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Kindred spirit: What it is and 15 signs you’ve found yours

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Image credit: Shutterstock - By Peter Berni

More than anything else, it’s our relationships that give meaning to our lives.

We are social creatures who live and die by the connections we build with those around us.

They give us meaning, purpose, and a reason to wake up when nothing else makes sense.

They are our sources of happiness and joy, and in many cases, our reason for living.

But there are some people will connect with so much more intimately and deeply than most. These are our kindred spirits.

Understanding the Kindred Spirit

A kindred spirit is someone that, from the very first moment you meet, you have a feeling that they understand everything about you, and you understand them.

Regardless of your hobbies, interests, passions, backgrounds, and more, a kindred spirit is someone who will look at you from across the room and make you feel that you are not alone.

Those friends and loved ones closest to you? More likely than not, those are kindred spirits. But don’t confuse kindred spirits with lifelong friends.

Some kindred spirits enter our lives for even just a moment, or a single period. The length of your relationship has nothing to do with how much of a kindred spirit you can be with someone. It’s about the innate connection and nothing more.

According to a paper in Phenomenology & Practice kindred spirits are “special connections…experienced variously from briefly felt moments of friendship to enduringly profound body-soul love connections.”

Do Kindred Spirits Have To Be a Lover?

No, not necessarily.

Kindred spirits come in all shapes and sizes, representing all types of relationship.

It’s true that more often than not, they are a close friend, family member or a lover.

But technically, a kindred spirit can be someone you only met once, but they just “got” you at that moment.

As the paper on kindred spirits in Phenomenology & Practice points out, most of us find ourselves “using the phrase “kindred spirit” to describe our feelings of being understood and accepted by others, alongside the awareness of shared interests and passions.”

In their analysis, they suggested that a kindred spirit can take many forms:

“Our analysis suggests that, for our participants at least, experiencing a kindred spirit connection can take many forms, happening in many different relationships and contexts, and that the experience cuts across age and gender.”

Of course, when we naturally have a deep connection like this, we like to keep these people in our life.

But that doesn’t always happen for many different reasons.

Is There a Unique Energy Between Kindred Spirits?

Many people talk about the unique energy between kindred spirits.

As people, we’re all made of energy, so it might be that the energy between a kindred spirit is strong and positive.

However, it has never been proven, but perhaps there might be a strong connection beyond words between people who understand and “get” each other.

So if you think you might have a kindred spirit in someone new in your life, here are 10 ways I believe you might able to tell if someone is your kindred spirit.

Keep in mind that this is just my opinion from my experiences in my life. Perhaps it might be different for you.

1) You Feel When You Need Each Other

Have you ever had that strange, coincidental experience where someone reached out to you right out of the blue, exactly when you were feeling totally alone?

That person might be your kindred spirit. Kindred spirits have the uncanny ability to just know when one of their kindred spirits is in desperate need of help.

There might be moments where you will feel that no one in the world cares about you or your problems.

In those moments, your kindred spirit will feel that they are needed and come rushing to your aid. Even if all you need is a hug.

2) They Will Make You Move Forward

There are friends who are content with us doing nothing with our lives—sticking to the same routines week after week and month after month, drinking and partying and throwing away our time.

Then there are friends who actually care; people who grab you by the shoulders and say, “What are you doing with your life?”

If you find yourself struggling to move forward, your kindred spirit is there to give that boost you need to get your momentum going.

They understand exactly where you’re coming from, probably because they’ve experienced similar situations.

So they know the best way to help and to get you to where you want to be.

3) They Will Help You Learn

A kindred spirit is never afraid to tell you the truth, especially if it means teaching you a vital lesson you need to learn.

Other people will hold back the harsh truth because most people would rather spare themselves the awkward conversation or the reality of hurting you.

This is because they don’t really care about you; they care about themselves and protecting themselves from feeling uncomfortable.

But a kindred spirit truly cares. If you need someone to tell you the truth about something, your kindred spirit will be there, ready to lay it on.

4) You Have Similar Principles

This isn’t about politics, left or right.

This is about the way you view life and humanity, and while you and your friends may have your general agreements and disagreements on certain issues, your kindred spirit will generally understand the world the same way that you do.

The bigger things in life will never be a point of contention—you live your lives the same way, which is why you connect as intimately as you do.

5) You Boost Each Other

You and your kindred spirit are like two adjacent pieces of a puzzle. You both make each other more whole.

Your interests, skills, and passions may not be exactly the same, but they find ways to complement each other.

Your kindred spirit is someone with whom you can easily go out with and have a great time, or someone you can start a business with and find immense success.

