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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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Matt Duczeminski

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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