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Old Soul: What It Means & 39 Traits and Signs You’re Wise Beyond Your Years

Have you ever wondered if you are an old soul? And do you even know what that means? If you’re curious, read these signs and traits of old souls.

what is an old soul

Sometimes it’s weird being told that you have an old soul. To you, you don’t really notice, this is who you are. But what actually are the characteristics of an old soul?

It seems you’ve finally had enough and decided to find out what is an old soul once and for all. Before we go ahead and tell you the signs of an old soul, you should know more specifically what an old soul is.

What is an old soul?

An old soul is a compliment in every way. Sure, someone your age might use it as an insult to describe you as boring or not with the times, but the times are overrated.

Someone who is an old soul is mentally and emotionally more mature than most people. Since they’re someone whose wisdom surpasses the people around them, they’re able to see a different perspective of life.

An old soul is usually slightly withdrawn from people and they are very thoughtful. They typically stand out amongst their peers whether with their personality, their hobbies, their interests, or just their vibe.

A young child who gives wise advice or a teenager who can write a novel that touches the hearts of millions may be called an old soul.

On the other hand, a young soul may be a grandmother that instead of baking cookies and knitting goes skydiving and go-karting every chance she gets. See the difference? [Read: How to step out and live life to the fullest]

Is it a good thing to be an old soul? 

There is nothing inherently good or bad about being an old soul. It mostly just means that you look at life and the world differently than most people. 

A lot of people think that having a unique perspective on life can benefit you and other people who know you. You can give really great advice with your viewpoint of the world.

But sometimes having characteristics of an old soul can be challenging. [Read: How to not be awkward – a guide for the quirky ones]

Because you might see a broader perspective of life, you might be distracted from mundane – but necessary – activities of life such as time management or simply paying your bills.

Another difficulty old souls face is having trouble fitting in with others at times. This inability to connect to others their age could cause them to feel like an outsider or a loner.

None of these things are good or bad. It just comes down to what an old soul makes of them. [Read: 30 secrets to start over a new life and leave your past for a new adventure]

Are old souls rare? 

Yes, old souls are rare, but not as rare as you might think. While it’s difficult to really measure whether someone has an old soul or not, some people estimate that perhaps only 10-15% of the people on earth have old souls.

With that said, there are some theories why old souls would even bother coming to earth in the first place.

The most commonly accepted one is that they are here to help humanity through difficult times. And they want to help others grow and evolve just like they did. [Read: What age does a man emotionally mature? 19 signs of maturing in a guy]

Benefits of being an old soul

While everyone might have their own opinion about whether or not it is good to be an old soul, most people would say that it is good to be an old soul for a variety of reasons.

1. You handle life better

Let’s face it – life throws us a lot of curve balls that we don’t expect. And it’s not easy for most people to handle life’s problems. 

But if you’re an old soul, you sail through life a little easier. You don’t let every little thing get you down and ruin your life. You’re just a lot less dramatic. [Read: Secrets to happiness – the uncomplicated guide for a happy life]

2. You don’t take anything too seriously

As the saying goes, “don’t sweat the small things.” Well, old souls know this and live by that motto. They know that attitude is everything. And they also think that something is not a problem unless they think it is a problem. They know that life is all about perspective.

3. You have more inner peace

Because old souls handle life and its problems more effectively than younger souls, they have a lot more inner peace. [Read: Finding peace – how to calm your mind and make peace a state of mind]

Younger souls let outside influences ruin their attitude and their experience of life. But old souls are much more even-keeled and are calmer and happier.

Challenges of being an old soul

In general, it’s a great thing to be an old soul. However, it is not without its challenges either. Here are some of the common ones many old souls face.

1. You get frustrated with other people

Because you are more easygoing than younger souls, you can get frustrated with them pretty easily. [Read: Why do I hate people? 16 reasons and ways to let go and find happiness]

You just don’t understand why they overreact and get dramatic about life. Even when you try to help them, sometimes they act like they don’t want your help.

2. You only seek the truth

A lot of people are quite willing to live a life of lies. They want other people to look up to them and fit into the crowd. 

