9 Old Soul Traits & Characteristics

by Chloe Parpworth-Reynolds

If you’ve read any of my previous articles about old souls, or have done your own research into the topic then you’ll probably know how to spot an old soul from a mile off.

Eccentric interests, quirky dress, old eyes; the list goes on. However, that’s not what this article is.

Instead, just as old souls love, this article will go deeper and explore some of the less obvious and certainly less visual traits and characteristics of being an old soul.

These traits tend to be experienced either by the old soul, or something that their friends and loved ones pick up on over time.

As you probably already know, I’m usually the first person to clarify that everyone is different and that all characteristics and personality traits sit on a spectrum.

However, as an old soul myself I’ve had a long ponder about some of the deeper facets of myself and the feelings I experience.

So, without further ado, I present 9 old soul traits and characteristics as recounted by an old soul.

9 Old Soul Traits And Characteristics

#1. Old Souls Like to Keep their Surroundings Simple

The general consensus is that old souls love time in nature.

Personally I disagree with this notion and feel the reason why nature is given as an example is that it is the most obvious example of a simplified surrounding.

Instead, I feel that old souls thrive in and prefer environments that are simplistic or stereotypically calming.

This can of course include nature, as for me there’s something very pleasant about walking the beach on a cold, blustery, winters day, but it can also include other spaces too.

Some of the characteristics that I believe make a space suitable for an old soul include; the removal of technology, the removal of people, and the removal of meaningless distractions.

Notice I didn’t say the removal of ‘clutter’, as old souls don’t actually tend to be minimalists.

While they may have fewer possessions than the average person due to their lack of materialistic need, the old soul certainly enjoys carefully curated objects or personal collections of items.

This is why a space such as a library or traditional home study, complete with a roaring fire, would be ideal for many old souls in the same way as a forest might.

Why?

Because such a space is all about simple pleasures. It’s about enjoying the smell of a new book, the crackle of the fire, the comfort of curling up, and most importantly; shutting out the chaotic modern world.

2. Old Souls Can Feel Adrift from People, Places, and Even Time

To the outsider old souls may seem aloof or above day-to-day goings on; and the truth is…the feeling is at least partly mutual.

This is because old souls are walking contradictions; their body and outward appearance may say one age, but their soul and their actions say another.

Put simply, old souls are both young and old at the same time! So, all things considered, it’s really no wonder that old souls can sometimes feel adrift or not fully connected with modern mainstream society.

Let’s face it. The mainstream modern world moves fast and is obsessed with trends, money, and material possessions.

While this is the holy trinity for some, for old souls it is the complete antithesis.

This can leave old souls feeling very disconnected with the time that they live in and bring about a deep longing and sometimes painful yearning for an era that they feel as though they’d fit into better.

For many modern old souls this era is often the era of their early childhood, or a few decades prior (for me it’s the 50’s to the ’80s).

It can often be said that old souls crave a simpler time, but the exact nature of what this is deemed to be is up to the old soul in question.

3. Old Souls Can Bridge the Gap Between Older and Younger Generations

While a lot of old soul traits can be challenging and need to be managed or overcome, this unique characteristic is a superpower.

If you spend a few minutes looking at the media each day you’ll quickly notice a large amount of the issues discussed outside of the headlines is to do with the disconnect between the generations.

The young view the old as being stuck in their ways or thinking they’re better than them, and the old view the young as irresponsible, rude, and ‘not like how they were’.

This leads to animosity and hostility between the generations which is far more harmful than you may think on the surface.

The older generations have lifetimes of knowledge and wisdom to impart to the younger generation, and the younger generation heads full of new and exciting ideas, hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

Combine the two and you have the potential to create respectfully informed, intuitive, and empathic members of society that can be a real force for good.

Because old souls can relate with the younger generation through the physical years and connect with the older generations through the age of their soul they are able to tap into the wealth of experience the older generation has to share.

This helps old souls to become interested, conscientious, and well-rounded individuals that are an asset to society.

