Dining in lavish restaurants, wearing designer outfits, and walking as if you’re balancing books on your head may seem like conventional tropes of a classy person, but they aren’t the rules to becoming one.
While these are definitely common habits of classy people, becoming classy is an internal endeavor; more than a lifestyle change, it’s a behavioral change.
To help you, there are a few guidelines that most classy people abide by.
These tend to go unspoken, but observe enough classy people and you’ll find them all following more or less the same guiding principles.
Here are 14 that, if understood and practiced, will build the foundation you need to become a classy person yourself.
1) They have integrity
True integrity can be hard to come by in a person these days.
All too often, people’s actions and behaviors are shaped by those around them, and by what they believe will get them the most social clout.
Classy people will always live with integrity, whether a million people will see it or whether they’re all alone with no one around.
Because to be classy means living by the standards you set for yourself, what you believe is right, and sticking to those standards even when no one will judge you otherwise.
2) They are kind
It’s easy to be mean.
We all have bad days and negative thoughts, and we all have moments where we would prefer to lash out, to put down, to demean others in some way.
Kindness takes effort, but classy people understand that class and kindness come hand in hand.
A classy person understands the importance of spreading positivity to those around them, even if they don’t deserve it.
3) They know how to listen
Being classy means being open-minded, being willing to hear out other people even when it’s the last thing you want to do.
Too many people these days simply talk over everyone else, never actually engaging in a real conversation.
Class means respecting other people, and there is no more basic and simple way to respect another person than by hearing them out.
But of course, listening doesn’t mean never giving your own opinion; it simply means giving others the chance to be heard.
4) They don’t chase trends
Others tend to splurge on the latest trendy outfit only to look just like everyone else. But classy people stand out.
When it comes to fashion, a classy person tends to lean more toward timeless pieces rather than whatever is trendy at the moment.
They understand that trends come and go, but vintage tops and elegant clothes are always going to be in.
They’re timeless pieces for a timeless person.
Even their attitudes are based on timeless virtues such as honesty and trust.
5) They avoid petty arguments
Some people tend to make a big deal out of seemingly trivial things.
Maybe someone texted them with a different tone, or their partner watched a movie without them, or they watched a movie without their partner.
For some, these can be grave mistakes that could very much escalate to an all-out argument.
But classy people have no time for that.
Instead of raising their voice and getting frustrated, they calmly discuss what went wrong and tries to find the solution for it.
They don’t lose their temper because they know it isn’t going to do anyone any good anyway.
6) They stand by their word
One of the top traits of a classy person that separates them from everyone else is that they stand by their word.
If they agree to a business deal with a handshake, they stick to that deal later when the contract is drawn up.
If they tell you they are going to help you move next week, they show up with their work boots and a smile.
Of course no person is perfect:
Sometimes they cancel, get sick or have something come up.
But if they give you their word, you can be sure they will do their level best to stick to it.
7) They don’t compare themselves to others
Don’t get me wrong. Most classy people do have people they look up to and want to emulate—maybe Michelle Obama, maybe Natalie Portman, maybe Amal Clooney.
But what they do not do is compare themselves to other mortals and feel bad about themselves for not having the same X or Y.
A classy person would not spend a single second thinking about this because to theur mind, we should aim higher. They also know we all have different paths and different timelines.
They will admire others but never get envious of them.
8) They choose good friends
A classy person tends to spend most of their time with others.
Whether they are attending another event or meeting up with someone for lunch, the company they keep doesn’t tend to be a coincidence.
They deliberate about who they want to spend her time with.
Multiple studies have shown that one’s friends can affect one’s behavior – for better or for worse.
So they’d rather surround themselves with people who are positive, that support them and whom they can support too.
They don’t stay with people who are disrespectful to waiters or doormen, or those that talk behind others’ backs.
9) Show Respect Always
Showing respect tends to be the most important rule to follow to becoming classier.
Say they compete in a sporting tournament.
After long rounds of matches, they come out 2nd place.
While others might feel discouraged and frustrated not only with their performance but with others, a classy person remains kind and courteous.
Even though the game was so close, they don’t get angry with the results.
They knew they tried their best.
Instead of resenting their opponents and ignoring them, they might instead congratulate them on a job well done.
How they react in defeat is a show of how classy they truly are.
10) They don’t seek validation from others
Classy people don’t need to impress or please others.
They don’t do things to prove to others they are smart or talented.
They usually do things to help someone else or provide for the people they care about.
Seeking validation from others can slowly transform into dependence on social acceptance.
But classy people are independent and don’t rely on the approval of others to be who they want to be.
If they want to be a writer, they write.
They don’t wait for someone else to call them one before they can start.
Putting yourself first
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever your goals are, there’s a hidden trap in how you set them.
The trap is this:
You’ll only experience genuine life satisfaction when your goals are aligned with your values.
Because when values and goals are aligned, you enjoy the journey much more. And this makes achieving your goals much more likely.
If you find it hard to articulate your deeper life values, I suggest downloading the free values exercise by career coach Jeanette Brown.
It takes only a couple of minutes and will reveal a number of powerful insights about your underlying values.
This content was originally published here.