been a minute but this podcast is now live! Click Gentle Souls: Esther Friedman on 'School' to listen.

I'm going to post more about the topics we discussed. For now, though, I'll touch on two starting points: First, Sarah & Nippy asked me to define the term Gentle Soul, so the short version is ...

Who are Gentle Souls? Empathic people, so attuned to emotions that their hearts lead, their idealism fuels actions and they take on the lion's share of emotional burden in relationships. They are wired to extend the benefit of the doubt to everyone. So, to them, pathological selfishness is inconceivable - people are all good at heart, right? Hurt people hurt people, right? They are especially vulnerable to exploitative people, because and... Second, as Nippy astutely pointed out, the natural Gentle Soul wiring gives grifters the advantage. People with sociopathic proclivities are wired to "win". They read and leverage vulnerabilities for selfish gain. When your framework for human engagement is transactional you simply move through the world doing whatever it takes. While toxic exploiters take advantage of faith in human goodness, Gentle Souls cannot fathom such callousness.

So, Gentle Souls, I'm sorry. I know that this is antithetical to your belief in goodness. But the silver lining is that most people ARE GOOD. Recognizing that some are inherently deceitful is the first step towards protecting your empathy, energy, time, space and focus. The truth is that knowing this is freeing. If someone in your life proves to be untrustworthy, you can move on without guilt. Life is too short to hem and haw over someone who doesn't have your back.

That brings me to my next bit of news about the new organization, Living Cult Free. This non-profit is dedicated to empowering survivors of coercive control and relational abuse. For the last year, I've been privileged to be on the Board with a fantastic group of kick-ass cult busters! So, read the mission statement and meet the Board members.

More to come on Living Cult Free, soon!

Thank you for reading and remember, there's NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! The world needs MORE kindness, not less. So, keep on keeping on while protecting your Gentle Soul!

Inhale, exhale, Esther

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