You guys will fit each other in more ways than one.

6) You Have Mutual Respect

No good relationship can exist without respect coming from both sides.

And this respect transcends politics and petty opinions—no matter what you say, your kindred spirit will understand where you are coming from and give you the respect you deserve.

Both of you know that support and encouragement are what the other person needs, which is why you will never be quick to judge your kindred spirit.

7) Understanding Beyond the Need for Words

It’s almost like you understand exactly what each other is thinking.

It’s hard to describe feelings. They’re complex, flying balls of energy that can’t be put into words.

But somehow, you “get” your partner’s feelings, even if you can’t articulate them.

A simple look into each other’s eyes says everything you need to know.

And this is the same in different social situations and circumstances. It’s like you know your partner’s uncomfortable before they know they are themselves!

It’s a special connection that can’t be put into words.

8) You Always Have Each Other’s Backs

It doesn’t matter what’s happening and why it happened, you always support each other.

Everyone goes through tribulations that hard to overcome, but you both make sure that you don’t have to do it alone.

You provide solutions, support and unconditional love that’s impossible to break.

Let’s be honest, life is a bit of a game sometimes. But it’s a game that you want your kindred spirit to win.

9) You Grow and Learn From Each Other

If you’re growing, then you’re not really living, right?

Kindred spirits move forward in life and grow together.

The relationship naturally grows. From dating to seeing each other exclusively to living together, to marrying each other and having a family (if that’s what they desire).

It happens slowly. Why? Because the strongest relationships take time and build.

Kindred spirits know this. Otherwise, people fall into the trap of “needy love” and move too fast. A relationship based on neediness won’t survive.

Therefore, kindred spirits don’t “need” each other. They grow individually, which means releasing their unhealthy attachments and understanding their own self-worth.

When you’re both confident in who you are and you don’t suffocate the love that exists between the two of you, the potential of the relationship grows naturally and beautifully.

10) You Make Each Other Feel Complete

There are parts of you that you’ve always known are weaknesses.

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Perhaps you suffer a little too much from anxiety. Or you can’t cook. Whatever it is, it’s like your kindred is good at those things. They love cooking and they’re cooler than the cucumber even in tense situations!

Likewise, your energy and passion is something that ignites them and gets them going. You compliment each other perfectly.

In fact, this is why introverts and extroverts make for a great relationship.

The point is this:

Your individual differences create a complete person when they’re combined. Differences can tear some couple’s apart, but for kindred spirits, it brings them closer together.

11) Everything Seems To Be Easy

When you are linked to someone spiritually, you’ll find that you have an ease about you as they come and go from your life.

You’ll find you trust the process of falling in love when you are matched with your kindred spirit. It’s easy to see how you go together, how you hurt when you are a part, and how your souls are meant to be aligned.

You’ll find you float through your day, even on your worst day, because you know you have your kindred spirit with you wherever you go and wherever you are.

If everything seems easy, or too easy, it might be that it’s because it is easy. That’s what true love and connection can do.

12) You Get That Feeling in the Pit of Your Stomach

When you are connected to someone that is your kindred spirit, you’ll carry them with you. You’ll feel something you’ve never felt before and even though it might be scary and difficult to process, you need to pay attention to it.

When you feel something in the pit of your stomach, you’ll be worried that it’s a sign something is wrong, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, excitement can also manifest itself as fear and anxiety, so if you feel that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, it could be that you are actually feeling love for the very first time with your soul mate.

13) You Feel the Flow

When you are kindred spirits with someone, you’ll feel in the flow of every aspect of your life.

If work suddenly seems like it’s more fun, you are getting more done, food tastes better, you laugh louder, and you can’t feel any happier, you are in the flow.

The flow is a great signifier that you are aligned with someone you are meant to be with – the person who is your kindred spirit.

If you feel like you are more aligned than ever and your life makes more sense than it ever has, you’re likely surrounded by the person who is the one you’ve been looking for your whole life.

14) You Long for One Another

Connection to your kindred spirit will find you longing for them wherever it is you find yourself.

Near or far, you’ll feel the connection to them and long for the time when you can be nearer to them once again.

Kindred spirits have a special connection and link that others don’t feel and can’t always understand.

You may find yourself feeling alone in a room full of people when your kindred spirit is not there, but you won’t be alone.

Even if everyone around you makes you happy, you’ll not feel whole again until your kindred spirit is near you again.

15) Life is Better Because You Are Together

When you are finally reunited with your kindred spirit, you’ll be better for it. Even when apart, you’ll know that your lives are connected to one another and that you are better for it.

