How to Be a Lady: A Guide for Modern Times

Self-awareness
23 Jun 2024
7 min read
How to Be a Lady in Today's World

You just feel the lady’s charm in the air. They can walk into any situation in any room, and everybody present get hooked. Everything they say, do, and wear is spot on. It’s as if they’ve never had an awkward moment of making a social gaffe. And you look at them and wonder how to be a lady like them.

You’d hate everything about them, except they’re just so damned lovely. And kind. And engaging. Clearly you can’t beat them, so you may as well join them. It’s time to learn how to be more like a lady, in today’s world, girls.

The Evolution of Being Lady-Like

A classy lady is a charming, polite, confident woman who knows just what to say and do in any situation. She has impeccable manners and style. At the same time, she is assertive and confident. She is no wilting flower.

If you had a time machine, you could ask people from different eras how to be a lady. You’d get a variety of answers, all based on the social norms and expectations of that time.

Even in today’s world, people have different views on what it means to be lady like. Still, now we generally believe a classy woman can be opinionated and accomplished. We don’t generally believe that young women need to be silent, respectful or submissive to act like a lady.

A Classy Lady or a Classy Woman?

Let’s address the elephant in the room. The word lady isn’t universally loved. Many see it as backwards and sexist. Throughout history, the word has been used to imply that women shouldn’t express negative emotions or have strong opinions. Admonishments to be ladylike are a form of control and tone policing that imply that someone can’t be feminine and outspoken at the same time.

It’s easy to see why some women prefer not to be called ladies. It’s also easy to see why a woman might embrace the term as a way of reclaiming it. Use the term that makes you feel most comfortable. The advice and insights remain the same.

13 things to do if you want to know how to be a lady

13 Ways How to Be a Lady: Things That Classy Gals Do

Classy ladies don’t simply do one or two things. They engage in thirteen habits and behaviors that leave others in awe.

1. Radical Kindness

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”

Henry James, American-British author

Kindness is a core value for ladies. These women go out of their way to treat others with respect. This isn’t just a passive effort. Classy ladies walk through the world with a sense of situational awareness so that they can look for opportunities to treat others with kindness.

Being a true lady is to be counted on as a friend and to make every effort to make people have better relationships and life experiences. This is the foundation of the other habits and behaviors.

2. Well-Suited Clothes

Ladies always wear clothes that suit them and look stunning. But there is no one wardrobe for a lady. Instead, her clothes flatter her and fit the occasion. She may wear makeup, a dress, and high heels – or a simple skirt and flats with no makeup at all.

She knows that the best wardrobe makes her feel confident, and she has learned to dress accordingly. Finally, a girl never allows herself to feel shamed for her wardrobe choices and never shames others. Ladies keep up to date with fashion, but ultimately pick items that fit them best.

3. Good Manners

Classy women have good manners, meaning table manners and other rules of etiquette. They often seem as if they exist only to make most people feel out of place and uncomfortable. In reality, they are a way to show respect and make things go smoothly at the dinner table. They help in other situations too. A lady understands this, and her etiquette is always on point.

That said, a true lady never uses understanding of etiquette as a weapon. She understands that everyone has different experiences. She would never shame or embarrass someone for not knowing some point of etiquette. When someone commits a faux pas, she pivots beautiful to ensure they don’t feel uncomfortable.

4. Amazing at Conversations

Attend a dinner party with a lady and you will be impressed at the things she can discuss with intelligence. She can hold her own in conversations about:

  • Current events
  • Art
  • Fashion
  • World travel
  • Music

She can also hold her own in a conversation about other people or topics she’s never discussed before. That’s because she is genuinely curious about other people and their experiences. When someone has a genuine interest in talking to others, they listen intently when they speak and know how to draw them out in conversation. No, ladies like this aren’t all serious. They love a convo that sparks a good laugh too!

5. Zero Tolerance to Nonsense

A lady is not a shrinking violet. She will maintain a pleasant tone and work very hard to avoid unpleasantries. But, don’t count on her to be silent when she sees someone treated unkindly or is faced with bigotry. She will speak up and set people straight. A lady is particularly protective of her friends, people who work hard for a living, and those in society who are regularly targeted for mistreatment.

6. Making Others Comfortable

Have you ever been around a woman who was impeccably dressed in clothing that was perfect for the situation? She seemed to know just what to say no matter where the conversation turned. Just being around her made you feel self-conscious, uncomfortable, and out of place.

That was no lady! A lady makes people feel comfortable and welcome no matter what. Show up in wearing a sun dress when you should have worn a ball gown? That’s okay! A lady will ease your anxiety and compliment you on your bold fashion choice.

7. Generous at Compliments

“I will be generous with my love today. I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.”

Steve Maraboli, speaker, author, athlete

Speaking of compliments, a lady is quite generous with hers. Even better, she doesn’t deal in throwaway compliments or smarmy praise. Instead, she pays attention and gives specific, meaningful compliments, especially to other women. People just feel better when they spend time with a lady like her.

Related reading: Complimenting Men: How to Make Them Feel Great?

8. Avoiding Public Conflicts

A lady doesn’t air her dirty laundry. She doesn’t need to get in the last word, and she is fine with letting people think whatever they want.

Her confidence is based on having friends and family who love her, and her own success. She rises above dramatics and never throws shade.

9. Class at Handling Negative Situations

Ladies communitate their negative feelings with good taste. Sometimes they get angry. She faces disappointment and unfairness. When she does, she knows how to handle the situation with class. She doesn’t yell or scream. She certainly never mistreats the people who are trying to help her. Instead, she is assertive yet compassionate. She speaks her mind and details exactly how she wants to resolve the situation. She leaves the door open for reconciliation even when someone has made a mistake.

