It always seems funny to hear someone say “she has an old soul,” like they can see into their soul. Generally, we say this about people because of a vibe we get from them.
The laid back, relaxed, no nonsense kind of people: they are generally thought to be old souls. These people focus on the here and now, but also understand the importance of where they came from and where they are going.
It’s a compliment to be called an old soul.
It implies that you are wise beyond your years, with many more ahead of you to make good choices, bring good to the world, and your life.
But if are you the person being told you have an old soul, you might not know exactly what it means. In fact, you might have spent your entire life struggling to fit in with a society that cherishes youth and action.
So first, let’s define exactly what an old soul is and where the term has come from. After that, we’ll talk about 16 common signs that you’re an old soul yourself. Finally, we’ll cover signs that you’re an old soul in a young person’s body.
What is an Old Soul?
The term “old soul” originates from a 1708 English nursery rhyme “Ole King Cole Was a merry aulde soul”.
Of course, now we use the term to refer to someone who has wisdom beyond their years. Others tend to use it as someone who is more enlightened than other people who are their age.
Here’s a great definition from Urban Dictionary:
“A spiritual person whom is wise beyond their years; people of strong emotional stability. Basically, someone whom has more understanding of the world around them…
“Some people even believe an old soul is a person whom has learned from past incarnations, or lives. They acquired certain knowledge from their past lives and apply it to their present life… thus gaining more wisdom than the average person.”
An old soul is a unique kind of person that not many people come across.
Rather than dealing with the superficialities of mainstream society, an old soul has deeper interests.
Some people say an old soul is simply more mature than those around them. But that doesn’t tell the full story.
An old soul creates their own path while the rest of society follow each other like sheep.
Banality and toxic energy are non-existent in an old soul’s life. Instead, an old soul questions conventional wisdom and critically thinks for themselves.
They’re not concerned with gossiping or making money. They want to understand more about life and what makes the universe tick.
In a world of sensationalized automated newsfeeds and fake news, old souls are now more needed than ever.
So if you think that you’re one, then I hope that these 16 signs of an old soul can help you understand yourself better:
1) You Seek Out Alone Time
People with old souls needs time to think and focus on themselves.
Introverts are often considered old souls because they spend time reading and journaling and doing things that make them feel alive, instead of focusing on outwardly sense of purpose.
They live their lives the way they want and find peace by themselves.
Additionally, old souls are picky with people they choose to spend time with. They don’t like superficial relationships. So they would rather be alone than to be with people they don’t relate with. As a result, they are often seen alone.
2) You Find Peace in Knowledge, Truth and Wisdom
Do you read a lot? Do you find yourself dropping everything to seek the answer to a question that is burning inside you?
Are you curious about the world around you and long to find more information about the things you want to know?
Are you happy to listen to people tell old stories and learn from how things used to be?
Old souls love asking questions. And they love the journey of getting answers. If you find yourself never satisfied with just any answer and have this deep desire to know truth, then you’re probably an old soul.
You might like to spend more time with books than people. And you prefer to go reading or studying rather than going out to parties.
For you, curiosity is a virtue and you always want to know more.
3) You Feel Tapped into Your Spiritual Side
Not everyone feels comfortable acknowledging their spiritual side, and even less people feel comfortable connecting with it. But you spend time everyday getting to know you for you, and enjoy what you have found so far.
You are encouraged by the fact that there is something bigger than you and the world. You feel motivated to do good because of it.
And unlike other people who tend to pursue superficial feats, you do things for your self-development. Not only that, but you also understand that you’re not the center of the universe. Which is why you are more inclined to helping people.
You are grounded by the knowledge that you are only but a speck in this vast universe.
God, the Universe, Mother Nature – whatever it is that you feel connected to, don’t hide it away.
(Do you feel trapped in your spirituality? You need to embrace your inner beast. The shaman Rudá Iandê teaches how to do this in our free masterclass. Learn more here.)
4) You Feel Connected to the Past
You look to your past and the lives of others to learn about the world. There is a feeling of special connection with those that are older than you and you cherish the information, knowledge and skills you have learned from them over the years.
History fascinates you. Somehow, you ache to be a part of an era where life was simpler, where people are more connected by life rather than technology. And this is the way you want to live your life, too.
You see the purpose in taking care of our elderly and work to ensure that they understand their worth in the world today. For you, the older someone is, the wiser they are. And in turn, you can learn more from them.
You feel closer to someone older than you than you do of the people your own age – but that is nothing new. You’ve always been ahead of everyone else when it came to your age group.
5) You Spend Time Reflecting on Your Life
You like to learn about yourself and how you can improve your life from the inside out. You’ve always known not to look to others to make things better for you. Instead, you know how to take responsibility.
Old souls are humble enough to acknowledge that life is random and surprising, but are comforted by the fact that they can always choose how to react from what happens. And the ability to reflect on one’s life is an absolute must.
