9 Signs Your Mental Age Exceeds Your Physical Age

by Jay Hill

Are you an old soul? Do you sometimes think that your mental age doesn’t mirror that of your body? Are you young in terms of years lived on this planet, but find yourself feeling “old” on a regular basis? Here are a few signs that you might be justified in suspecting that you are more mature than your peers.

1. You Don’t Need Much Reassurance

Young people typically need more reassurance and approval from their peers. More mature people, however, make their own decisions without waiting for anyone else’s validation. If you feel secure making your own way in life and coming to your own decisions, take this as a sign of your own maturity.

2. Your Taste in Movies Is Different From That of Your Friends

Do you prefer films from a different, much earlier time? Do you like movies that deal with sensitive or in-depth issues rather than the latest lightweight must-see blockbuster? This is another sign of your relatively more advanced mental age.

3. You’ve Learned to Let the Small Things Go

One of the greatest lessons in life is the ability to sort the important from the trivial. Being able to get over minor arguments and forget small setbacks is a sign of an old soul who appreciates the value of the moment and resists the urge to dwell on the past or worry excessively about the future.

4. You Know How to Forgive

The Buddha taught that holding onto resentment is like drinking poison but expecting the other person to die. Mature people know the value of forgiveness and don’t waste their time nursing grudges against other people.

5. Your Preferred Music Is Different From That of Your Friends

Do you like music that takes more skill to produce and appreciate than mainstream releases? This points to a relatively more developed sense of taste and by extension, maturity.

6. You’re More Sensitive Than Your Peers

Although an important aspect of maturing is to let go when necessary and being able to forgive other people, so too is increased sensitivity to the special, everyday moments that make life worth living. You may find it easy to feel grateful for even “small” blessings, such as waking up to a new day.

7. You’re Intuitive

Do you seem to understand what others need and feel before they open their mouths? If so, you may have developed the skill of reading other people earlier in life compared with others your age. This makes you well-equipped to deal with sensitive situations, and improves your chances of building meaningful relationships with other people.

8. You Tend to Take a Long View

Mature people like to enjoy themselves, but they also think of the future. So if you are careful with your money and spend a lot of time thinking about your plans for the next five, 10, or 15 years, your mental age may well be higher compared with others your age.

9. You Care Deeply About Current Affairs

On average, older people take more of an interest in current affairs compared to those in younger generations, as they have had time to appreciate the extent to which everyone around the world is interconnected. If you read or listen to the news regularly, especially the “heavy” or “intellectual” news shows, this is a sign of advanced mental age and maturity.

It can be difficult when your mental age exceeds your physical age — sometimes you may be ridiculed for your beliefs, tastes or outlook. Feel proud to be different, and remember that one day everyone else in your age group will catch up with you! In the meantime, enjoy the fact that you are a little bit out of step with your peer group. You are probably all the more interesting for it.

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