When someone says that a person has an old soul, it’s always a little bit funny. We say this about people because we get a certain vibe from them. Have you ever experienced this? Are you that person? Do you feel like you are wise beyond your years? Or that you don’t connect with people your age? Are you finding it difficult to handle all the pain and suffering in the world? If you answered yes, you might be an old soul.
Such people are generally considered to be more mature than people their age. They focus on the present moment and practice mindfulness in a way that the rest of us can only look at it in an admiring manner. They also understand the importance of where they’re coming from and where they’re going.
Indeed, it is a compliment to be called an old soul by someone. Let’s explore what it actually means and what are the signs of being an old soul.
Old Soul Meaning
An old soul is a person who is wise beyond their years. They are smarter, more enlightened, more emotionally stable, and have a deep understanding of the world.
The term old soul comes from an English nursery rhyme published in 1708. It was titled “Old King Cole Was a merry old soul.”
Someone who has an old soul is a person who is wise beyond their years. People also use this term to describe someone who is more enlightened and smarter than other people of the same age. They can also be defined as someone who has a lot of emotional stability and someone who has a deep understanding of the world around them.
Spiritual people even believe that people who have old souls have learned things from their past incarnations. They acquired all the knowledge that they currently have from their previous lives and apply it in their current life, thus giving them more wisdom than an average person of their own age.
Saying that old souls are people who are more mature than their peers and don’t fit in with people of their own age is not representative of the full picture. They are also innately philosophical and try to teach other people by their own example. Old Souls know how to live in the present moment and be free of social conditioning.
For some people, their entire existence can seem like a walking contradiction, because they embrace and reject life at the same time. Old souls tend to stay away from the drama of everyday life and the superficial world of mainstream culture does not excite them. They have deeper interests and hobbies of their own.
Because of their desire to run away from the materialistic pursuits of life, they may end up spending a major part of life in abandonment which can be very lonely. They may not choose to do this actively. But because of their desire for solitude and self-reflection, this can be the end result.
Old souls have also expanded their self-awareness to the level where they don’t pay attention to the drama and materialistic pursuits that often interest the rest of the world. This is why they are often labeled as eccentric and weirdos by people around them.
Types of Old Souls
The concept of old souls can also be differentiated into:
1. Old souls since birth, that is people who are born this way and feel different since childhood.
2. People who become old souls by spiritual awakening. They grow into becoming wiser, more mature, and more enlightened.
Besides this, some people and cultures believe that being an old soul represents one of the stages in our reincarnation journey of life. These seven stages are:
1. Infant soul
Orientation of such souls is directed towards survival and they are solely focused on I and me.
2. Toddler soul
This soul is rule oriented, and like the infant soul, is only focused on I and me.
3. Young soul
A soul in a young person is oriented towards success and is capable of focusing on both me and you, that is the other person.
4. Mature soul or adolescent soul
The mature soul is relationship oriented and is capable of not only focusing on me and you, but also has some empathy towards the other person.
5. Old soul
The old soul is philosophically oriented and believes that both you and I are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
6. Transcendental soul
The transcendental soul is oriented on the development and progress of humanity it is only focused on the we aspect.
7. Infinite soul
The infinite soul considers itself and the others a part of the universe.
In other words, the old soul thinks of itself as a part of something greater than itself. It is able to take a more panoramic view of the world and see the greater truth and the bigger picture.
Furthermore, there are 7 levels of the old soul itself. Here they are:
In this level, the old soul prefers its inner values and conviction over the traditional morals taught by the society.
In the level, the old soul honestly accepts and admires itself without worrying about the admiration and acceptance of other people
In this, the old soul ruminates over its own existence to bring about positive changes in its lifestyle.
At this level, the old soul perceives of its own welfare as a part of the welfare of the entire community
In this, the old soul is capable of following apart based on its own convictions without any compromises and without knowing where the path leads
At this level, the old soul inspires and impresses other people by becoming the example it wants to set for others
In this level the old soul is able to receive without giving and give without receiving
Old Soul Signs
Here are the most important signs of being an old soul:
1. They tend to prefer their own company
Because old souls find it hard to relate to people of their own age and do not share their interests or pursuits, they struggle with connecting deeply with their peers. They do not share the same values as them either.
