By: Maralee McKee, Manners Mentor
For good or for bad, our habits form and define us. The habits of gracious ladies establish them as confident, socially smart, sincere, and likable. These are traits that are admirable, for sure. And even better, they’re attainable by any of us who simply are willing to keep them at the top of our mind and put them into daily use.
And while at first, we might feel a little like actress Audrey Hepburn playing Elisa Doolittle in the film classic My Fair Lady practicing her charms but not feeling like she owned them, in time there comes a magic moment when they become automatic, and we’re transformed from a work in progress to a better version of ourselves.
There’s nothing fake about making any of these skills our own. It’s only putting on a false front if the person doing it is insincere. For anyone wanting to make a positive change, it’s actually self-improvement, and that’s always a smart, savvy decision!
What Defines a Gracious Lady
To understand what defines a gracious lady, we first need to know the truest definition of gracious. Webster’s Dictionary uses the following adjectives to paint a picture for us:
Gracious: kind, courteous, pleasant, polite, civil, well-mannered, tactful, benevolent, diplomatic, considerate, thoughtful, and friendly.
Some might say that a gracious lady is a weak lady. That’s because, these days, culture often defines personal strength as having an edge. Raw, rough, and ready to rumble is how some define the new femininity.
To that, I say it’s time to sand down our edges and polish up our manners. All those raw and rough edges chip away at civility, the very thing that connects us to one another and keeps civilization moving forward.
Personal strength lies in being able to rise above the rubble, not in being able to tear something down to create it.
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17 (ESV)
Habits of Gracious Ladies — 10 Remarkable Traits to Make Your Own
1.) A gracious lady is not in the habit of cussing or yelling. She knows that she expresses herself best — and sets the standard for those closest to her — when she uses a tone of voice and words that communicate to others rather than degrade them.
2.) A gracious lady doesn’t keep social score. She’ll ask a friend to join her even if the friend hasn’t invited her anywhere in a long time. She’ll call to say hello even though she’s been the one to call the last four times. She understands that some people are more attuned to keeping friendships flourishing. She’s glad she has a talent that fosters the continuance and growth of relationships.
3.) A gracious lady sends handwritten thank you notes. Not only does she write them, she knows the formula for writing cards in a way that fully expresses her appreciation and leaves the recipient feeling acknowledged and loved.
4.) A gracious lady doesn’t laugh at the expense of others. Even if those being laughed at are laughing along with everyone else, a gracious lady understands that being the brunt of a joke bruises their ego and heart and later whispers into their ear that they truly are what the others were joking about.
5.) A gracious lady rises to the occasion of greeting others — literally. She knows the modern manners for when to stand and that by the simple act of standing, she’s showing respect and special kindness for the other person.
6.) A gracious lady welcomes newcomers and sets them up for success. She knows what it feels like to be new to a group or alone at a party, and she’s quick and happy to introduce herself and others to the person and start a great conversation.
7.) A gracious lady is a respecter of time — yours and hers. She knows that arriving early is often inconvenient for the person she’s visiting, whether it’s for a business meeting or social event. She’s also aware that running late is a form of disrespect. When it does happen, she knows how to handle herself with grace.
8.) A lady dresses appropriately for the occasion because she knows that her clothing speaks for her from across the room before she has the chance to say her first hello. She knows that it doesn’t matter whether her budget allows her to buy clothes from Saks or WalMart. It’s possible to look good or bad wearing clothing from either store. She understands that while she needs to be comfortable, without even a trace of pain, in order to enjoy an event or pay full attention to her work, clothing speaks volumes about her. She is well-versed in what to wear where!
9.) A gracious lady knows that her most beautiful physical attribute is her sincere smile. She understands the important role it plays in making a good first and lasting impression. Not only does she radiate a warmth that attracts others when she smiles, but she knows each smile is a gift she gives to encourage, brighten the day of, and show kindness to others.
10.) A gracious lady is slow to take offense. She knows her worth and her strengths (and weaknesses), and she’s at peace with herself. Because of this, a lady is able to assume the best in others. If something negative is said that seems to be directed at her, she asks for clarification. “Did you mean that as a criticism? I don’t want to assume that you did.” Usually, she’s offered an apology because many criticisms are simply poorly worded sentences that the other person said without any negative intent. If the person did mean to criticize, the gracious lady says, “I’ll respond after I’ve thought about it.” This stops the discussion, puts her in control of it, and gives her time to give thought to what was said. If there’s any merit to the words, she’s glad for the chance to improve herself. If there’s no merit to the words, she tells the person so and moves on. A gracious lady knows, as the saying goes, “You can’t please all the people all the time.” She knows better than to let other people’s opinions negatively impact her by taking them to heart or letting them anger her.
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 (ESV)
10 Unique Habits of Remarkably Gracious Ladies
This post just as easily could have been titled “The 110 Unique Habits of Remarkably Gracious Ladies” because, of course, there are more. However, the ones here are important to put into practice to the point that they become as natural to us as breathing out and breathing in. When we do, we’ll be a welcomed breath of fresh air wherever we go!
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Until next time, keep doing what only you can do! Bless the world by being you at your authentic best!!!