7 phrases old souls love to use, according to psychology

Have you ever met someone with an old soul? 

On the outside they’re young and fresh-faced but inside they’re wise beyond their years and seem to be more in tune with a past way of life. 

Their maturity and wisdom make them great companions. They have this calming effect on others as if they’ve seen it all before. But how can you tell an old soul when you meet one? 

Spotting an old soul goes way beyond simple things like how they dress or what music they like. It’s deeper than that but according to psychology, there are certain phrases they’ll use that’ll reveal their true nature to you.

If someone uses any of these phrases, there’s a good chance they’ve got an old soul. Let’s see if anyone you know fits the bill. 

1) “Laughter is the best medicine”

Old souls have an appreciation for the simple things in life

Even though the understanding of things like depression, anxiety, and stress has progressed a lot and there are various treatments available you might hear an old soul say “Laughter is the best medicine”.

This phrase suggests when things are tough sometimes the best thing you can do to feel better is laugh with friends. And the world of psychology agrees. 

The benefits of laughter as a way to improve mental health and reduce stress and symptoms of depression are widely recognized. Laughter therapy is so powerful it can improve quality of life and is recognized as an effective form of therapy. 

You’ve got to hand it to them, old souls know what they’re talking about when they say “Laughter is the best medicine.”

2) “Patience is a virtue”

Ever notice these days, everyone seems to want instant gratification? It’s like no one is willing to put in the work and wait for it to pay off. Instead, they give in to temptation too easily. 

The thing is: the biggest rewards are reserved for those who can control their impulses and old souls among us know that very well. 

In psychology, this is called delayed gratification and it’s all about resisting an instant reward for a better one later on.

The most famous demonstration of this was the marshmallow test which tested if children would choose one marshmallow now or wait a few minutes and get two. 

Instead of desperately seeking immediate reward, an old soul is more likely to stay cool, calm, and collected and accept they have to wait for their reward because they know “Patience is a virtue.”

3) “Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree”

Most young people with only a small amount of life experience are driven by a desire to be right and to fight their case no matter what the consequences, it’s like they can’t help themselves. 

But old souls are different. They’ve got enough self-awareness and self-control to manage their emotions without being overcome by them, which are key aspects of emotional intelligence.

Instead of letting their emotions take over, they’re more likely to pause and say “You know what, sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree”. 

When you hear someone utter this phrase, it’s a dead giveaway that they’re an old soul and they’re also highly emotionally intelligent.

4) “Actions speak louder than words”

Another phrase that old souls love to use is “Actions speak louder than words” and what they’re really saying here is that if you want to understand what someone is all about, pay more attention to what they do than what they say. 

My friend Dan, who’s really wise, often says this. A while back, I was confused about a guy I was seeing because his actions didn’t match his words. Dan reminded me that what he does shows more about him than what he says.

Behavioral consistency in psychology supports this idea, essentially suggesting that previous and current behavior is a good predictor of future actions. 

Old souls know that words alone are meaningless and this is their favorite way to express it. 

5) “The best things in life aren’t things”

signs youre an old soul 7 phrases old souls love to use, according to psychology

Have you ever heard anyone in your life say “The best things in life aren’t things”? If so, chances are you’re dealing with an old soul.

 We all want nice things, right? It’s easy to get caught up in believing that you’ll be happier if you have a nicer car, a bigger house, or a better watch. 

The truth is: that true happiness doesn’t come from things but from people and experiences.

The folks that are young but wise beyond their years have already caught onto this, they’re not lured by million-dollar advertising campaigns and material goods. 

And it’s not just old souls giving their opinion, it’s backed up by research. Various studies have found that experiences are more important for happiness than material goods. 

Leaf Van Boven, CU-Boulder assistant professor of psychology, has conducted much of this research and confirms “We found that people receive more enduring pleasure and satisfaction from investing in life experiences than material possessions,”

Old souls love to use this phrase and psychology confirms it’s true so if you hear it, you know you’re dealing with someone with a young mind but an old soul. 

6) “Bring back the good old days when..” 

Sometimes old souls feel like they were born in the wrong generation, like they would’ve felt more at home if they were born fifty years earlier. 

It’s like they’re yearning for a past that they never actually experienced so one of their go-to phrases is “Bring back the good old days when..”. 

The emotion they’re experiencing is nostalgia and it “is often characterized as a longing or desire to return to a former time or place” and even though they’ve never actually been there before, they feel like they’ve got a connection to that time. 

My brother is an old soul trapped in a young body and this is one of his favorite phrases.

He longs for a simpler time. He prefers older cars that lack all of the modern technology, he chooses books and newspapers over digital sources and he prefers face-to-face conversations. 

7) “This too shall pass”

Life is a crazy ride, right? 

When things are good we sometimes forget to appreciate them and expect them to last forever. And when we’re down on our luck, we sometimes feel like there’s no way out. 

Old souls have the maturity and presence of mind to recognize that everything in life is temporary and you’ll often hear them express it by saying “This too shall pass”.

They know that when times are good it’s important to show gratitude and never take it for granted.

But equally, they show resilience and positivity, when they fall on hard times because they’re fully aware that even bad times are temporary. 

When someone can keep a level head in good times and bad and reassure those around them that it’ll soon pass, it’s a sure sign, that you’re in the presence of an old soul. 

Final thoughts

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? Who do they remind you of?

As you can probably tell, old souls possess deep wisdom and can share insights way beyond their years. If you’re lucky enough to have someone like this in your life, treasure them.

And if you’ve realized you might be an old soul yourself, don’t shy away from it. Lean into it, we could do with more people like you in this crazy world. 

Picture of Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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