But old souls only care about the truth. And the truth is not something that a lot of other people want to know. So, that is irritating to old souls. [Read: Compulsive liar – why they lie, 22 signs and ways to spot them and walk away]

3. You ask questions that people don’t like

Because you are always seeking the truth, you want to try to help other people discover their own truth too. But as we just said, younger souls don’t like doing that. It’s difficult for them to self-reflect and find areas in which they need to grow.

4. You might feel different from other people

Sometimes old souls can feel like they are different and they just don’t fit in with everyone else. So, it can be challenging to be one from a social point of view. They don’t always like to go along with the crowd like most other people.

Are you an old soul?

Have you always felt like an outsider? Maybe as a kid, you got along with adults better than your classmates. [Read: No one cares about me – 18 reasons why and steps to stop feeling this way]

Someone who grew up around a lot of adults and not many kids may be an old soul. Do you feel like you were meant to live in another time?

Do you prefer music from decades ago as opposed to what is popular on the radio now? And do you like to take the slow lane? 

Do you like to stop and look at things and enjoy them? And do you prefer making things from scratch, the old-fashioned way? [Read: 20 signs of emotional maturity and traits that reveal a mature mind]

All of these things can be signs that you are an old soul. Of course, there is no black-and-white test that will tell you whether you are an old soul or not. It is not like the soul of an old person is inside of you and taking a quiz can determine it or not.

Rather, you can have the characteristics of an old soul. You can have plenty that categorizes you as a young soul too. Just like you can be a percentage introvert and a percentage extrovert, being an old soul is the same. You are not all old souls or young souls. [Read: Introvert vs. extrovert – why it’s fluid and what splits them apart]

What are the characteristics of an old soul?

If you read these characteristics and consistently find yourself saying “that’s me” to yourself, you are almost definitely an old soul. But, if you read this list and say “hell, no” to yourself over and over, you are probably more of a young soul.

But, even the youngest soul may find some common ground with these older soul characteristics.

1. You are emotionally stable

Someone that is an old soul, at any age, is emotionally stable. If something that would cause others to throw a fit happens, you stay strong. You may cry and show emotion, but you do not overact. [Read: How to be emotionally stable and find your perfect zone of calmness]

2. You give good advice

People always come to you for advice. You’re like the wise owl among your friends and family. 

When people seek your help, they’re usually floored by your response and never end up following them. Why? Because they’re not on your level of understanding. [Read: Marriage advice- 20 real-life tips and lessons for a happily ever after]

3. You have experienced more than others your age

Often, old souls are born through dealing with a lot of life in fewer years. Someone who has faced tragedy or struggle is forced to grow up a lot faster than others. Meaning, they endured a lot and learned a lot.

4. You prefer to spend time with those older than you

When you’re at a family gathering, do you gravitate toward your grandparents? If you thrive off hearing stories from those who came before you rather than chatting with others your age, you may very well be an old soul.

5. You find it difficult to connect with those your age

Sure, you have friends your own age, but if you find it hard to connect on certain topics like pop culture and the latest trends, you may be an old soul or at least have characteristics of an old soul. [Read: Immature men – 27 manchild signs and why you should stay away from him]

6. You love to learn

Old souls love to learn, often by reading. Old souls understand that there is so much knowledge in the world and no one will ever obtain it all, but you can learn as much as possible while you’re here.

7. You prefer music, art, and film from the past

If your taste in everything from TV to music to movies and more pulls back in time, you may have the qualities of an old soul. Sure, you may like some current entertainment too, but you prefer the older sound. 

You may like current music that pulls inspiration from the oldies and movies and TV that take place in the past. [Read: Don’t let these 15 things sabotage your life]

8. You know what matters to you

Are you decisive? This is one of the strong characteristics of an old soul. You know what matters most and who you are. You do not wonder if your job or your family deserves more time.

9. You are open-minded

Someone with an old soul is patient. You hear everyone’s point of view. You do not have the ego or obstinance to shut down a way of thinking, existence, or belief. [Read: How to be cultured in a social media-obsessed world]

10. You prefer the quiet

If you go to the movies and think “Wow, this is so loud,” you are at least partly an old soul. If you prefer a quiet lounge to a dance club, you may be an old soul. 

