Beyond Your Years: 17 Signs That Reveal You’re an Old Soul

February 21st, 2024

By Aletheia Luna

Guest writer for Wake Up World

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? ~  Satchel Paige

There is a special kind of person in our world who finds herself alone and isolated, almost since birth.

Her solitary existence isn’t from a preference or an antisocial temperament – she is simply old.  Old in heart, old in mind, and old in soul, this person is an old soul who finds her outlook on life vastly different and more ripened than those around her.

As a result, the old soul lives her life internally, walking her own solitary path while the rest around her flock to follow another.

Perhaps you’ve experienced this in your own life, or have witnessed it in another person?  If so, this article is dedicated to you, in hopes that you will come to define yourself or understand another better.

(? By the way, if you’d like to go deeper into this topic after reading this article, check out my Old Souls Bundle for more support, insight, and guidance!)

What is an Old Soul?

Quite simply, an Old Soul is a person who feels much older than their age reflects. This feeling is often accompanied by the gift of empathy, high intelligence, intuition, and keen insight into the human condition.

Old Souls are often outsiders looking in, they feel as though they don’t “belong” in this world, or this period of time. As a result, most Old Souls long for a sense of true meaning, purpose and inner fulfillment that money, power, and success can’t achieve. This longing is often described as the thirst to “return back home.”

There are two major types of Old Souls: those that are born with the sensation of being “different,” and those who “grow into” becoming Old Souls through the process of spiritual awakening. We’ll explore Old Souls and spiritual awakening more a little later.

17 Signs You’re An Old Soul

If you have not yet discovered whether you’re an Old Soul, read some of the revealing signs below:

1#   You tend to be a lone wolf

Because Old Souls are disinterested in the pursuits and interests of the people in their age groups, they find it dissatisfying to make friends with people they find hard to relate to. This sense of alienation is one of the major problems Old Souls experience.  The result is that Old Souls tend to find themselves alone a lot of the time. They struggle to connect deeply with others because most other people don’t have the same interests or values as them.

2#   You love knowledge, wisdom, and truth

This might seem a little highbrow, but the Old Soul finds herself naturally gravitating towards the intellectual side of life.  Old Souls inherently understand that knowledge is power, wisdom is happiness, and truth is freedom, so why not seek after those things?  These pursuits are more meaningful to them than reading up on the latest gossip about the Kardashians or the latest football scores.

3#   You’re spiritually inclined

Old Souls tend to have sensitive and spiritual natures.  Experiencing a spiritual awakening, overcoming the confines of the ego, seeking spiritual enlightenment and self-realization, and fostering love and peace are often at the core of the Old Soul’s ultimate quest in life.

4#   You understand the transience of life

Old Souls are frequently plagued with reminders of their own mortality and that of everything and everyone around them. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the old soul to have multiple existential crises throughout life, especially during difficult situations that highlight the impermanence of existence. Being very perceptive and sensitive toward the reality of death, old souls choose to live their lives differently. Every decision counts.

5#   You’re thoughtful and introspective

Old Souls tend to think a lot … about everything. It’s crucial for an old soul to get enough space and time to reflect, introspect, and develop more self-awareness. This natural tendency toward rumination helps them to quickly learn from their actions and understand the people and environments around them. Many Old Souls practice a natural form of shadow work in which they are constantly reflecting on how they could do better, prevent their issues from getting bigger, and create more inner harmony.

6#   You see the bigger picture

Old Souls dislike getting lost in the superficial details of gaining useless degrees, job promotions, social prestige, and better iPhones. Instead, Old Souls prefer to look at life from a birds-eye perspective, striving to find the wisest and most meaningful way of living and using their time. After all, life can end at any moment, so why waste time on trivial details?

Ancestral Psychic

7#   You aren’t materialistic

Wealth, status, fame, and the latest tech gadget … Old Souls take little interest in these things.  After all, what’s the point of seeking these socially paraded goals if they can easily be taken away? What’s the point if the fulfillment isn’t long-lasting or soul-enriching?

8#   You were a strange, socially maladaptive kid

This is not always the case, but many Old Souls exhibit odd signs of maturity at young ages.  Often, these children are labeled as being “precocious,” “introverted,” or “rebellious,” failing to fit into the mainstream behaviors. Usually, these children are extremely inquisitive and intelligent, seeing the purposelessness of many things their teachers, parents, and peers say and do, and either passively or aggressively resist them. If you can talk to your child like s/he’s an adult – you’ve probably got an Old Soul on your hands.

