Have you been told that you are pretty mature for your age? Maybe people have also used the phrase “old soul” to describe you. While there is an air of spirituality about this term, in essence, it means the same thing.
What Does It Mean to Be Wise Beyond Your Years?
It is to have a level of emotional maturity that is not typical of your age. It also means to be a well-rounded and responsible individual and to have control over your emotions.
This innate wisdom allows you to put yourself in another person’s shoes rather than listen only to your ego as most young people do.
How Do You Know If You Are Wise Beyond Your Years? 20 Signs to Look for
1. You don’t make rush decisions
Making rush decisions based solely on emotions, without considering the consequences, is a trait of immaturity.
You know you are an emotionally mature person when you carefully weigh your decisions. Before acting, you analyze possible drawbacks and consequences of your choice. You also think about how it will affect other people, not just yourself.
2. You know how to listen
Young people tend to be more self-centered, as they lack the emotional maturity that comes with age. For this reason, they care more about expressing themselves rather than listening to others.
If you know how to listen, it’s a sign of wisdom and maturity. You don’t just pretend you are listening, waiting for your turn to reply. You are paying attention to every word because you care to truly understand another person.
3. You always try to see a topic from different perspectives
Another trait of youth and immaturity is a lack of perspective taking. It’s always easier to just see things from your point of view, isn’t it?
So, when you are wise beyond your years, you do the opposite. You realize that things always depend on what angle we view them from. Whether it’s a personal situation or a global topic, you try to evaluate all the perspectives before drawing a conclusion.
4. You think before you speak
Just as you weigh your decisions, you also weigh your words. You realize that words have the power to hurt, so when you are angry at someone, you pick them wisely. You know that it’s easy to get blinded by your emotions and say cruel things you’ll regret later.
So, before opening your mouth, you always think about how your words will make someone feel.
5. You admit your mistakes
Owning up to your mistakes is not easy at any age. But when you are a wise and emotionally mature person, you have the ability to admit you are wrong.
That’s because you know that running away from responsibility and shifting the blame onto someone else is pointless. You own up to your mistakes because learning and becoming a better person is more important for you than looking good in front of others.
If you are in your 20s and think this way, then you are certainly an “old soul”.
6. You keep your word
Responsibility is one of the basic components of mental maturity. Except for admitting your mistakes, it also includes keeping your word.
You know you are wise beyond your years when you know how to keep promises. Since you weigh every word, you won’t say things you don’t mean or give promises you can’t keep.
7. You don’t care to impress
Showing off, pretending to be someone else, and having a snobbish attitude are all traits of immature people. However, it’s not only young people who try too hard to impress others – some stick with this silly habit even after they reach a senior age.
When you are a mentally mature individual, regardless of your physical age, you realize that showing off is a waste of time. So, you won’t make up stories or pretend to be smarter than you are just to impress someone.
8. You try to put yourself in another’s shoes
Being able to see the situation from another person’s perspective is a key trait of wisdom. Youth is selfish and too self-absorbed, and it’s only with age that we realize that every person has their own perspective, which often differs from ours.
When you try to understand someone else’s viewpoint in a conflict situation instead of imposing your opinion on them, it’s a sure-fire sign you are wise beyond your years.
9. You are not quick to judge and make conclusions
Because of your ability to take perspective, you are not judgmental. We jump to conclusions when we don’t care to understand others. That’s not what people who are wise beyond their years do.
A high level of maturity makes you analyze all sides of a situation or a person. That’s why you avoid judging others for their choices or behaviors. You realize that you haven’t been in such a situation yourself, so you can’t know how you would act.
10. You don’t hold grudges
Holding grudges for too long is somehow childish, so, as an emotionally mature person, you seek to make it up with those you love.
At the same time, you don’t hesitate to cut ties with people who turn out to be toxic, selfish, or fake. Instead of holding grudges and making scenes, you just slowly distance yourself from a person if you realize they are the wrong company for you.
11. You can apologize first
As we said above, emotional maturity makes you care less about your hurt ego and more about the things that matter. And these include the relationships you have with your dear ones. For this reason, you can choose to apologize first even if you are not the guilty party.
