11 behaviors that separate truly classy women from everyone else

Many people mistake class for wealth or prestige. 

However, true class lies not in wealth but in how one acts. It’s a hallmark of healthy, mature femininity.

That’s why women who act with class truly stand out. People feel their graciousness and are incredibly appreciative of it. It allows them to reach success and obtain success.

So yes, even someone who isn’t rich can have class. And someone rich doesn’t necessarily have class as well.

And if you don’t think you have class right now, then that’s good news, isn’t it? It means that you can learn how to act in class, no matter your background.

Below, I’ve listed 11 behaviors that separate truly classy women from everyone else so you can start emulating them as well.

1) Active listening

A classy woman can read the room and knows when to speak and when to remain quiet and listen. She doesn’t monopolize the conversation but still engages in it with enthusiasm and grace.

But she doesn’t just listen—she actively listens. She’s open-minded about it and gives her full attention to what and how the other person is speaking.

She’s not on her phone pretending to listen, nor is she listening while coming up with responses or retorts. She listens to truly understand someone.

So, when she does speak, she’s able to do so from a place of genuine understanding. 

She’s able to respond sensibly and empathetically to what the other person just said—even if they said something she doesn’t agree with.

No wonder people love being around her!

2) Kindness

At the core of classiness is kindness.

Unfortunately, our society promotes a dog-eat-dog way of thinking. We’re conditioned to only care about ourselves. We devote everything to our own survival and success—even at the expense of others.

But classy women exhibit kindness in everything they do. I vividly remember my late grandmother—my personal role model of a classy woman—who would always do small, kind things for us:

  • She’d ask us about our day every single day;
  • She’d buy us little snacks and gifts;
  • She’d listen to our petty problems as children;
  • She would say nice things about everybody;
  • She would prepare dinner for the whole family even if no one asked her to;
  • She would knit us sweaters and mittens.

These are relatively normal and small acts of kindness, but they still had an immeasurably large impact on me as a growing girl.

3) Respectfulness

A classy woman is indiscriminate with her respect.

No matter who she’s talking to or how they are talking to her, she responds all the same with the same level of respect and grace.

Whether she’s talking to a person with prestige, her own children, or a waiter at the restaurant, she’s classy to them all the same. Even to people who don’t treat her with the same respect!

Now, that is true grace. 

This is because she isn’t just acting classy to seem like she is—she is classy. Her grace comes from within. It’s not just a front to impress other people.

Thus, she’s always conscious about how she talks to people. She chooses the right words and an appropriate tone of voice for the situation.

4) Punctuality

A huge part of being respectful is respecting people’s time—both their own time and that of others.

After all, you can talk and move with grace and kindness all you want, but if you’re late to everything, people will still feel disrespected.

Classy women are, therefore, rarely late. And, on the off chance that they are (because they’re still human, too), they apologize with sincerity.

If they say they’ll be there by a certain time, you bet that they’re probably a few minutes earlier. They make it a point to stay true to their word.

At the same time, they’re also respectful of their own time. They schedule things appropriately and don’t let other people pressure them into staying if they really need to go. 

Classy women are kind, but they are also firm.

5) Mindfulness

Another part of respectfulness is being mindful. Classy women are always mindful of both their physical surroundings and the social situation they are in.

They follow etiquette very well, and you’ll rarely catch them making careless mistakes or saying inappropriate things.

For example, they never do things like:

  • Playing loud music in public;
  • Talk loudly on a phone call on the subway;
  • Move callously at a fine dining restaurant.

Don’t get me wrong, though: this doesn’t mean that they’re prim and proper everywhere they go. 

I still remember my aforementioned grandmother screaming her lungs out with the rest of the crowd at concerts.

At a party, she’d definitely be more reserved. But expect her to dance her heart out once the dancing begins.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that being classy is about withholding yourself. It’s about doing the appropriate things at any given time.

6) Being well-mannered

classy people never talk in public 11 behaviors that separate truly classy women from everyone else

This trait is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when people hear the word “classy.”