9#   You’ve undergone an existential crisis

It’s common for Old Souls to ask deep and penetrating questions about life in their search for love, truth, and freedom. This quest to live a meaningful existence inevitably means that they will, sooner or later, experience an existential crisis. An existential crisis is what happens when a person starts to see through the lies and delusions within society. They may wonder what life is really about, whether they have a true purpose, and start to think about the human condition more. Is life just a product of chance? What’s the point of everything I’ve done? What is all this about, anyway? These are the types of questions Old Souls ask during the existential crisis.

10# You see life through a poetic/contemplative lens

Old Souls take time to enjoy life – they see things that others don’t see. Take nature for example: an Old Soul will enjoy the way the wind dances through the trees – while someone else may just walk straight by, disinterested or blind to the simple beauty before them. Old Souls also take time to contemplate life. The smile and laughter of a child is something to stop and savor. The striking beauty of a piece of art is something to ponder. The words of a great writer are something to meditate on (see Lectio Divina). There is so much in life to stop, appreciate, and reflect on.

11# You tend to overthink everything

While Old Souls are contemplative types of people, this can also prove to be a painful and challenging quality. For instance, most Old Souls struggle with the curse of overthinking practically everything. Choosing from a menu at a cafe, for example, can be a strangely painstaking experience. (There are so many options! Which is the right one? What would taste the best? What is the most ethical? What is the best value for money? What is right for this time of the day? etc.) Social situations are no better, which leads to the next point …

12# You struggle with anxiety in social situations

Put the tendency to overthink everything alongside conscientiousness and strong empathy, and you have a recipe for social anxiety. Throw in a little bit of eccentricity (i.e., not sharing the same interests as most people) and we have an unavoidable tendency towards lingering social discomfort. Although many Old Souls are confident, calm, and self-possessed people, social situations are complex and tiring. There are so many elements to consider (fragile egos, etiquette, boundaries, reciprocity, unspoken but obvious insecurities, etc.) that they often prefer just being left by themselves. With that being said, when Old Souls do find someone they connect with or find interesting, they tend to form strong and intense connections quite quickly. It’s one of the greatest joys of life to find fellow kindred spirits.

13# You easily fall into the role of advisor or counselor

People flock to Old Souls for advice like a moth drawn to a flame. Attracted to their level-headedness and wisdom, it’s common for family members, friends, and workplaces to naturally position the Old Soul as advice-giver. While most Old Souls don’t mind this, it’s common for them to feel inundated and overwhelmed by the magnitude of other’s problems. Even so, Old Souls enjoy helping others. It’s more of a pleasure (than a burden) to give guidance to those in need.

14# You enjoy the company of those much older than you

Old Souls tend to make friends with older folks way more often than younger people (including those of the same age). There is something so down-to-earth, engaging, and layered about those who have been around much longer than the rest. Besides, it’s comforting being around those whose external energy matches the Old Soul’s internal energy. There’s something compatible there. No need to go running around like a headless chicken to parties, concerts, and what have you. Instead, Old Souls can enjoy sitting around a fire or lounging on the patio chairs, having a good old-fashion talk and exchanging stories.

15# You crave simplicity

In some areas of life, Old Souls respect and even like complexity. But overall, what most Old Souls crave deep down is simplicity. There is a certain purity, beauty, and Zen-like appeal in the simple life. Some Old Souls may find themselves drawn toward minimalism, while others may take a minimalistic attitude toward everyday responsibilities and other pursuits. The Old Soul’s thirst for simplicity is very much connected to their love of heart, soul, and essence. Whatever is true and worthy can easily be found in simplicity.

16# You’re attracted to all things vintage

While this might not be the case for all Old Souls, many find themselves drawn toward old music, old furniture, old architecture, old books, old clothing – really, anything old. Some Old Souls feel more at home in bygone eras (18th-century horse and carriage, 1920’s jazz, etc.), while others have an appreciation for even older cultures (e.g., shamanic and tribal periods).

17#   You just “feel” old inside

Throw away the ‘Old Soul’ label for a moment and focus on how you feel inside. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Those who realize that they feel much older than their age reflects are often Old Souls at heart.

Common feelings that accompany being an Old Soul usually include a feeling of world wariness, mental tiredness, inquisitiveness, watchful patience, and the sensation of being an “outsider looking in.”

About the author:

Aletheia Luna is a prolific psychospiritual writer, author, and spiritual mentor whose work has touched the lives of millions worldwide. As a survivor of fundamentalist religious abuse, her mission is to help others find love, strength, and inner light in even the darkest places. She is the author of hundreds of popular articles, as well as numerous books and journals on the topics of Self-LoveSpiritual Awakening, and more. See more of her work at lonerwolf.com.

This article, 17 Signs You’re An Old Soul Stuck in the 21st Century , was originally published on lonerwolf.com, reproduced with permission.


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