When we think of the word lady, we automatically revert back to what seems like archaic times. We think of a fragile woman, and poised in such a way that seems untouchable to most in our modern world. So where is the balance between classy and feminine, yet independent and confident in being a ladylike woman. My grandmother was a woman who I admired greatly for her strong-willed personality & independence, yet she had such grace, and class when needed. How could I ever forget the countless mock dates with my brother, while we’d practice our etiquette, and dancing for hours after school. She instilled in me how to hold yourself with the utmost posture; exuding femininity like nobody’s business, as well as standing your ground, and being an equal to a man in the modern world. As a strong woman working alongside men, this has been quite the fine balance, and an art if you ask me.
Think back to even 25 years ago…A Bronx Tale. That moment in the movie that to this day many remember that defined a true lady, and woman that you wanted to keep forever.
“Alright, listen to me. You pull up right where she lives, right? Before you get outta the car, you lock both doors. Then, get outta the car, you walk over to her. You bring her over to the car. Dig out the key, put it in the lock and open the door for her. Then you let her get in. Then you close the door. Then you walk around the back of the car and look through the rear window. If she doesn't reach over and lift up that button so that you can get in: dump her.”
Here are 20 ways in which to maintain your independence as a strong female, yet classy lady in our new-found era.
1. Stand up straight. Posture is everything! This is not as easy as one would think. It takes practice, and constantly being aware of your posture.
2. Be a woman of your word. If you say you’re going to do something, or be somewhere then do it, and be there. No exceptions.
3. Make decisions for yourself, but allow others to speak on your behalf if the time calls for it.
4. Never gossip. Only say something that you would only say to someone’s face. If it is not nice then don’t say anything at all.
5. Know that sex appeal is all about your confidence, and not how much skin you’re showing. Rock that long-sleeved dress with such sass you’ll turn any head without any cleavage.
6. Refrain from using harsh profanity. It doesn’t make you smarter. Come up with a funny word instead to help break your bad habit of these anything but ladylike words.
7. When you’re with friends or loved ones put your phone away. This by far has become more and more of an almost impossible task these days, yet it is so needed. Find that intimate connection while looking at someone and talking. Everyone wants undivided attention
8. Match people’s effort. If someone calls you, call them back. If you receive an email, respond…timely.
9. Always smile! Being approachable and striking a conversation is an amazing quality
10. Maintain a sense of privacy. I always tell people that no one should know details about your love life, next move, or bank account
11. Learn how to take, and accept a compliment. Be proud of your own accomplishments and strengths.
12. Be punctual. No one ever likes a late person to any event. Respect people’s time. Show up 5 minutes early to your meetings.
13. Know a table setting. Which fork to eat with, starting from the outside in. Always place your napkin on your lap, and eat slowly, yet gracefully
14. Treat everyone with respect, and with dignity. Learn about other cultures and religions. Embrace other people’s points of view, and really listen to their stance on the world.
15. Know when to laugh at yourself, and not take things so seriously. A lady can always see the most humbling experiences as ones in which to laugh and take things down a couple of notches.
16. Know when it’s time to stop drinking. No one likes a sloppy woman who has drank too much. Keep yourself in check to where no one has to take care of you all night.
17. Write thank you cards. For everything you possibly can write them for! A stamp and paper goes such a long way these days.
18. Always leave a tip. It may not be a sizable amount, but you never know what someone is going through. Put yourself in their shoes, and honor the tipping methods
19. Educate yourself on current events in the world. CNN updates go a long way, as well as a few articles a day.
20. Never apologize for turning something down in order to take care of yourself. Putting yourself first is the best decision you can ever make. Being emotionally, financially, and mentally stable makes you independent, and not reliable on men, friends, or family for these needs.
As a woman in my 30's in this day and age, I pride myself in striving to be the best version of myself that I can be every day. These 20 rules are ones I live by, and will not give up on.