11. You don’t mind long drives

Something about old souls makes them like a long drive *not traffic*. A long drive is less stressful and more relaxing for old souls than for others. It lets you take in the sights, think, listen to music, and just be.

12. You are rational

People who are not old souls have irrational tendencies. They can act based solely on their emotions, make rash decisions, and do things before thinking. Old souls are rational and think things through before acting. [Read: Why am I so emotional? Emotional stability and 27 secrets to balance life]

13. You are not in a rush

Old souls take things slow. If you find yourself driving slower, walking slower, and just taking your time rather than rushing, you may be an old soul. 

Those who are young souls usually rush around. They want to get as much done as they can. But, old souls do not mind taking it easy.

14. You trust your own judgment

Old souls have a lifetime’s worth of experience. They know that they can trust their judgment. They respect their limits and other people’s limits too. [Read: How self-respect affects you and the relationship you have]

15. You pick your battles wisely

An old soul stays calm unless something else is needed. If you find yourself calm when others are worked up you may have the characteristics of an old soul, especially if you give others a sense of calm. You also don’t lash out or yell unless required for a situation.

Instead, you share your story, experiences, and opinions, but hold back if unwarranted. You often listen to others before making your decision whether or not to share.

16. You enjoy being alone

If you enjoy drinking a cup of tea while tucked in bed, you may be an old soul. Old souls usually enjoy their alone time when they’re able to think and focus on the endless topics circulating in their heads. 

If you’re introverted, this is a strong sign of being an old soul. Introverts enjoy spending time alone, either reading, drawing, or writing. [Read: Understanding the different types of introverts there are]

17. Reflection is a power for you

You spend the majority of your time focusing on yourself and not in a selfish way. And you also reflect on past events, conversations you’ve had, and your own feelings. 

You feel the more you learn about yourself, the better. And you’re completely right about that. [Read: How to really get to know who you are]

18. You feel spiritual

You feel that there’s something bigger than you, bigger than us. Whether it’s God, Mother Nature, or the Universe, there’s something inside of you that feels this connection. If this is you, then it looks like you’re an old soul. 

19. You’re not a party animal

You would rather hang out with one or two friends at home than spend a night out in a club. You feel disconnected and more alone. 

This doesn’t mean you don’t go out at all, you do, but you choose the outing wisely. You’re more into deep experiences than shallow ones. [Read: How to be more social – 22 ways to genuinely connect with others]

20. Honesty and knowledge have your respect

You love reading, you just can’t get enough of books. For you, books are a second world to dive into. Well, you could be an old soul. Old souls are curious about the world and love listening to others share their stories and knowledge.

21. You’re not into the latest trends

You know what everyone’s talking about on Instagram, but you’re not interested. It’s just not your thing. [Read: The toxic dangers of social media and 19 signs and ways it makes you insecure]

Whether you get a new phone or not, you don’t care. You want to fill yourself with memories and emotions rather than materialistic things.

22. You want a deep connection

This is why you’re not going out to clubs and noisy bars. You want to have a conversation with someone, you want to connect with them. You don’t want a half-assed friendship, you want a real one. Thus, you focus on deep friendships rather than passers-by.

23. You think before you do

When you’re immature, you’re not profoundly thinking things through. Instead, you ignore the red flags and just go for it. 

But when you’re an old soul, you’re taking risks, but planning out risks. You think before you do something instead of just jumping in blindly. [Read: Steps to help you change your life and find your happiness]

24. Minimal is best

You’re not into consuming things. This doesn’t mean your home is empty, but you want a minimal concept. Things don’t drive your life, your life is driven by memories, books, and creative energy. This is one of the common characteristics of an old soul.

25. You didn’t have many friends growing up

You always felt that you couldn’t make friends and were always the odd one in your class. And because of that, you weren’t the popular one. You may even have been bullied. 

You pretended to like things to have friends. But now that you’re older, there’s no need to act. [Read: How to be an adult and learn to behave like one]

26. You just feel it

Even though you’re getting older, you still feel out of place with the people around you. You’re not into going out. You enjoy your alone time, you haven’t changed. This isn’t a bad thing at all, just accept who you are.

27. You’re a good listener and have empathy 

You don’t need to think about advice, it comes out of you like word vomit. You always see things from a different perspective so you can understand situations with ease. 

