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10 Signs You’re An Old Soul Trapped In A Young Body

10 Signs You’re An Old Soul Trapped In A Young Body

People have often call me an “old soul,” which is slightly ironic since I look pretty darn young for my age. In truth though, they do have a point. I really don’t act like most millenials. Whereas the majority of them are out partying and socializing, you’re more likely to find me reading a book, watching Netflix, or listening to NPR (in order to keep up with what’s going on around the world of course).

After some self-evaluation, it was easy to recognize what makes me an old soul. But what about you? How can you figure out if we share that same trait? Read on!

1. You are often described as being “boring”

Okay, so maybe people won’t come out and say you are boring to your face. But you get the feeling that your friends and acquaintances might think of you that way. It’s not like you can help it though; it’s not your fault that you’d rather stay indoors and relax than go bar hopping! Chances are that they’re going to wake up with more regrets than you the next day anyway, so why even bother?

2. You aren’t understood by your peers

If you are an old soul, then your mind works differently compared to most of the people in your age group. So much so that it can be hard to try and understand them. Of course, the reverse is true as well, meaning it’s likely they don’t understand you either.

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Often, this leads to some awkward conversations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a situation where someone’s like “hey bro we’re going to go to a concert tonight, wanna join,” and I’m just like “uh, yeah, I’d rather just sit in front of a computer screen and play a video game. Thanks though.” That’s usually around the time when they start backing away slowly.

3. You get better grades

Having a near-zero desire to go out and party in high school and college means that you have much more free time to sleep and study. I can’t tell you how many times I was able to beat the grading curve in college due to the fact that 90% of the rest of my class was hungover or dead tired. Thanks guys!

4. You are probably single

The way we old souls act and think can make it difficult for someone our own age to understand us — let alone want to date us. There are of course exceptions, but by and large, you’ll probably find it harder to acquire a girlfriend or boyfriend. The great news is that we probably won’t be single when we’re older, since practically everyone starts to develop “old-soul” traits eventually (I mean, that makes sense right). But early on, it can be tough. In the meantime, you can always pretend to be dating a character from your favorite TV show (which one of my good friends continues to do — I swear it’s only half as creepy as it sounds).

5. You have wisdom and knowledge beyond your years

You can carry a conversation with your grandfather and other elders like it’s nothing. Indeed, your maturity sometimes gives you a kind of presence in the room that usually only comes with age and experience. If you are more enamored by the idea of acquiring wisdom and knowledge than you are about studying up on the Kardashians or England’s royal family, then you’re definitely on the right track.

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6. You have no qualms about being alone

While most people your age need to be around their peers and/or all sorts of forms of social medias, you are perfectly content with giving yourself a little bit of self-imposed solitary confinement. In truth, the majority of old souls are rather introverted (judging by how most millennials act, less interaction with the rest of our generation is probably a good thing).

7. You give everything a lot of thought

Old souls tend to be a bit less impulsive than others our age. If you’ve ever thought about the pros and cons of one item versus another for hours on end, then yeah, you’re probably an old soul.

In other words, you’re the person who will check out restaurant reviews on Yelp when all of your other friends are so starving that they’d be willing to eat just about anywhere. And while they might be mad about your restaurant-related waffling initially, they’ll certainly be thanking you once their food finally arrives. (See, we do have our uses!)

8. You are mystified by the rituals of your peers

I was always confused by the very concept of the traditional “college party.” Everybody gets drunk on cheap alcohol, and by the end of the night, nearly everyone has made some kind of questionable decision. Is that supposed to be fun? Am I crazy to think that it’s not? The few times I went to these things, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was taking part in something supremely ridiculous. (Which, now that I look back, is probably why I wasn’t invited to very many parties!)

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9. You aren’t into Facebook

Sure, you might have an account, and you may check it once in a while, but you don’t really care about how many friends you have or about updating your status. Same goes for other popular social medias, like Instagram and Twitter. It’s not that you necessarily consider them to be a waste of time, it’s just that for you, they’re dreadfully boring to work with.

10. You need frequent naps

Because old souls think like old people, they sometimes feel like them too. It’s a strange phenomenon, but as an old soul you often find yourself on your bed, catching a ten minute nap here, a twenty minute nap there. Is it because we, in our great wisdom, better understand the needs of our bodies? Or, perhaps being an old soul is a side effect of sleep deprivation? I’ll have to ask my scientist friends.

Due to both our frequent naps and relatively aloof, stoic nature, we often get accused of being “detached from reality.” I can assure you that this isn’t the case. We just happen to live in something of an alternate reality.

For the old soul, it isn’t about following the crowd. It’s about blazing our own trail and finding out what’s best for us — something the rest of our generation won’t figure out for at least another decade or two.

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So, now that you’ve read the signs, are you convinced that you are an old soul? Why or why not? Comment below!

Featured photo credit: introvert/Send me adrift. via flic.kr

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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