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It May Not Be Easy to Love An Old Soul, But It’s Life Changing

It May Not Be Easy to Love An Old Soul, But It’s Life Changing

There is a special type of person in this world who is often misunderstood. They tend to be the loner, the free spirit, the wide-eyed innocent lover. They see the world for all it can — and should be — though the world rarely sees them. They are the old souls, the dreamers, the people so in-tune with life, so intuitive of emotion, that they scare us. Not because of who they are, but because of who we aren’t, what we lack.

Old souls reach depths we cannot possibly comprehend. They have a connection with God, with the universe, with nature, and that’s why they’re the people who will change the world. We often feel inferior, like we have to work extra hard to be remotely close to their level, to be deserving of their love.

It takes a confident person to love an old soul. But man is it worth it. It will change your life.

1. They are romantic.

They are the Audrey Hepburns and Grace Kellys, the Gregory Pecks and Frank Sinatras of this world, who cherish our hearts and do it with style: with picnics and candles and elements of surprise. Old souls have a flair for fun, for passion and adventure, that they’ll reveal to those they love.

2. They’re loyal.

Give an old soul love, respect, passion, and they’ll be faithful to you forever. Old souls aren’t after superficial friendships, or one-night-stands. They value depth. Truth. Authenticity. And if you meet that need, the love they have for you will never die.

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They’ll be there for you when dreams shatter, when life gets tough, in joy and sorrow.

3. They help us grow.

Old souls have inquisitive minds. They’re easily inspired and desire to learn as much as they can about the world and those around them. They don’t fear change or adventure. They’re open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. They desire to grow as people (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) so they inspire us to grow and change as well.

One can’t live by fear when loving an old soul.

4. They’re not materialistic.

Old souls care more about experiences, about spending quality time together than they’ll ever care about expensive jewelry and flowers or what money buys. They value you, the wonderful person you are, the person they fell in love with.

And if you invest your time and energy into loving an old soul, if you make time for them — beach strolls, dinners out, chilling on the couch watching Netflix, etc. — they’ll be fulfilled and so will you.

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5. They understand the deep connections of life.

Old souls can seem withdrawn at times, almost burdened down with the stress of the world around them. They often reflect about love and pain and worry. Their minds are hard at work trying to solve the problems of the world and the problems of their soul. They do this because of a strong desire to heal the world. To help others and help themselves.

So, appreciate their rich, magical emotions that run deep. Accept their desire to write and draw and paint. Encourage them. Cherish the depths of their soul. Then let them fly so they may share their open heart with the broken.

6. They’re thankful.

Because what’s good in this world can seem few and far between, old souls seek out and appreciate beauty. Whether it’s a radiant sunset or an act of kindness from a stranger, old souls recognize that the clouds do roll in, that people don’t have to be kind. So when someone goes out of their way, old souls take notice and give thanks. Old souls look for the best in people, for the beauty in their surroundings, for the blessings in life. And they often find it. Which makes old souls a light to be around.

7. They model bravery.

To live life misunderstood, to be unappreciated, taken for-granted, the group outcast — and still survive — WOW. Old souls are the bravest, most courageous people I know. They walk a painful road few in this life are chosen to walk, and yet they somehow muster the strength to smile. To be selfless. To support others.

Maybe not all the time. Not every day. But old souls know the trenches of pain and instead of being bitter, they make the world a better place.

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8. They’re authentic.

Old souls are not fake. They don’t play games. And they won’t tell you what you want to hear when they don’t believe in it. So the good news: You get the truth–whether you like it or not. And yes, while sometimes the truth can hurt, at least it’s real.

And yes, when an old soul is sad, they can’t hide it. Which can be a painful process to watch when you love them. But remember, anyone can be fake.

Old souls are who they are and that’s why we love them.

9. They have faith in us.

They see the good in us when we fail to see it ourselves. We can be the biggest idiots, the most selfish, ungrateful people, and an old soul won’t give up on us.They push us to be better, stronger, more authentic people. They remind us of what’s beautiful in this world. They inspire us to follow our heart and pursue our dreams.

They’re the kind of people we need in our lives because they they see the potential we have yet to see.

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10. They love us.

To be loved by an old soul is to feel the vast expanses of oceans and heavens and stars collide into one. The love of an old soul is a deep, genuine, fire burning love that ignites the depravity within our own souls. It is intense and powerful, selfless and unfailing. To love and be loved by an old soul heals us, changes us, and molds us into more caring, more passionate people.

Old souls are the sun. They’re the spark. They’re all the colors of a rainbow, and the depths of the earth. They may be misunderstood, but they’re love is real, their hearts pure.

Fall in love with an old soul and you’ll never fall in love again.

Featured photo credit: Girl Chasing Seagulls on Beach/Anton Petukhov via flickr.com

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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