Consequently, they usually are not friends with people of their own age group. They experience alienation and learn to live by themselves. They also tend to prefer solitude over meaningless gossip. As a result, they are often found hanging out by themselves.
2. Old souls value truth, wisdom, and knowledge
Old souls are more attracted to an intellectual way of living. For some people, they may even appear to be a little highbrow or pretentious, but the truth is that the old soul have a deep understanding that knowledge is indeed the way of unlocking power. They believe that happiness comes from wisdom and freedom comes from truth.
That is why they tend to have a different set of values compared to people in their age groups or even older people who have not yet matured intellectually.
3. Old souls are spiritual
An old soul has a sensitive and spiritual nature. They have either already experienced a spiritual awakening or are on their way to it. Moreover, they easily overcome the confines of the ego and focus on enlightenment and self-realization.
They believe that oneness is the only way for humanity to progress, and that is why promoting love and peace is at the core of their ultimate quest for life.
4. They understand impermanence
Old souls have a clear understanding of their own mortality and that of the world around them and the humans in it. They understand that impermanence is the only permanent thing in the world and ultimately change is the only constant.
In fact, due to such a clear understanding of impermanence, it is not uncommon for a person with an old soul to experience multiple existential crises in their life. They know that their and others’ time on earth is limited. Whenever there are any difficult situations such as the death of a loved one, they tend to get highly stressed.
And due to their understanding of impermanence, old souls have a very unique outlook on life and sensitivity towards how short life is. That is why they prefer living life in solitude.
5. They are introspective
Old souls have a tendency to spend a lot of time thinking about everything. It is important for them to do this and find time to reflect and introspect about their own actions in order to develop a more profound sense of self awareness.
This helps them learn from their actions and develop an understanding of the people and environment around them. To create more contentment with their life, develop inner harmony, and learn how to work better with the people around them, they also do a lot of self-reflection.
6. They see the bigger picture
The old soul isn’t interested in the superficial details of the world or getting useless degrees to show off to the world. They don’t care about meaningless job promotions, what the society will think, or what their social media image is.
Instead they see the bigger picture and look at life from a bird’s eye view. They try to find meaningful ways of living and utilizing their time in the best possible manner. They don’t waste time on trivial details, rather, they try to make the most of it.
7. Old souls aren’t materialistic
Things like fame, social status, money, property, and personal belongings do not have any traction with them. They don’t care what the latest phone model or laptop everybody is using. They don’t spend time on materialistic pursuits.
Also, they believe that these materialistic things can be lost very easily, so they have no time for these Goals that are encouraged and indoctrinated by the society. They would much rather focus on self-fulfillment and soul enrichment.
8. They were precocious as a kid
This may not be true for every old soul, but most of them that are born into this mindset show signs of majority when they were a young child. Such children are often referred to as introverted, rebellious or precocious. These children are extremely intelligent and curious.
They see that many of the things that the adults around them do are purposeless. And they may end up expressing such feelings in a passive aggressive way. If your child is someone you can talk to as if they are an adult, then you are most likely talking to an old soul.
9. They have had at least one existential crisis
But in most cases, it is more than once. Because old souls have a tendency to ask deep and find meaningful questions about life, they may sometimes end up having an existential crisis. Their search for freedom, truth, and wisdom can often lead to a disillusionment with society.
As a result, they end up seeing through the lies that are perpetuated in our world. Questioning the future of the human condition and a true purpose ends up leaving them in a state of existential crisis. If you know someone who often asks questions like – what is the meaning of life, what’s the point of existence, does it matter if I do anything at all – then you have an old soul at your hands.
10. They are highly empathetic and intuitive
Old souls are often gifted with the ability to empathize with their fellow human beings in a deep way. They are able to connect with their fellow human beings and understand their miseries and problems in a profound manner.
They display a high emotional quotient, and they are also highly intelligent, intuitive, and are able to read the emotion of their loved ones quite easily.
11. They see life through a different lens
Old souls exhibit mindfulness in a way That allows them to enjoy life and see things that others don’t pay attention to. For example, a person who has an old soul takes pleasure in watching the wind rustle up the leaves on the trees, while a normal person might just walk by the trees without even glancing at them.
An old soul takes pleasure in contemplating and thinking about life. They notice the laughter of a child, the beauty of an art piece, the lovely words of a writer. They tend to stop, appreciate and think about life in a different manner.