As an old soul, you know that it’s up to you to make it through this life in one piece. And you ensure that you take time everyday to reflect on what has transpired in order to learn about how you can move forward in life.
6) You Understand There is a Bigger Picture
You don’t always need to know the how, but you always know the why of what you are doing.
Most people get caught up in their own lives. They become disillusioned and short-sighted by what’s in front of them. But not you. You know that whatever problems you might have, there are always bigger ones out there.
And this knowledge centers you. It makes you more “awakened.”
People are afraid when they don’t know how to do something, but you trust that the world will show you the way if you are open to it because you know that there is something bigger going on here.
7) You Don’t Need a lot of Things
You don’t derive pleasure or meaning from your belongings. They are tools to help you navigate this life, but you could be fine without them.
Instead of collecting stuff, you like to collect experiences instead. Material things are just that – they are material. They don’t hold any meaning. So you are not inclined to acquire them.
And when most people get caught up with the new smartphone, you’re out there planning your next camping trip or buying your next novel.
You prefer the company of books and journals to television and people. Fancy things only distract you and keep you from focusing on what you really want in life.
8) You Didn’t Have a lot of Friends as a Kid
If you always felt like you were the odd-one-out when you were in school, it could be that you were more mature than the rest of the kids.
Maybe you liked different music, books, or activities. Maybe you didn’t see the point of drinking until you couldn’t see when you were in high school and so you didn’t get along with other people.
Or you had to pretend to like certain things to fit in. Now that you are older, you see that there is no need to pretend anymore.
And what you might have thought as bad thing when you were younger, is probably one of the things you love about yourself now.
9) You Just Feel More Mature and Wiser Than Others
No matter how old you get, you’ll always feel a little out of place amongst people. Because that is not where you get your energy from – you get it from inside yourself.
In the past, you were probably frustrated by your inability to relate to people your age. However, you embrace it now.
Your knowledge gives you peace and helps you feel part of the bigger plan. There’s nothing wrong with you: you are just experiencing life on a different level than other people. And that’s what makes you special.
10) You Understand Emotions
You feel emotions strongly and have a unique ability to understand other people’s emotions. While it can be difficult to be so passionate and sensitive, you need to understand that your abilities make you an incredible human being.
You understand that there is something profound in emotional agility. Emotions don’t make you weak. Instead, you are stronger for them. And your ability to recognize emotions and to let them in is what makes you a happier and well-adjusted person.
In turn, you become a valuable adviser to those around you. You make people feel that it’s okay to feel.
In a broken and disconnected world, old souls are more needed than ever.
11) Wise Beyond Your Years
If you are an old soul, it’s likely that you have been referred to as more mature than your friends, even from a young age.
You might have always felt like you were a bit older, not just physically, but mentally.
Perhaps you didn’t always get along with people your own age because you were seeing things from a different perspective.
And how they see things seem short-sighted to you. It can even put you off when people can’t look at the bigger picture.
It can be difficult when you are young and don’t understand why you are different, but as you age, it becomes more clear that you meant to be this way. Being an old soul is a gift, not a curse.
12) Advice Flows Like Water
You might have noticed that people are always coming to you for advice. You’ll be asked about everything under the sun: big and small. What makes you an old soul is that you take the time to talk to people when they ask you questions.
You know how to listen for things that aren’t really said. You look deeper into things. And this enables you to see things other people don’t. Your ability to dig deeper is what makes you a valuable confidante.
You realize that they are asking for your help because they trust you so you take these conversations seriously. You give a lot of yourself and never expect anything in return.
13) Home is Where the Heart Is
People who have old souls are often found at home. It is where they feel safe and secure. It’s where they are happiest. People who have old souls don’t have to look far outside themselves to find what really makes them happy.
And if you find yourself bound to home as much as possible, then you’re definitely an old soul. There is nothing more restful than being in your favorite couch, tucked under a blanket, and simply enjoying the comforts of the place you made for yourself.
If you are an old soul, you are pretty low maintenance and can happily occupy your own time by learning about the things that interest you, reading, writing, or resting your mind for the next time someone needs your wisdom.
14) You Need to Rejuvenate Your Energy
As an old soul, you get tired out around people quite easily. Some old souls would identify as introverts, but it’s more than that: if you are an old soul, you feel like both your body, mind and soul need rest.
This is probably why you love taking breaks from everything and everyone. From time to time, you like going somewhere different, where no one knows you, and you like to rejuvenate your energy with the unknown or with nature.
For you, this might be traveling to other countries, or taking camping trips in the wild. Or maybe even just a day at home doing nothing.
You know how to rejuvenate when the time comes and it usually involves being alone. It’s not that you are anti-social or don’t want to see people, but you draw much of your own energy from your own company and need to refresh that way as well.
15) Looking Inside Instead of Outside is Important
People who have old souls don’t require outside validation of their worth or value. A lot of people turn to others, the internet, their jobs, or another outside source of validation to make meaning in their lives, but as an old soul, you see the value of your experiences and what you bring to the table so there’s no need to exhaust your efforts in those areas.