Common characteristics of an old soul are being great at listening and answering difficult questions. [Read: How to be a good person – small changes to transform your world]

28. You love home

When you know you’re going home, a light in your eyes shines brightly. You love your home. This is where you feel safe and protected. 

If you have an old soul, you don’t need a lot to make you happy so long as you’re home. This is where you can entirely be yourself and do whatever you like.

29. You often experience synchronicities

A lot of old souls are spiritual and believe that everything happens for a reason. [Read: Real soulmates – what it is, how it works, 59 secrets and signs to find yours]

So, you think that doors open at the exact right time that it is needed. If you experience a lot of synchronicities in your life, then you share characteristics of an old soul. 

30. You are a bit of a rebel

Young souls desperately want to be liked by other people. Because of this, they are susceptible to peer pressure. But if you’re an old soul, you’re not. 

You don’t have a problem going against the grain and rebelling sometimes. And you also know that just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. [Read: Sense of self – what it is, 36 signs, tips, and steps to raise it and feel great]

31. You don’t want to control others

Immature people always want to have their way. They are more selfish and want to control other people’s actions. But an old soul knows that’s not possible. You have no interest in trying to control people because you know that the only person who can control someone’s actions is the person themselves.

32. You have good intuition

Intuition is that gut feeling that something is right or wrong. And old souls not only have that intuition, but they also recognize it and follow it. [Read: Gut instinct – what it is, how it works, and 30 tips to follow and listen to your gut]

A younger soul might not even recognize they have a gut feeling let alone follow it. It’s difficult to follow your intuition because sometimes it goes against logic. But an old soul doesn’t care and does what feels right to them.

33. You have a feeling that earth is not your true home

Some old souls have this deep feeling that somehow they are out of place on earth. You look around and all you see are people fighting one another and you just don’t understand why.

You prefer to have peace and love in the world. And you feel like maybe you were born here by accident and there’s another planet somewhere that would be a better place for you to live. [Read: Stop being socially awkward – steps that’ll change you for good]

34. You love being in nature

Old souls deeply appreciate the beauty on earth that God created. Whether it’s sitting by the ocean or hiking in the woods, you love being out in nature. It makes you feel calm and peaceful in a crazy world.

35. You understand the importance of forgiveness

If you know that holding on to resentment is like, what Buddha said, “drinking poison and expecting the other person to die,” then you are most likely an old soul. 

Forgiveness is one of the most important characteristics of an old soul. [Read: How to forgive and forget – 24 steps to decide on the right step]

You realize that if you don’t forgive people, then you are only punishing yourself by carrying around that negativity. But you also know that forgiving does not mean you condone their actions.

36. You feel wiser than your parents

Maybe you felt as if the roles between parent and child were reversed when you were growing up. You might have been more responsible than one or both of your parents.

Even if your parents were responsible, you still might have felt more emotionally mature than them. [Read: Helicopter parents – 30 ways they ruin their children’s lives]

Your wisdom wasn’t imparted from them. And you might even be the one giving them advice, not the other way around.

37. You are a hopeless romantic

Old souls believe in things like soul mates and twin flames. They search out their other half and have a deep feeling that they will find them.

So, if you’re a hopeless romantic and believe that you will find your perfect person, ride off into the sunset, and live happily ever after you are probably an old soul. [Read: Hopeless romantic – what it means, 28 signs you’re one and the big struggles]

38. You are highly creative

You find that you want to put your creative talents to use. It could be that you are an artist and love painting. Or you could be a writer and create beautiful stories or poems.

Whatever your creative talent, you put it to use as much as you possibly can. It brings you great joy to be creative. This is one of the best characteristics of an old soul.

39. You want to make the world a better place

Old souls feel like they have a life purpose. And usually, they know what it is because it’s important to them. So, if you have a deep feeling that you can make a difference in this world and make it a better place, then you are most likely an old soul.

[Read: Free spirit – what it means & 40 signs and ways to enjoy the flow of life]

Having the characteristics of an old soul makes you one-of-a-kind. You might click better with the older generation or your fellow old souls more than your average peer, but that is not a weakness, it is a strength to be appreciated.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...