Saying “I’m sorry” is one of the hardest things to do, and only truly mature people can suppress their ego and take the first step. If you are young by age but are able to do this, then you are one of those “old souls” who have innate wisdom.
12. You avoid drama
Drama, gossip, and attention-seeking are behaviors of shallow and immature people. That’s why you won’t create drama to grab people’s attention if you are really wise beyond your years. Neither will you take part in someone else’s scenes.
Therefore, you also try to surround yourself with calm and well-balanced people like yourself. You see no sense in wasting your time and energy on those who bring unnecessary tension into your life.
13. You have integrity and a strong moral code
As we mature with age, we discover what our true values are. They may change throughout our lives, but at some point, we come with our personal moral code. This is where we keep the rules we live by, as well as those “red lines” we would never cross.
If you have integrity and act according to your moral compass in any given situation, then you have certainly matured as a person. Staying loyal to yourself and your principles is more important for you than satisfying your ego or making a good impression on others.
14. You have control over your emotions
Emotional control is one of the key traits of maturity. In certain situations, it’s easy to lose your temper and act on emotions. And this is where the difference between a mature person and an immature one lies.
You have the upper hand when it comes to managing your emotions. You don’t let your anger or frustration be in charge and push you toward bad decisions and toxic behaviors.
Where your peers throw a tantrum, you withdraw from the situation to seek to calm down. This is a trait of a true “old soul”.
15. You have a small circle of friends
As we age, we realize that most people in our lives are not meant to stick by our side. They are just situational friendships that won’t last for a lifetime.
That’s why life experience and maturity bring us to the understanding that it’s better to keep our social circle small but of high quality. But if you are an “old soul”, this understanding comes much sooner, maybe even in your early 20s.
At some point, you realize you have no desire or energy to hang out with random people. This is when you know you’ve matured as a person, no matter what your physical age is.
16. You don’t care about superficial things
Whether we talk about life priorities or things you pay attention to when you meet someone, you don’t care about superficial things.
You are wise beyond your years when your goals don’t revolve only around materialistic and selfish interests, such as money, fame, or being better than others. You also don’t seek superficial qualities in other people.
As such, you care less about nice manners, attractive looks, and social statuses, and more about someone’s loyalty, intelligence, and honesty.
17. Your friends often ask for your advice
Your friends always say that you give the best advice. So, when they face a difficult situation in life, they usually turn to you.
Since you have innate wisdom and are good at reading people, you are able to see what exactly is going on. Your friends may even believe that you can predict the future! It seems like you always tell them in advance what outcome a situation will have.
However, it’s not some supernatural gift – it’s your wisdom and ability to analyze. Typically, all “old souls” are highly reflective and analytical.
18. You aren’t interested in competing with others
Competitiveness is one more trait of immature people who are driven by selfish impulses.
If you are an emotionally mature person, you realize that competing with others is pointless. You are busy living your life, pursuing your goals, and evolving as a person – not becoming better than someone else.
For this reason, you also see no sense in comparing yourself to others. Being wise beyond one’s years means realizing that everyone is different and has their own path in life.
19. You think about the future
When we are young, we don’t think much about the future. We live in the moment, and this often leads us to do silly things and make bad decisions that we regret later, when we grow older.
Therefore, if you are wise beyond your years, you think about the long-term consequences of what you do. You also set realistic goals and plan for the future. You know that you won’t stay young forever, so you need to take care of certain things before it’s too late.
For this reason, you take care of your health. You know that what you do, eat, and come in contact with today will affect your body when you grow older. So, you try to stay active and go for healthier food options. You know your older self will thank you for these choices later.
20. You don’t go after what’s trendy
The younger we are, the more susceptible we are to herd mentality. This often makes us adopt behaviors and habits that are not natural for us, as well as follow trends just to fit in with our peers.
“Old souls” don’t do that. A key aspect of their wisdom is that instead of conforming to what’s trending, they care to stay true to themselves above all. People who are wise beyond their years care to keep it real and just be themselves, even if what they do, wear, or are passionate about is out of fashion.
Sometimes physical age has very little to do with emotional maturity. I love the quote,
Maturity comes with experience, not age.
If you are in your 20s or early 30s and fit the descriptions above, then you are certainly wise beyond your years and more mature than your peers.