4. Old Souls like to Plan and Prepare

Old souls tend to be the hyper-organized amongst us, but, like with many other old soul traits, this seldom manifests itself in the way that you might think.

You may be thinking of yourself or the old soul in your life and snorting with derision at this point, but as all old souls do; look a little deeper.

The more eccentric old souls may seem chaotic or disorganized with clutter or clumsiness, but they actually have their own personal form of organization, and I bet that if you asked them to find something within their space they’d be able to find it in moments!

Safe to say old souls have their own systems in place; they just might be a bit more on the unique side!

One thing’s for certain, old souls aren’t ones for spontaneity and will actually tend to find surprises stressful instead of exciting.

This is because old souls view the world on a far deeper level than most.

This means that they are able to see all the nuances and variables of a situation and when this knowledge is taken from them such as through spontaneity they tend to become uncomfortable and out of their element.

Instead, old souls much prefer planning a meeting or event in advance be this planning to meet up a few days before or carefully curating a special event weeks, or months, in advance.

One thing that is also worth noting about old souls is that while they can be flexible they’ll rarely deviate from plans, once made, of their own volition.

5. Old Souls Think of the Future

Similar to a love of planning, old souls like to think about their future and make preparation for future life events such as home-owning, children, and retirement.

This is because old souls tend to be highly sensible and practical people; sometimes to a fault.

This can cause them to be the butt of jokes among their friends, but in reality, in the coming decades, it’s usually the old soul that has the last laugh thanks to this future preparedness.

Old souls tend to prepare for the future in a variety of ways in different points in their life.

Firstly in their youth, the old soul will tend to have a vested interest in their education.

This isn’t just because old souls inherently have a thirst for knowledge, but also because the old soul has the mature wisdom to see that a successful education can open many doors regarding careers and finances in the future.

During their working life, the old soul will tend to be careful with their money. While many old souls aren’t interested in high-paying, high-flying jobs, that doesn’t mean that the money they do earn is frittered away.

Instead, old souls tend to invest their money wisely, usually towards the next milestone in their life such as a new car, holiday, or homeownership.

Retirement can also be a particular focus for the old soul.

Oftentimes they’ll use their sensible and intuitive instincts to make smart investments and plant helpful seeds they can reap when they retire.

6. Old Souls Have a Thirst For Knowledge (Though Not How You’d Think)

Most articles will tell you the blanket statement that ‘old souls are hungry for knowledge’ or are ‘book worms’ or ‘teacher’s pets’; but this isn’t the case.

Yes, old souls love learning and love to understand the world they are in more deeply, but this doesn’t always translate to the stereotypical forms of knowledge such as school subjects like history, biology, or even just avid reading.

Instead, the old soul seeks areas of true wisdom, which is usually learned from watching and communicating.

This is why old souls find conversations with older generations to be scintillating, as they understand that true knowledge is forged over decades of experience, not in the 45-minute run time of a documentary or the 300+ pages of a book.

Old Souls are constantly learning even well past their school years.

For an old soul, this is essential, as it is only with a greater understanding that they are able to peel back the layers of society and find true meaning.

While some old souls may undertake this learning in their spare time, or find the focus of their knowledge-hunger to be spying the nuances of daily life, many other old souls choose to incorporate the insatiable need for discovery into their careers, becoming academics, researchers, and scientists.

Lastly, it is worth noting that this sense of growth is not limited to knowledge or personal growth, but to the old souls’ spiritual well-being as well.

Old souls know that to be a well-rounded and productive member of society they need to make improvements within as well as to the outside world.

This is why you may find old souls in careers or spaces where they can act as a spiritual guide for others.

7. Fitting In is Almost Always A Struggle for Old Souls

I’ve hinted at this earlier but one of the largest negative characteristics of being an old soul is the struggle to fit in.

Old souls can be ostracised by generations older than them for their outward appearance, but simultaneously find the wants and needs of their own age group dull, banal, and under-stimulating.

For example, where their peers are likely to be more impulsive, footloose, and fancy-free, the old soul loves to plan, take time to weigh up decisions, and listen to their intuition.