You might look at your life before you found one another with a bit of gray cloud hanging over your head, but now that you have found one another, life is better.

Regardless of where life takes you, heading in that direction together is where you are meant to be.

What’s The Difference Between a Kindred Spirit and a Soul Mate?

This is a common question and for good reason. On the surface, it appears as if they’re the same thing.

But you’d be mistaken.

Soul mates are about romantic love. It’s unconditional, it’s beautiful and soul mates are able to stick through tough times together, according to Mary C. Lamia Ph.D. in Psychology Today:

“Perhaps above all else is the capacity to trust the soulmate relationship and maintain its intensity by successfully navigating through the moments when positive feelings are disrupted.”

Kindred spirits don’t have to be about romantic love or fate.

The important distinction that’s worth noting is the “twin flame” relationship.

This is a very intense relationship that could be positive, but could also be negative. It’s passionate and sexy. The relationship can be so strong that it can lead to intense feelings of love and heartbreak.

According to Alex Myles in Elephant Journal, twin flame relationships can be extremely special, but also difficult:

“Potentially, twin flame relationships could be the most loving and transformational experiences, but, unfortunately, often in the beginning, they are filled with turbulence, trauma and pain.”

If the rockiness of a twin flame relationship can be worked through, it really can be an incredibly meaningful and beautiful relationship.

(To learn more about twin flames, check out our guide to twin flame relationships here)

Kindred Spirits Aren’t As Rare As A Soul mate

This is important to keep in mind. Soul mates are rare, but kindred spirits can exist in many different situations and circumstances.

After all, it’s based on understanding.

But that doesn’t mean that you should take them for granted when they occur. It’s such a beautiful connection that you’d be wise to cherish it when you have it.

(To learn more about soul mates, check out our guide to the signs and inner workings of a soul mate relationship here)

How to find your kindred spirit? Learn about yourself more! 

A couple bonding. Signs he respects you.

If you want to find your kindred spirit, I believe that you need to be who you truly are.

Let yourself live your best life by letting go of stuffy social norms and figuring out what works for you and your inner being.

When we think about what makes us happy, we frequently reference external things: money, success, a nice home, car, family…but there is a lot of happiness that can come from within.

I believe that happiness is stifled, however, when we are not true to ourselves and don’t let our inner selves come out to play.

It is further stifled when we think we need to act in a certain way and not let our hair down.

If being a rock-n-roller chick is who you are, then why should you try to be anything else?

You can live a great life by letting your inner misfit out to play from time to time, but you can get there faster if you don’t make any apologies for it.

So to find your kindred spirit, here are 5 things I believe might help you find out who you truly are:

1) What does your ideal life look like?

In order to start moving toward a better life, you need to ask yourself what that life might look like if it were here and now?

What does life look like when you are perfectly happy and nothing is wanting or needed to fill that void? What matters to you? What doesn’t? What can you live without? What can’t you live without?

Draw it, sketch it, write about – do whatever you need to do to get those thoughts out of your head and into the world so you can start working toward that goal of your happiest life.

2) Ask yourself the tough questions about how you can get there.

When it comes to being yourself and finding your kindred spirit, you need to be willing to look at the harder parts of life and ask yourself how you are contributing to that kind of hard in your life.

We often look to others with the blame of our situations and circumstances, but we are the only ones who are responsible for what happens to us in our lives and how we choose to handle those situations.

As a result, you are going to have to do a lot of thought work about these things.

Ask yourself these questions:

What is the one thing I like about myself?
What is the one thing I want people to know about me?
What do I try to hide from people?
What do I try to show off about?
What is one thing I don’t like about myself?
Why is that?
How do I hide from my dreams?
How do I run from my ideas?
What are my best attributes?
What are my worst attributes?
How have I let myself down in the past?
Why do I want things to be different this time?

3) Know the reason for making the change.

Whatever it is that you decide to do with your life and however you decide to let your misfits out to play, know this: you need to know why it’s important to you to allow yourself to live that kind of life.

You don’t want to make it specifically about finding your kindred spirit because then you’ll be a bit needy and desperate.

Do it for yourself.

So many people hide who they really are for so long that when they finally go back to try to retrieve the person they once were, she’s gone.

How can you prevent that from happening?

By letting them out to play. Knowing why you want to shine in a certain way is important because it reminds you that you are more than just what people think you are and it is evident in the world of what you are capable of doing.

“Misfit” is really only a term to describe someone who is not like the others and the good news is that not a single one of us is like the other on this planet.

So you know what that means? The best way to live a happy life on this planet is to just be yourself.

(To learn more about how to be your true self, check out our guide to being yourself here)

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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