12. Old souls overthink everything
On the flip side of the above-mentioned characteristic is the tendency to overthink and be overly contemplative. And this can prove to be very painful and challenging. Sometimes an old soul over thinks things to the point that they end up being indecisive.
Even ordering in a restaurant can be a painstaking experience, if they start thinking about what the best dish might be to choose keeping in mind the value for money, whether it will taste good, or if it’s ethical to eat a particular dish. The simplest of decisions can stump them, and they may feel overwhelmed by it all.
Which brings me to my next point…
13. They struggle in social situations
The tendency to overthink everything, along with the fact that they have a high emotional quotient and are highly empathetic, which makes old souls prone to social anxiety. The fact that they do not share the same interests as other people of their own age further adds to this awkwardness and difficulty in being around other people.
Although old Souls are confident, self-possessed, and calm on their own, they’re not great with following the social etiquette that is prevalent in our society. They don’t understand the unspoken rules of engaging with other people and they often find other people’s egos and insecurities tiring. All of this makes them prone to social anxiety.
14. They form strong bonds with people of their kind
Continuing from the previous point, when they do find deep connections, they form long-lasting bonds. Whenever an old soul finds someone that they actually connect with on a deeper level, they tend to form strong bonds with these people. There is an unspoken understanding between such kinds of friends.
They don’t feel the need to make an outward show of their friendships, and even if they don’t talk every single day, their friendships last for years and sometimes even decades.
15. Old souls often play the role of advisor or counselor
Because old souls have such a profound sense of wisdom, people are often attracted to them to get advice and seek counseling. Friends, colleagues, young persons, and family members often position the old soul as the advice giver in the group. The old soul’s life experiences have made them able to guide others in a wise manner.
Because of this, sometimes the old souls feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained, but they still enjoy helping others. To give guidance to the people that is a thing of joy for them.
16. They hang out with people older than them
As we have already established, Old souls do not get along very well with people of their own age. And because of their majority and wisdom, they find much better how you are in people who are older than them. Their thought processes, energy, and vibes match the internal programming of the old soul.
With the older generation, they find comfort because they don’t have to go to parties or concerts like their peers. They can simply hang out, talk about things that interest them, and have meaningful discussions about life and existence in general – all of which is very appealing for the old soul.
17. Old souls prefer a simple life
Even though their thought processes and their musings are generally very complex, old souls are generally attracted to a simple life. Old souls love minimalism, natural beauty, and find purity.
Instead of running after ambitious goals and high-profile jobs, all they desire in life is a connectedness that comes from their heart and soul. According to them, everything in life that is true, and worthy has roots in simplicity.
18. They handle relationships in a mature way
Unlike their peers, old souls are not prone to emotional upheavals. They always handle conflicts in a mature and responsible manner. Moreover, they are not concerned with the physical appearance of their partner. Instead they value what is on the inside much more.
The old soul’s relationship is often stable and long-lasting, but they also tend to be a bit detached. This can be frustrating for their partner. They do not seek out relationships on their own, but when they do, what feels comfortable to them is more important than anything else. And despite seeming emotionally detached at times, the old soul is generally more compassionate and loving than any other soul ages.
19. They practice radical self-acceptance
Old souls have the capacity to view themselves in an objective manner. They are confident enough to accept their flaws and failures as easily as they accept their successes. This also extends to their behavior towards other people. They’re very compassionate and forgiving because they understand that to err is human.
20. Old souls work smart, not hard
Old souls prefer simplicity and leisure, because it allows them time to think and contemplate about human existence. That is why they often prefer working smart and taking shortcuts to achieve results instead of working hard. On the surface, people don’t think of them as very active, and they can even seem lazy.
Old souls also have a lot of hobbies. They dabble in multiple skills and they do this without feeling the need to perfect that particular skill. They can be described as Jack of all trades, but masters of none.
Spiritual Awakening of An Old Soul
If you suspect you are an old soul, either you have already experienced, or you will experience a spiritual awakening in the future.
Spiritual awakening refers to a particular time period in your life when you feel lost and confused. You may even feel that you are different from the rest of your peers, and
Almost every old soul, to some extent, has undergone a process of spiritual awakening. Here are the trigger points for spiritual awakening of the old soul:
1. Major life events, such as, marriage, death, illness, divorce, childbirth, or tragedy.
2. Spontaneous spiritual awakening, that may be a result of the accumulated life experiences of the old soul. This is known as soulful maturity.