This can often leave the old soul in their own bubble, watching from the sidelines.

If not ostracised then the old soul may instead be allowed into a friend group for the sole purpose of being the mentor, sounding board, or councilor; as it is not uncommon for others to want to capitalize on the old souls’ gifts for their own personal gain.

While there may be times where the old soul genuinely enjoys being helpful to their friends, oftentimes seeing their sage advice be teased or unheeded time and time again can leave them feeling sad and drained.

Similarly, love can be a struggle. Many young individuals prefer to keep relationships casual or explore and experiment, which is the antithesis of what old souls desire.

Instead, old souls want to forge deep connections with their partner, and are in the relationship for the long-haul and not just for a summer of fun.

This can sadly cause the old soul to get burnt many times, and even become quite lonely.

8. On the Surface, Old Souls Prefer to be Alone

It seems to be the general consensus that old souls are naturally lone wolves that much prefer to spend their days alone.

However, as an old soul myself I’d like to dispel this myth.

I believe that the reason the old soul has this image is that, A: old souls are naturally introverts and B: old souls feel the need to protect themselves.

Firstly, point A. Old souls are naturally introverted people. Herein lies the first misconception; introverts are not antisocial people.

Instead, they simply gain their energy from alone time over social interactions.

This doesn’t mean that they hate being around others or even attending parties and social gatherings; it just means that their energy levels are depleted by them instead of enriched as it would be for extroverts.

Moving on to point B, many old souls will put up walls to protect themselves.

Growing up is rarely fun for many old souls. They’ve likely been teased and even bullied for their niche interests and passions.

Even within close friend groups they may find themselves relegated to group ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ as they are the sensible ones that others feel they can turn to.

Lastly, they will likely have been shunned in the love department too and may have been burned by partners who only wanted a casual fling over a meaningful relationship.

This causes the old soul to naturally want to protect themselves in their adult life.

Therefore they may avoid social gatherings or feign a lack of interest in others as they do not want to relive the pain of their youth.

On a similar vein their may downplay their interests or keep large amounts of their life private because they fear the judgment of their peers.

Put simply, old souls can prefer to be alone out of necessity and not true preference.

9. Old Souls Can See the Interconnectivity of the Universe

Now, this statement sounds dramatic, and you may be picturing Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes in his mind palace and actually… you’re not too far wrong! (Though nowhere near as cinematic!)

Old souls simply see the world through a different pair of glasses than others do.

They are able to simultaneously view the various threads, nuances, and details of a situation that allows them to see the bigger picture and even at times predict the various outcomes of said interaction or event.

This can be a negative at times because the old soul maybe focussing on all the potential negative outcomes which may occur when a certain decision is made, which is where a close friend or partner with a grounding influence can be a big help!

On a positive level, if they allow their abilities to thrive in a positive way, old souls are able to experience a true connection to the world around them.

They are able to see how people and places fit into a bigger picture or greater plan and understand their role in making the world a better place.

The Takeaway (An Old Souls Advice to You)

So, above I have listed what I believe to be some of the truest and most authentic universal old soul traits and characteristics as seen from my experiences as an old soul.

Now I believe it’s time for me to round off this article as any old soul would; by imparting some sage advice.

To my fellow old soul I say: Know your worth.

Yes, the world is cruel to us, particularly when we were growing up, but that shouldn’t let you limit the wealth of good you have to give to the world.

To the non-old souls reading this article, I say: Give the old soul in your life a chance!

While they may seem cooky or hard to understand on the surface, channel your own inner old soul and peel back the layers so you can look a little deeper, because, here’s the truth; you’re unlikely to find a more loyal, more caring, and more supportive friend or loved one than an old soul!

If you liked this article you may like one of these Old Soul articles:

9 Benefits Of Being An Old Soul

Famous Old Souls + Powerful Lessons We Can Learn From Them

7 Signs You’re An Old Soul

Revealed: The Best Careers for Old Souls Who Want Fulfillment

9 Old Soul Traits & Characteristics

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