Continued from ‘How to Be A Lady’ Series.
The series started when I started documenting my observation and experience of elegant women. Oh what we can learn from others!
So while the rest of the pages of ‘How To Be A Lady’ WILL be unstructured, I will be making revisions as and when I have new material. So don’t forget to come back, subscribe to my feed or sign up for my newsletter – you’ll never miss a thing!
If you have been around elegantwoman.org, you’ll notice I’ve always emphasized about the ‘outsides’ always reflect the ‘insides’, the heart.
I’ve met many ladies who appear elegant, but they fall from their pedestal because of their complaints, negative criticism or sniping remarks.
At the end of the day, I’ll rather be acquainted with someone who laughs a little too loud and heartily, or knocks tea cups over because of her clumsiness. Over someone who is quick to accuse or boast, amongst a many other things that result from a mean spirit.
So let’s continue! How to be a Lady … in bite sizes.
A Lady Never Rushes Or Is In A Hurry
It is terribly hard not to rush especially as life gets busier. I’ve found that when I rush, it’s because I under estimate the time I need. If you have such tendencies, always allocate about 25% more time. I’ve found that I do not like to wait, that is why, subconsciously I try to be perfect with my timing. But I’ve noticed I hate to rush, it makes me feel desperate and ugly, so now I try to prioritize!
There are also signs that we are doing TOO MUCH. We find that we are rushing around and our house and appearance gets neglected. So maybe cutting down on commitments will help us to ‘rush’ less.
How to be a lady? Never be in a hurry or rush around.
She is Gentle, She is Not Rude and has a Consistent Character
It does not matter if the person is a nobody.
She treats everyone with equal respect.
She does not flatter, namedrop, apple polish just because they drive a flashy car or appear to be well connected.
She is kind to everyone no matter what ‘social standing’. Though she treats everyone the same, she chooses her friends wisely.
See also How to be Classy.
She is Tasteful In Speech
She is tasteful and considerate in her conversations. Her words are full of grace. She handles her conversations appropriate to the person, whether it is in a professional setting or her friend’s husband.
She knows when to maintain a respectful distance of friendliness.
She’ll also never ask when you are going to get married or when are the kids coming.
She also does not assume. She does not assume you know who she is, or ‘how important she is’. She’ll not be cheeky and ask for a lift home, or for a favor. If she needs a favor, she will ask respectfully and politely without manipulating with guilt.
Hence, she has social confidence at parties.
A Lady is Always Presentable
A lady makes effort to present herself properly in appearance. She employs good grooming and good taste.
A Lady Is Beautiful Inside Out
Angelina Jolie & Son
W magazine, Nov 2008
Outside beauty do not go beyond the eyes. You can tell whether a person is internally beautiful by the look of their eyes. Do they carry a bored look> A proud look?
A lady has kind eyes. These eyes come from inner beauty. Inner beauty comes from kind thoughts, love and care for others.
How does she get this way? She invests in her soul and mind. She is careful not to harbor resentment, forgives. She lets go. She reads good books and probably goes to church.
It is important to invest in ‘good food for the soul’ DAILY.
This is also what I mean by starting from within! (See first paragraph of the page).
A Lady Takes Care Of Herself
She makes effort to be healthy, to eat well, sleep well and get regular exercise, and not take health and youth for granted.
This is not vanity, this is a discipline of character.
A Lady Keeps To Her Appointments
Remember the time when we did not have cell phones. If we had a lunch appointment at noon on Saturday, it will happen. It is expected that we will all turn up, punctual at the exact location and time.
With the convenience of emails, cell phones, blackberries, iphones, the integrity of socializing has been compromised.
Last minute cancellations, constant change of details to the very last minute. Sometimes we’ll find ourselves waiting at 1 pm when at 1.15 pm you’ll get a text message saying that they’re going to be late.
What is appalling is that this has become common practice.
It makes you wonder about the dependability of the other person to turn up when you have made a schedule. A lady can be depended to stick to her appointments and not canceling at her whim. She is one who knows changing times, place according to her own convenience is selfish and unladylike.
A Lady is Meek But Not A Doormat
While she is meek, she stands up for her family and friends when the situation calls her to.
She does not shy away from objection. She is not rude when doing so. She merely states her objections and protest.
Image via J Crew Catalogue.
If someone cuts her queue, she is not afraid to say politely to that person, “I’m sorry, but I believe I was here first.”
She is self controlled when she is angry. She does not give into anger easily but when she is, she handles herself with dignity and pride.
She will not give into ugly emotions and retort with unkind words, insult and ridicule. She remains in control of her emotions.
She will be fair. If the matter seems to be getting out of hand, she will walk away from it first and come back when both parties have cooled off a little.
A Lady Is Responsible
If entrusted with a secret, a child, a dog, she takes care of it to the best of her ability or keep the strictest confidence.
She stays at home if she has a cold. She will not drive if she suspects if she has too much to drink. If she borrows her friend’s car, she returns it cleaned with the petrol tank full (or with the parking money topped up).
She returns borrowed items for a week and in good order. If she breaks something, she replaces it immediately.
A Lady Refuses to Be Victimized
No matter what life throws her, she never behaves like a victim.
She does not indulge in self-pity, neither does she drag dark clouds around, telling her sorry stories to whoever she encounters. If she has to, she relates them in a matter-of-fact manner, downplaying the emotions and keeping the details short.
She rises above the pressure.
She remains composed.