10. Spreading Love to Other Women

A lady is never in competition with other women. They may love a great guy and love to make the person they are dating feel good about themselves. But, they never do that at the expense of other women. A genuine lady is never a pick-me or an NLOG (not like other girls).

Classy women stand up for one another. They don’t body shame or judge other ladies on how they dress, behave, or spend their time. Instead, they praise women, advocate for them, and work to build genuine community. She understands that no relationship with the opposite sex should come at the expense of other young women and girls.

11. Fabulous Posture

Good posture is an important thing that people often ignore. When people walk with good posture, they exude confidence. Having the proper stance flatters one’s legs, and makes it easier to walk in the most challenging shoes.

Of course, a lady knows that good posture isn’t just about making her body look good. People who practice good posture tend to have stronger control of their core muscles and find it easier to carry themselves upright when they sit or stand.

12. Always Showing Up With a Gift

To be a true lady, learn the art of giving a thoughtful, hostess gift. This doesn’t need to be extravagant. Thoughtful gifts are better than pricey presents. Here are some excellent ideas:

  • A low-maintenance plant or bouquet of flowers
  • A locally made gourmet food or beverage
  • Wine
  • A luxurious throw blanket
  • Beautiful cloth napkins
  • A book from the host’s favorite author
  • A gift basket of gourmet foods or self-care items for the host

Remember that a lady never brings a gift that creates more work for her host.

She understands that the food and drinks for the occasion have already been planned. She would never bring something to be prepared or served other than a simple dessert or wine to be opened.

13. Gracious Hosts And Guests

When she is hosting an event, a lady takes it upon herself to personally greet her guests and thank them for coming. If there are strangers in attendance, she goes out of her way to make them feel welcome and remember their names. She does her best to take the needs and preferences of every guest under consideration.

6 things a classy woman avoids

6 Things a Classy Woman Would Never Do

A lady would never show bad manners. That’s a given. Here are a few other things she would never do.

1. Speak in a Loud or Shrill Voice

A classy girl can be boisterous and raise her voice when the situation calls for it. But she also understands that voices carry. She doesn’t speak in an obnoxiously loud voice. Also, she understands that words lose their impact when they are shrill or crass.

2. Denigrate Other Women

A lady never needs to downgrade or insult another woman. She can be lift ladies up while being absolutely amazing on her own terms. Even better, she will surround herself with smart, elegant women whom she lifts up and celebrates.

3. Shame Others or Make Them Feel Inferior

You will never see a real lady talking down to other people or using her social currency to lord over others. She is kind and friendly to all. Anyone who is snobbish or elitist is not a classy woman whatsoever.

Related reading: How to Stop Saying Phrases Men Hate Hearing From Women

4. Engage in Gossip

Gossip is a low form of communication used by people to tear down others when they don’t have any accomplishments of their own to speak of. A lady understands that people who participate in gossip may be respectful to her face, but are just as likely to speak poorly of her behind her back.

This isn’t to say that a lady will never talk about another person. She certainly will. In fact, she doesn’t miss an opportunity to lift her friends up in the presence of others, boast about their successes, and share good news to others.

5. Pretend to Be Weak or Stupid

A lady can make a boy feel like a real man, but she will neer do that by diminishing herself. She wants a relationship with a guy who appreciates her strengths. She’s not interested any person who can’t handle a successful woman. But, she certainly appreciates when a man steps up to hold a door open for her. Although, she doesn’t see it as his job, and will happily hold the next door open for him.

6. Drink or Use to Excess

She may get her party on while she’s out on a date or at a party, but she knows her limits. She doesn’t get sloppy drunk or high.

7 classy lady tips

7 Tips For Being a Classy Lady

You can be a classy woman and make a great impression no matter the situation. Here are some steps for doing just that.

1. Put Together a Wardrobe and Look That Works for You

There is no single look for a true lady. Classy women choose clothing and shoes that are comfortable and flattering. They use fashion as a form of self-expression. That extends to wearing makeup and styling their hair.

2. Learn to Move With Confidence

There’s more to moving gracefully than putting one leg in front of the other. It’s all about walking with your head held high, and knowing that you belong wherever you are!

3. Talk to People

Any person who wants to be defined as a true lady must be interested in others. Practice talking to people. Ask them about themselves. Pay the people around you sincere compliments. If you see someone sitting alone, start a conversation.

Disclaimer: A lady respects other people’s space. She reads social cues and understands when someone is trying to rest or simply enjoy some solitude.

4. Learn!

It doesn’t take long to realize that a classy lady is an educated lady. She pays attention to things going on in the world. She makes it her business to have at least a basic understanding of popular works of literature, news events, the latest movies, art, and more. Step outside of your current interests so that you can talk about things that are interesting to others.

5. Hone Your Communication Skills

Master the art of speaking and writing. Learn to give an impromptu speech like a toast. Practice introducing a new person to your friend circle. Write personalized thank you notes and holiday cards. It isn’t just polite to do these things, this is also a way to refine your communication skills.

6. Be Genuinely Kind

The key focus of any lady should be kindness. It isn’t about knowing obscure rules of etiquette or turning heads simply by walking into a room. Classy ladies are the kind of people that others enjoy being around. They make people feel good about themselves.

7. Be of Service

Imagine that you’ve walked into a party. What are you going to do? If you picture yourself sitting and chatting with friends, dancing, eating snacks, and having a drink, you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t how a lady approaches any life situation.

Now, imagine walking into that same dinner party with the goal of ensuring that everyone has a great time. You greet the host and pay them a sweet compliment. You engage someone who is sitting by themselves in an interesting conversation. When a friend goes outside to wait for their Uber, you offer to wait with them. You are nobody’s servant or maid, but the truth is you seek out ways to be of service to others.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!
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