For most of the old souls, it happens during their childhood, but that is not necessarily true in all cases. It can also happen during adulthood, or in some rare cases, during old age.
Such a spiritual awakening of the old soul is often extremely painful and traumatic, and it leads to a complete turnaround of the habits, goals, and perceptions of the old soul. This often results in feelings of depression, anxiety, confusion, and fear.
These types of feelings can persist for years, as the old soul struggles to maintain control over this tumultuous change in their life. However, it is ultimately a liberating experience, which leaves the old soul content, satisfied, and enlightened.
The final product of undergoing this process of spiritual awakening is soulful maturity. It allows the old soul to look through the smoke and mirrors which for the illusions in our society, and find happiness and fulfillment within themselves. They are able to connect with their own soul and experience oneness, which is the ultimate source of all joy and peace in the world.
The inevitable product of going through a spiritual awakening process is soulfully maturing. The more we come to see through the illusions and deceptions of society, the more we direct our search for true happiness and fulfillment within ourselves. The deeper we search, the closer we connect with our souls, which are the ultimate sources of our joy and peace.
Is It Good or Bad Being An Old Soul?
As we discussed above, old souls stand out from other people in a multitude of ways. Some of these personality traits actually make their life easier, while others may end up making them unhappy.
That is why, it is difficult to give a summary judgment on whether it is good or bad to be an old soul. All you can do is look at the positive and negative sides of the experience and try to minimize the negatives while amplifying the positives.
Let’s take a brief look at both the sides.
Why Are Old Souls Unhappy?
1. They are often born in families that don’t understand them. This leads to a tumultuous upbringing. They are often compared to their siblings, and sometimes the parents can even become frustrated with the child.
2. They’re very empathetic and compassionate. This means that they often end up taking on the pain of the people in their lives and in the long term, this leaves them emotionally exhausted and drained.
3. They are extremely self-aware. While most of the time this is actually a good thing, it also makes old souls more aware of their weaknesses and how these flaws limit them. This can be quite distressing at times.
4. They are extremely hard on themselves. They have high expectations from themselves and their highest selves, which is why even their successes are viewed through a critical lens.
5. They’re more prone to mood disorders. Because of their ability to be highly empathetic and intuitive, they can sometimes be emotionally drained because of the gardens that they provide to those around them. This can lead them to feel depressed, anxious, and afraid.
6. They are often alienated, lonely, and bullied. Since they refused to conform to the norms and values propagated by the society, they are also more vulnerable to heat and judgment from their peers.
7. It is difficult for them to find love. Most of the people their age have completely different interests and are not as mature as the old soul. They also end up attracting people who need a lot of healing or simply have too much great work to do. As a result, an old soul may have to wait quite a long time to find their soulmate.
8. They take responsibility for their actions and thoughts. In theory, this sounds like a good thing. But most people are able to cope with their mistakes by deceiving themselves or manipulating their own mind. Old souls know that it is not productive to play the victim, and this can be distressing at times.
9. They find it difficult to ignore the suffering in the world. Because of this, they often end up working towards making the world a better place not just for humans, but also for other species. However, this does make it difficult for them to shut off the pain of others.
10. They often suffer from existential crises. As discussed above, they are acutely aware of the impermanence of human life, which makes them question the very purpose of existence.
What Are The Advantages of Having An Old Soul?
1. They are comfortable in their own skin. They don’t feel as if they have to prove themselves to other people. Also, they can be their own natural and authentic selves without wanting to fit into any social categories.
2. They understand that happiness comes from within. They don’t feel the need to pursue materialistic pleasures or go on extravagant trips to find contentment.
3. They face the challenges thrown into their face by life like a pro. They have wisdom beyond their years and they find it very easy to take even the most difficult problems in their stride.
4. Their friendships have strong foundations. Even though their circle of friends is quite small, their connections with these people are meaningful and deep.
5. They find it easy to learn and adapt according to the situation. They know how to let things go and learn from their mistakes.
6. Speaking of mistakes, unlike their peers, they practice radical self-acceptance. Instead of grinding against their own psyche and running away from their flaws, it is quite easy for them to accept their limitations.
