At some point in your life, someone likely told you that you were wise beyond your years.
This probably happened after you said something profound, or expressed insight about a situation that hadn’t even occurred to the older, more experienced people around you.
Even if nobody has ever told you that verbatim, you’re likely aware that you aren’t quite like other people your own age.
Below are 14 of the most common traits shared by those whose souls seem much older and wiser than their physical forms:
1. You don’t have an attachment to your material possessions.
Quite a lot of people define their worth and value by the caliber of their material possessions. They might consider themselves superior to others because their shoes or clothes have a particular brand name, or they drive an expensive luxury car.
All of that means very little to you. If you like something, it’s because you appreciate its color and texture, or how efficient it is when you use it. You love your thrift store $4 shirt more than its $400 designer counterpart and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
2. You cherish solitude.
Some people can’t bear to be alone. They feel nervous when they’re by themselves, and if they don’t have friends or family members around, they’ll invite friends over or go out somewhere they can be surrounded by other humans.
In contrast, you revel in your own company. That’s where you have the opportunity to contemplate existence, maybe do some journaling or work on one of the novels you’re in the process of writing.
Additionally, although you might enjoy music and films, you don’t feel a need to constantly have something playing in the background. While most people are uncomfortable with silence because they’re uncomfortable with their own thoughts, you find it comforting.
Furthermore, you might get irritable and snappish if you don’t get enough silence and solitude to recharge you on a regular basis.
3. You can’t abide small talk or superficial connections.
Some people like to keep things “light and easy” with those they interact with. This might include having a large group of acquaintances with whom they discuss the latest whatsits, and casual “friends with benefits” rather than long-term, committed relationships.
In contrast, you prefer your interactions to have greater depth and value. You prefer to discuss spirituality or science, visit museums with your friends, and cultivate strong, devoted partnerships with those you love dearly.
4. You’re more drawn to who people are than to what they look like.
If you ask the average person what type of partner they’re attracted to, a majority will give you an itemized list of physical traits they think are “hot.” In contrast, you likely value people for aspects of their personalities rather than their temporary meat suits.
You probably have a wide variety of friends with whom you connect in different ways. Some may share creative interests with you while others are more cerebral. When it comes to choosing intimate partners, you might be drawn to someone’s sense of humor, personal integrity, or other non-physical trait.
People who are wise beyond their years often choose lovers for their hearts and minds, not their physical traits. They accept and celebrate differences wholeheartedly, appreciating their partners for who they are—not despite.
5. You pick up on details that others miss.
You’re the type of person who notices the tiniest details when interacting with others, such as micro-expressions that may indicate they’re lying, or a subtle blush when they mention a friend or coworker whom you know they’re interested in.
Similarly, you can see connections between events that others would dismiss as coincidental, and pay attention to subtle changes around you.
As an example, you might notice that wild animals are gathering food and migrating earlier than usual. Others might not even be aware of a change in their behavior, but you take this as a sign of an early, brutal winter. As such, you can prepare accordingly while others will be caught off guard.
It’s possible that you’ve put these skills to use in your professional life. Those who are acutely aware of subtle details make excellent investigative journalists, therapists, lawyers, healthcare practitioners, and anthropologists.
6. You have little interest in whatever’s trending at the moment.
Your peers might be chattering about the latest celebrity gossip or coolest new tech toy out there, but you have little interest in any of that. Your priorities lie elsewhere and may center on topics that they’d consider weird.
Perhaps you’re immersed in academia or a niche topic that only a few people are passionate about worldwide. Or you dedicate more time to activism and charity work than to social media posts or makeup techniques.
Many people who are wise beyond their years are well-versed in a wide range of subjects, whether they studied them in school or as autodidacts. Even if you haven’t pursued these subjects at the university level, you may be a veritable walking encyclopedia.
7. You’re not affected by peer pressure or groupthink.
In simplest terms, you trust your own intuition and make up your own mind about things rather than being influenced by other people’s thoughts and opinions. This might make you feel alienated from everyone at times, especially when you’re the only odd one out, but you have enough integrity to stick to your convictions.
You may sometimes feel lonely because of it, but you’d rather be alone and stay true to yourself than have to play make-believe with those you disagree with on a fundamental level.
Similarly, you don’t give a rodent’s backside what other people think about your personal interests and preferences. If they don’t like your aesthetic style, dietary choices, or romantic leanings, that makes zero difference to you whatsoever. You’ll eat that strawberry-peanut butter-mayonnaise sandwich in pure bliss and not give their opinions a second thought.