Part of knowing how to take responsibility is focusing on the inside things – your journey, your needs, and improving your own life. You don’t waste time on things that are outside of your control.
So many people never feel complete because they expect others to provide that piece to them, but old souls are able to be that completion piece for themselves. It’s nice to have others in your life, but it’s not necessary on the same scale and level that most people require in relationships.
16) Memories Ebb and Flow
As an old soul, you feel like your memories are fluid and sometimes they aren’t always clear whether they are recent or relevant to you.
When you are open to many possibilities, you realize that things are likely not how they seem.
People with old souls can tap into other sources of information sometimes, and while it sounds a little voodoo-esque, it could be that those out-of-place memories are just from your previous life: memories coming and going, feeling like you’ve been here before, and knowing what’s coming next are all signs that you are, in fact, an old soul.
17) You feel the weight of your ancestors
Being an old soul often means feeling the weight of those who have come before you. Old souls are in touch with their prior experiences, as well as those of their ancestors who have been through life prior.
They feel the weight of their ancestors’ memories in their shared DNA, genome, and epigenome.
This can be a powerful tool to tap into — the shared memories and experiences of your lineage. However, sometimes it can be too powerful, and your soul can suffer under the weight of expectations.
It can become critical for old souls to learn how to divest their ancestors’ expectations from their own true self in order to activate their personal power.
Feeling buried under societal expectation? Check out our free masterclass with contemporary shaman Ruda Iande: From Frustration to Personal Power
Here are 10 Struggles of Being an Old Soul Trapped in a Young Person’s Body
Now you know the signs of being an old soul.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the common struggles of being an old soul trapped in a young person’s body.
Huffington Post reached out to their Facebook community and asked them:
What’s the hardest thing about being an old soul trapped in a young person’s body?
Here are their top 10 responses:
- “I don’t fit in with people my own age. They think I’m uncool or boring. However, older people ONLY see my age and lump me in with immature or inexperienced people. I tend to date older (by 10-15 years) men, which, in my experience, hasn’t quite worked yet… I always take the “old soul” thing as a compliment, but I’m not sure it’s always meant as one.”
- “All along, you feel that you are a different bird in the flock. What makes them sad or happy or mad does not make you feel the same. But, on the other hand, I wouldn’t like to be any different.”
- “Conveying that to anyone who isn’t an ‘old soul,’ and the frustration of sometimes wanting to be in more popular circles, but finding out when you get there that you are and always will be on the outside looking in… and somehow not minding that, even when lonely.”
- “For me the hardest part is not letting other people’s words affect my mentality. It sounds ironic because an old soul should know to differentiate between words and truth, but sometimes hearing the word ‘old’ so many times can be exhausting.”
- “People don’t understand that I don’t need to have fun all the time. I’m fine being home alone.”
- “For me, it’s difficult to understand the motivations of people my own age, such as their goals and what priorities affect their decisions. I’m stuck in my head a lot, because while my friends are OK to throw caution to the wind for the sake of living life, I always hold back and look at the potential long term plan, end game, and what are my back up plans if I fail the first time.”
- “I feel kind of responsible. And it makes me feel a need to be more mature. And I really like that people think I am grown up but it is a deed of responsibility.”
- “Being surrounded by people (both loved ones and those I’m not too fond of) who refuse to or simply cannot see the other side of any given situation. I feel like I’m speaking a foreign language… It can be lonely being both logical and empathetic.”
- “People come to me for sage advice, then choose not to take it… It’s disheartening that I’m not taken seriously.”
- “I have a hard time letting go and being silly because the old voice in my head makes me feel dumb when I do. Plus, intuitively I sense when something is a bad idea, which can be awesome, but it also makes me a buzzkill with peers.”
What is an Old Soul Empath?
If you’re an old soul, you may have been referred to as an “old soul empath”. What is this?
First of all, empaths are people known for their ability to sense the emotions and thoughts of people around them. They can intuitively feel what others are experiencing, which gives them a finely attuned sense of empathy.
An old soul empath means you’re experiencing empathy at a deeper level.
You’re probably relating not just to someone’s emotions, but to the old soul within them.
You have an awareness that the person you’re relating to is much more than a complex human. They’re an old soul themselves.
You may even be going through a spiritual awakening, starting to transcend your own ego and connect with the universe around you.
(Do you want to live a more mindful life? Learn how to achieve mindfulness on a daily basis with our practical guide here.)
We all know that one person who seems to have all the right advice, can remain calm in tricky situations, or knows just what to say to make someone feel better.
If people ever told you that you are wise beyond your years, or that they come to you for advice, you might be the old soul in your circle of friends.
Wondering why you seem to be the odd one out? It might be because you are an old soul.
And it’s not a bad thing. Having an old soul is a blessing. It allows you to live a deeply rich life. And you are bound to achieve contentment because of it.
What’s your experience of being an old soul? Let us know in the comments below.