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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 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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