A classy woman is polite. She says “thank you” or “please” liberally. She never interrupts other people when they’re talking and she moves with a slow, fluid graciousness. 

And because of this, people respect her in return. They feel comfortable enough to be themselves with her. This enables her to form numerous genuine relationships. 

It’s not all for the show, either. Good manners come almost naturally to them because they genuinely want to make people feel comfortable. 

Having good manners is far from the end all be all of class, but it’s definitely a reflection of it.

7) Humility

Humility is a fundamental part of class. Even those who are wealthy, successful, or famous can exude class by showing humility.

Many people feel that they need to downplay their accomplishments if they want to show humility. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, psychologists say that downplaying one’s achievements is actually the reverse of humility. 

By telling someone that what you’ve achieved “isn’t that big of a deal,” you’re signaling to other people how easy that objectively difficult feat was for you (which is equivalent to bragging). 

Or it can also be a way for some people to fish for even more compliments.

Classy women accept praise wholeheartedly. However, they don’t stay in the spotlight for too long, draw unnecessary amounts of attention to it, or forget to give credit where credit is due.

8) Prioritizing self-care

Classy women know they can’t pour from an empty cup. They know that if they’re physically, mentally, or emotionally unstable, their behavior will begin to crumble.

And so these women make it a point to take care of themselves, too. They cannot be kind and classy to other people if they are not kind or classy to themselves first.

 Between the daily career grind and/or fulfilling the typical feminine role of caring for others, women can often forget to take care of themselves first.

Take won’t hesitate to take the day off to:

  • Stay in bed;
  • Binge watch;
  • Go out to eat;
  • Travel;
  • Read books;
  • Exercise.

Really, self-care can take the form of any activity you find leisurely and allows you to recharge.

9) Integrity

A woman with class is a woman with integrity.

She knows her values and stands up for them—all while remaining civil with people she may vehemently disagree with.

She is not swayed by temptations of money, fame, or prestige. This is what I mean when I say that class is predominantly an internal disposition and is not limited to outward behavior.

She also keeps her word. She never makes a promise she cannot keep.

10) Self-assuredness

Do you know how fidgety and quickly you move when you feel anxious, self-conscious, or insecure? It’s like you’re constantly rushing, and you end up moving carelessly.

It’s a sharp contrast to how classy people typically behave, no? They tend to move slowly and gracefully—as if they know exactly what they’re doing.

Well, they act that way because they feel that way, too.

Classy people have their self-esteem in check. They are self-assured and have a strong sense of self-confidence.

They don’t look at their past mistakes as unredeemable failures (because they’re not), nor do they compare themselves to others.

She focuses on her own work and takes a great deal of pride in it instead.

11) Independence

And it’s important to note that this confidence doesn’t come from being praised or needed by other people. Her self-confidence has its foundation in strong self-belief.

She is mentally and emotionally independent. She can think critically for herself and believes that she can do the things she sets out to do.

This is what true independence and class look like. Independence isn’t just about being financially independent from men—it’s about living your life on your own terms as a whole.

The bottom line

In essence, being class boils down to being loving, respectful, and resilient inside so you can treat people with politeness, kindness, and grace on the outside.

It was never about money or any kind of social class at all!

Everyone can develop class. If you think you haven’t been the classiest person, then… well, class mobility is a thing, yeah?

Picture of Anna Dovbysh

Anna Dovbysh

With 8 years of writing experience and a deep interest in psychology, relationship advice, and spirituality, Anna’s here to shine a light on the most interesting self-development topics and share some life advice. She's got a Master's Degree in International Information and is a life-long learner of writing and storytelling. In the past, she worked on a radio station and a TV channel as a journalist and even tought English in Cambodia to local kids. Currently, she's freelancing and traveling around the globe, exploring new places, and getting inspired by the people she meets and the stories they tell. Subscribe to her posts and get in touch with her on her social media: Facebook & LinkedIn

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