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For Gentle Souls

An homage and suggestions.

No author listed, MaxPixels CC0
Source: No author listed, MaxPixels CC0

Today, we seem to venerate the loud-and-proud, the big-and-bad badass. Amid the din, the gentle soul can be underappreciated.

After all, gentle souls disproportionately are listeners, reflective, patient, and considerate. Here are some ideas that the gentle soul might find helpful.

The gentle soul at work

They're less likely to speak up at meetings, tout an accomplishment, or make a suggestion to a coworker, let alone to the boss. If that sounds like you, would it help to put your thoughts in writing, if only as preparation for making your suggestion verbally? In an important situation, you might rehearse, perhaps with a trusted friend or into your phone’s voice recorder.

A previous post discusses a specific situation: The Gentle Job Seeker.

The gentle soul in a romantic relationship

The gentle soul may quietly bear their partner's undesired behavior. Does the Wise One within you tell you to bring it up? Perhaps you'd be more motivated if you remember that you may be more effective than aggressive people are. Briefly, tactfully, make your case, for example, “Dear, it seems you’re doing weed more often. I’m worried and it's not fun watching you sit inert for hours. What do you think?”

In looking for a romantic relationship, there is the introvert's advantage. Sure, extroverts do better in bars but that may not be the best place to curate prospective dates. Introverts tend to do better in more valid contexts: online, when getting set up by friends, or participating in something that's ongoing, whether a course, volunteering after work, or even at work, although especially beware of dating your boss or supervisee.

The gentle soul as parent

If you’re lucky, you have an agreeable child who welcomes your gentle demeanor. If not, recognize that good parenting requires setting moderate limits. When your child misbehaves, in your gentle way, look your child in the eye and say, for example, “This is the third time I called you to dinner. I know you want to do your part as a family member. Okay?”

A gentle soul’s life well-led

Many gentle people have accomplished a great deal for themselves and their sphere of influence. Despite what pop culture and social media may blare, many very contributory people just quietly do their work. And even if you’re not particularly achievement-oriented, gentle souls can make quite a contribution with their tendency to be reflective, a good listener, and kind.

The takeaway

If you are a gentle soul, society may more likely ignore or even denigrate you, but know that you’re as worthy as the loud-and-proud, maybe more.

I read this aloud on YouTube.

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