If someone displays these 8 traits, they’re probably a deep thinker who sees the world differently

Do you think a lot? Perhaps finding yourself pondering the world and the many things within it? Maybe you view things from a different angle than most people? Or perhaps you know someone a bit like this.

If so read on to find out signs and traits that give away these deeply pensive people.

1) Feels things more deeply

My best friend is one of the most deep thinkers that I know. And perhaps because of that, she feels things more deeply and intensely than most. This could be anything from the sadness of a political event or natural disaster, or troubles in her own life. 

Sometimes people tell her that she is ‘too much’ or ‘too intense’, but I think she’s perfect. Her deep feelings are hard for her but they also give her insights and perspective that others miss.

For instance, she is incredibly empathetic and very good at picking up on other people’s emotions. This makes her a very reassuring person to be around.

Deep thinkers often feel things with an intensity that the rest of us can’t understand.

2) Cares about humanitarian matters

As you might expect, caring a lot about things means that poeple like my friend dont just think about themselves, but consider all kinds of humanitarian matters. My friend’s deep thinking makes her really feel the sadness of wars and human and animal suffering but also seeks to find ways to alleviate it.

Although she hasn’t yet found the way to world peace(!) she does her bit by volunteering for charities like Amnesty International – who help those suffering from human rights abuse.

Most deep thinkers find themselves moved to change the world in some way, whether through their jobs, volunteering, or advocating for those who need help and support.

3) Studies philosophy, history, anthropology, or psychology

Another thing my best friend does is look deeply into matters that involve humans. Like me she is fascinated by these disciplines, wanting to understand herself and the people around her more fully.

She tends to have strong opinions on things such as the latest international or civil wars, or protest movements like Black Lives Matter. But she doesn’t just read the headlines. Instead, she will consume various books and academic papers showing all different kinds of viewpoints.

She is ready to change her mind about things when she finds good evidence to the contrary. This is a strength that not many people have! 

Deep thinkers don’t just settle for the social media soundbites, or look for opinions that only support their own beliefs. Rather, they delve into the topics they are interested in and see what they can find.

4) Has existential thoughts

One of the more difficult traits of being a deep thinker is that it makes you question everything. My best friend often finds that she questions the very point of existence.  And this can be a depressing and isolating line of thinking.

But it does make for great conversations with those who are also interested in these topics. However, it can be a bit confusing or off-putting for others.

She recently was very impressed by The Myth of Sisyphus and spoke at length about it on a date.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Sisyphus was a clever king who tricked the gods and evaded death twice. He escaped the underworld and refused to follow the rules. But eventually, the gods had enough of his craftiness.

His eternal punishment was to push a large boulder up a steep hill, only for it to roll down every time he got near to the top, dooming him to repeat this futile task for eternity.

Philosophers see this myth as a metaphor for the pointlessness of human life. We all struggle to push boulders (achieve goals) uphill over and over, but they always roll back down. Others feel that meaning is still possible nevertheless.

It’s a deep and interesting philosophical essay and thought experiment, but it can be hard to think about. And it didn’t get her a second date!

Like her, most deep thinkers question the very things that make us human, and can be prone to sadness, hopelessness, and depression at times.

5) Has incredible creativity and imagination

youre more creative than you think If someone displays these 8 traits, they're probably a deep thinker who sees the world differently

Like many people who think a lot, my best friend has a very active inner world and imagination. And while that gets her down sometimes, it also serves to help her create beautiful artwork.

Her style of art is mesmerizing and absurdist, reflecting her own inner passions outwardly, and providing a release for all the thinking and emotions that go on in her busy mind.

She also has a talent for interior design, using her knowledge of people and their well-being to find designs that make life easier and more fulfilling. Such as creating a cozy reading nook for lovers of literature. (She suggested this for my home and I love it!)

That probably goes a long way to explain why so many artists are tortured souls!

6) Sees shades of gray

If you think a lot and read and consider things from different perspectives, it becomes almost impossible to think that only one way of doing things or thinking about things, is right.

Instead, deep thinkers like my friend, see all the shades of gray when considering an ethical issue or even a friend’s dilemma.

They understand that most situations rarely have an absolute, universally agreed-upon moral interpretation. Context and competing values mean that most real-life issues are complicated and multilayered.

For example, during a debate about shoplifting, many people quickly judge it as an open-and-shut, black-and-white case of right versus wrong. But my friend offered perspectives about the potential role of poverty, addiction, and the societal conditions that disadvantage marginalized groups. 

While she didn’t condone the act, she made us consider the gray – questioning our assumptions and seeing the humanity in people’s mistakes. Ultimately she was able to critique the wider system of late-stage capitalism rather than simply say “This is right” or “That’s wrong”. 

Her perspective led us to a more thoughtful discussion of prevention through systemic change rather than a reactionary condemnation of an act.

And that powerful ability to see the shades of gray is yet another trait that most deep thinkers exhibit.

7) Questions societal norms and rules

Most people just go along with the socially agreed norm. Or perhaps they rebel and become a “red piller” or a conspiracy theorist. 

But deep thinkers like my friend, form their own way of looking at things. And tend to live lives that defy normal conventions. Like me, she has lived abroad for most of her life, running her own businesses and traveling so that she can learn about other cultures.

And in so doing, learns about her own culture, when to appreciate traditions, and when to question them.

She questions why certain rules or traditions exist in the first place. Especially those that seem irrational, unethical, or stifling to human freedom. Rather than accepting the status quo, she investigates alternatives and forms her own opinions.

For example, she decided to practice polyamory rather than follow traditional assumptions about romance and family structures. She makes meaningful connections without formal categories like boyfriend/girlfriend that constrain how intimacies can unfold.

8) Can be a bit of an outsider or loner

As we’ve seen from the unfortunate Myth of Sysiphus date, not everybody is ready to consider alternative viewpoints. I’ve also experimented with things like polyamory and political theories such as anarchy, and it’s sometimes been met with a great deal of hostility or suspicions.

Because of that, many deep thinkers find themselves a bit isolated from the average person, even when they may crave connection. And that’s why a lot of the world’s most profound ponderers seek solace in solitude, or spend time a lot of time in nature.

Time in nature can also be a great antidote to the sadness and emotions that being a deep thinker can bring about. So if you or someone you know always seem to be retreating to quiet places, this may be a sign of the deep and rich quality of the mind!

Picture of Louisa Lopez

Louisa Lopez

Louisa is writer, wellbeing coach, and world traveler, with a Masters in Social Anthropology. She is fascinated by people, psychology, spirituality and exploring psychedelics for personal growth and healing. She’s passionate about helping people and has been giving empowering advice professionally for over 10 years using the tarot. Louisa loves magical adventures and can often be found on a remote jungle island with her dogs. You can connect with her on Twitter: @StormJewel

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