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10 Signs You’re an Old Soul

10 Signs You’re an Old Soul

Being an old soul is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you grow up having the almost super-human gift of perspective unlike any of your peers. On the other, this often alienates you from everyone else your age. You grow up thinking many of the things your peers are interested in are silly and childish, and end up being caught on the outside looking in. However, the best part of being an old soul is, as you grow older, you continue to grow into your personality and toward your inner age. You might be an old soul if…

1. You’re bored by your peers interests

When you have an old soul, you are able to get along with your peers but you may be bored by them. An old soul will find themselves out with friends in a place that everyone else thinks is fun, but they think is not ideal. If you are an old soul, you might find yourself thinking, “I don’t want to be here”. An old soul likely has friends but much prefers being in a situation where deep conversation is the focus of the activity. For example, you may find yourself preferring meaningful discussions with teachers rather than superficial interaction with peers. As your peers age, they just might catch up to your inner age and you will share more common interests than when you were younger.

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2. You bore your peers

As an old soul, you probably have a lot to be passionate about. Unfortunately, this passion is most likely not shared by many of your peers. At a young age, you might care deeply about a variety of social and political issues, while others are more concerned with what they’re going to wear tomorrow or who won the big game last night. Again, even though your friends enjoy your company on the whole, they sometimes have no idea what you’re talking about. This is why you tend to gravitate toward older people who share your worldly perspective.

3. You’re not taken seriously by older people

Even though you enjoy the company of people older than you, you’re often not taken seriously by them at a younger age. Unfortunately, this is cannot be avoided. Until you reach a certain age, you’ll be seen as “just a kid” by adults, no matter how mature you may be. This is simply because you don’t have the years of experience to back up your thoughts and ideas. Even five to ten years from now, you may be surprised at how much your ideals and beliefs completely shift. Give it some time. You have the rest of your life to be old.

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4. You’re okay with being on your own

So you’re not accepted by your peers, and you’re not taken seriously by your elders. Being an old soul can feel like an isolating experience. Often, old souls find themselves feeling okay with being isolated. This is because you’d much rather stand up for your beliefs and yourself than fall down for the newest trend or fad. Because you feel isolated from almost every other age group, you probably spend a lot of time in deep thought and taking up solitary hobbies like writing. Of course, this only contributes even further to your old soul persona. Tough it out; one day you’ll be old enough to just be considered a “true soul.”

5. You’re usually an observer

As an old soul you often stay on the outskirts of your friend circle, being more of an observer. There isn’t anything wrong with this. You simply need to embrace this aspect of your personality and put it to good use. For example, many of the most successful writers are good because they have spent so much time observing others and listening to their stories.As an observer, you most likely have a knack for understanding what the masses are into, so take advantage of your analytic abilities and create something that just might be the next big thing.

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6. You’re not bothered by “small stuff”

As an old soul, the minutiae that bothers most people your age just seems frivolous to you. You simply don’t spend time worrying about what you’re wearing or how your hair looks; you’re more worried about the major issues affecting modern society. Your apathy toward “the small stuff” even furthers your “old soul persona,” as you appear much calmer than most others around you.

7. You’re more reserved than most of your friends

When you think of someone making a scene, you either think of a small child throwing a tantrum, or an adult who hasn’t quite learned how to act in public. Old souls hate calling attention to themselves, and even when they find themselves in situations in which it’s socially acceptable to “let loose” a bit, they won’t drop their cool, calm demeanor. While many of your friends may have been the crazy teenagers or college kids willing to do anything for a laugh, you could never imagine making such a fool of yourself. Again, you’d much rather sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

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8. You’re extremely sensitive

You’ve probably been told to “lighten up” by your peers more times than you can possibly imagine. Same for being told you’re “boring.” Don’t let these statements get to you; they usually come from people who have no clue about what makes you tick. On the other side of the coin, you also probably have elders telling you your ideas are “cute” or something equally dismissive. Again, to them, you’re just a young kid trying to act mature. Stay persistent, be true to who you are, and soon enough your ideas will be taken seriously.

9. You think mainstream society is silly

Old souls have the uncanny ability to look at mainstream society and not take it too seriously. You are able to see all of the silly facets of mainstream society. From the obsession with celebrity’s relationships to the invention of products like the beer helmet, you see how ridiculous things truly are. Old souls don’t get so caught up in what is trendy or cool, they focus on deeper issues. This could leave you on the outskirts of groups made up of your peers.

10. You’re always looked to for advice

As you grow older, your peers and elders will realize you’ve been right about a lot of the ideas you’ve had over the years. They’ll probably start soliciting advice from you, regardless of how many times they’ve ignored it in the past. Don’t be “that guy” that refuses them. Be a good friend, and help them out. They’re not “using you”; they actually have just realized how valuable your input is. Appreciate them, no matter how long it took them to appreciate you.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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