7. They know how to plan for their future. Because they are so grounded in the present moment, they know how to predict what will happen in the future and they plan accordingly.
8. They don’t change themselves for anyone else. They have strong belief in their convictions and morals, and they don’t compromise them for anyone.
9. They are a calm voice of reason even in the most difficult situations. Instead of yelling and arguing, they know how to maintain their composure and work towards solutions.
10. They don’t let other people’s drama and negativity get to them. They have the emotional majority to remain out of most people’s drama.
25 Old Soul Quotes
Here are some quotes by some famous personalities on what it is like to be an old soul:
1. “Falling in love for the first time is like an instant realization of just how old your soul is.”– Jennifer Elisabeth
2. “Anyone who takes the time to attentively listen is either an old soul or a romantic one.”– Richelle E. Goodrich
3. “There is a beautiful thing inside you that is thousands of years old. Too old to be captured in poems. Too old to be loved by everyone but so loved so very deeply by a chosen few.”– Nikita Gill
4. “Old souls are usually childlike in many ways, having the playfulness and simplicity of children, while maintaining a certain world-weariness and deep insight.”– don Mateo Sol
5. “The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life.”– Oscar Wilde
6. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”– Pema Chodron
7. “The Old Soul is more inclined to be a lifelong learner, constantly feeding his thirst for insight through his own persistent efforts. His learning has not been forced into him through education or learned out of obligation but has been absorbed out of curiosity and personal choice.”– Aletheia Luna
8. “He had a thousand-year-old stare.”– Louise Erdrich, The Antelope Wife
9. “Few people have the courage to be happy in their own way. Most people want to be happy like everyone else.”– Learning Mind
10. “I’m not young. I’ve never had any youth.”– Iris Murdoch
11. “He had never been particularly young, or to put it another way, he had been young for a long time and now was at his true age, old enough for civilized comforts and not too old for the primal ones.”― James Salter
12. “Everything is connected’ was probably a phrase first coined by an Old Soul.”– Aletheia Luna
13. “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside, awakes.”– Carl Jung
14. “There is a special kind of person in our world who finds himself alone and isolated, almost since birth. His solitary existence isn’t from a preference or antisocial temperament– he is simply old. Old in heart, old in mind, and old in soul, this person who finds his outlook on life vastly different and more matured than those around him.”– Aletheia Luna
15. “You are an old soul with a young heart; naive enough to love, wise enough to learn.”– Axiom.attic
16. “It doesn’t matter what world you live in; what really matters is the world that lives in you.”– Learning Mind
17. “Everything there is but lovin’ leaves a rust on your old soul”– Langston Hughes
18. “Arrayed in a new body another mother may someday give birth so that with stronger limbs and brighter mind the old soul shall take the road to earth again.”– P. C. Cast
19. “I’m a young girl with an old soul. I wanted to fuse the two together, the past and the present.”– Melanie Fiona
20. “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”– Nikola Tesla
21. “When the mind is full of worldly desires, it is their very nature to confuse the mind. Withdraw the mind from outer things and turn it inwards.”– Anandamayi Ma
22. “If the flame inside you goes out, the souls that are next to you will die of cold.”– Francois Mauriac
23. “The nature of the perceptions in the Old Soul is seeing the greater whole.”– Michael
24. “Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.”– Mark Twain
25. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”– Mahatma Gandhi
In short, being an old soul is a thing of beauty. You can find contentment in the simplest things in life, and you understand difficult concepts like oneness and spirituality on a deeper level. However, it can also be lonely and alienating, if you don’t find people like you.
Ultimately, like all things in life, it largely depends on what you make of it. If you are an old soul, focus on the positive aspects of your personality, and try to deal with the negative ones. There is nothing that cannot be solved with a bit of soul searching and mindfulness.
Namrata is a Doctor i.e. dentist turned writer and a clinical researcher. Eager to learn about anything and everything, she is what you would call a jack of all trades and master of none. With a zeal for reading novels, books, and anything she could get her hands on ever since she was little, she embarked into a writing career purely out of luck. After indulging in a freelancing career for nearly two years, she can now write on anything - from dentistry to decor, travel to technology, medicine to management - but the psychology remains her first love. Having dealt with mental health issues in the past, she hopes to raise awareness for the same and help people with her work in association with The MindFool team