8. Your personal pursuits are utilitarian (and possibly anachronistic).
Maybe you like to knit clothing in your spare time, or you like to can and preserve the food you’ve grown in your garden. You might enjoy carving wooden spoons and cups, making cheese, or brewing your own beer.
It’s likely that others have made fun of you for your “grandma” or “grandpa” interests, but you value projects that serve a purpose as well as being fun (to you) to partake in.
In addition, you may have discovered that you had an innate knack for doing these projects—almost as though you’ve done them before. In fact, you may feel as though you’ve done these things thousands of times before and are just picking them back up again after a period of time.
Furthermore, you’re well aware that these skills can serve a wide variety of purposes, and you never know when they might come in handy.
9. You’re often a pillar of support for others.
Countless people may come to you for advice and counselling because you always offer them solid opinions and solutions. Furthermore, you’ve likely helped many of them through seriously difficult times.
Besides getting worn down by other people’s problems and developing empathy fatigue, there are several other downsides to being the one people go to for support. Those close to you might have assumed that because you seemed mature enough to handle certain things in your youth, that it was okay for them to confide in you about mature subjects, or assign tasks to you that should have waited until you were physically older.
People who are wise beyond their years are often parentified in their families: they get put in charge of younger siblings’ wellbeing, and often have to take on chores and responsibilities that are too much for them to handle. Similarly, parents might discuss things with them that they’re not equipped to handle, either emotionally or psychologically.
10. You matured early.
We’re not talking about physical maturation here per se, but mental and spiritual maturity.
You may have started speaking much earlier than your peers and had an innate sense of responsibility. It’s likely that you didn’t have much interest in playing with kids your own age because you found them “childish,” and instead preferred to read, or have conversations with the adults in your life.
Furthermore, it’s likely that you had (and still have) little patience for game-playing and drama. You might be contemptuous of those who act immaturely, and you may have been teased or mocked for being uptight and not having fun along with everyone else.
11. You don’t get offended easily, but you take action if something truly upsets you.
While others around you may be foaming at the mouth about something that’s offended them, you take things in stride and let go easily. Sure, you’ll still get irked or upset by idiocy or injustice, but then you choose whether to move past it, or take action to rectify the situation.
This doesn’t mean frothing about it on social media either. In fact, you likely keep a lot of your own thoughts and emotions to yourself. You may confide in a close friend about what you’re feeling, but if you come across or experience something that’s truly upsetting, you won’t just sit back and take it.
For example, you might take legal action if someone wrongs you badly, or get out there and help if you discover that others are in need of skills or materials you can share.
12. You can adapt to different circumstances or challenges easily.
When and if the unexpected occurs, you flow with it and change course as needed rather than getting stressed out or upset. You’re not so attached to plans that you’d be devastated if they didn’t unfold the way you wanted, and if you discover that you don’t have what you need for a particular project, you can change direction and make something else instead.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, you can take stock of what’s going on and adapt to it. There’s no need to freak out about an unexpected change: you know that life never pans out the way we think it will, and you also know that you can handle anything the universe throws at you.
13. You get frustrated by other people’s lack of logic or reason.
When you’re wise beyond your years, it’s easy to get frustrated with those who aren’t as aware as you are. They might refuse to heed your advice, get themselves into ridiculous circumstances, and then wail about their fate—a fate that would have been avoided if they’d either listened to you or simply foresaw the logical consequences of their stupid choices.
14. You understand the long-term ramifications of every action.
Many people act impulsively without considering the consequences of their behavior. They’re so focused on the present moment that they don’t think about how their actions might affect others, or the ripple effect that may nudge their social, personal, or even professional lives.
That’s not you. At all.
You weigh and measure every life choice because you have a good idea about how each option will play out in the long run. As a result, you rarely make poor judgment calls or do things that might embarrass you down the road.
You may find that not all these traits apply to you, as those listed are simply some of the most common signs that one is wise beyond their years.
Although it can be frustrating and alienating at times to feel worlds apart from those around you, know that there are immense benefits to the wisdom and insight you have.
For example, you might have incredibly healthy relationships because you’re more emotionally grounded and more aware of why others behave the way they do. Similarly, your natural observational skills and wide range of abilities may give you an advantage over others in your professional life.
Know that you’re not alone, here. Find a community of like-minded friends and enjoy life as best you can. We see you.
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