Sunday, June 22, 2014

Top 10 Ways to be a Lady Pt. 2

The conclusion to my Top 10 Ways to be a Lady article. Thanks for all your support!

Top 10 Ways to be a Lady (Pt. 2)

Image: here

5. Be punctual.

This is a difficult concept for some people to understand, but when I say “Coffee at 9 am?” I mean AT 9 am! Not 9:15 am or whenever you can get there. Being punctual, even in your private life is an important characteristic of being a lady. It speaks to your character of being able to keep your commitments and being true to your word. If you tell me you will be at the meeting at 10:30 am but don’t roll in until 10:50 am, I will have serious doubts about your ability to finish the project I gave you on time because you can’t even be on time for something smaller. Even in your personal life, being on time is crucial to keeping relationships functioning smoothly. If you are chronically late to everything, you make it difficult for others to want to invite you to things or for your partner to make plans. Being late is simply one of the rudest things you can do, and a lady must avoid this at all cost. 

4. Dress appropriately.

“If you got it, flaunt it” is a phrase I hear tossed around to unsuccessfully justify downright trashy and inappropriate clothing worn by women who do an extreme disservice to their gender when they parade around in public in their glorified bra and underwear. They are deceived by the idea that men will find them more attractive and that as the amount of exposed skin increases, the more attention they will get. Honey, you will get attention, but not the kind you want. As the hilarious fashion writer Stacy London puts it, “Who will want to buy the loaf if you give away the slices for free?”
Dressing in an appropriate manner is one of the easiest ways to act and look like a lady because how you dress tells the world how you want to be treated. If you look like you should be up on a bar dancing, that’s how you are going to be treated. If you look like someone who respects their body enough to know how to cover it properly, you will be respected much more deeply than the woman who lets it all hang out.  

3. Remember what people say and show them you care by asking about it later.

Jackie O was famous for remembering what every staff person in the White House liked and would always give personalized gifts during the holidays, reflecting her ability to really listen when people spoke. If you truly want to distinguish yourself as a lady in the modern world, remember what you have spoken about with people and bring it up in later conversations. It will amaze people that you truly listened to them and cared enough about them to follow up. When you are conversing with others, put away the distracting phones and Ipads and really listen to what people are saying. You will be amazed how interesting the people in your life are when you ask them about it.

2. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

I remember being told as a child that God gave you two ears and only one mouth for a reason, and that reason was because we were supposed to listen more than we speak. Another adage that has stuck with me is “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.” Both of these phrases highlight the unique and dying art of really listening, often called critical listening, to others when they speak. This means putting down phones at the dinner table, turning off the background TV or music noise, and ridding yourself from all the distractions of life to hear what another person has to say. You will be amazed at how much you will learn about others when you allow them the opportunity to speak uninterrupted. There is nothing more precious than someone’s undivided attention. A lady knows the power of this and is quick to listen to others and frees herself from distraction. 

 1. Be kind.

The Golden Rule. Being a 21st century lady can be distilled down to just 2 words: be kind. The modern world is so full of hate, anger, and frustration, but the job of a lady is to bring back the graces of the world and to soften the harsh edge of reality to those around her. It can be as simple as a thank you to the man who holds your door or complimenting your co-worker’s new outfit. A little kindness goes a LONG way. The great philosopher Plato could not have put it better when he said: “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” If you are seeking to act in a ladylike manner, consider how you would want to be treated, then treat others better and you will be a beacon of sophistication and elegance in a dark and lonely world.


  1. Excellent thoughts. I'm so glad that you brought up punctuality, because I have chronic, crippling fear of being late to things. When I have nightmares, it is always about being late (or losing control of a car--same thing?).

    This is a spectacular starting point for how to be a lady. Would that half of my female friends (or students) would master these techniques!

    Would you consider writing a more advanced list? The next 10 ways to be a lady, when you feel like these are manageable?

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