7 habits you need to give up if you want to climb the class ladder

Ever find yourself admiring people who just seem to have that elusive quality of class? 

They walk into a room and instantly capture attention, not with flashiness, but with a subtle elegance that’s both intriguing and inviting. 

I used to think class was something you were either born with or without — until I realized it’s more about your habits than your heritage. 

And guess what? Some of these habits could be holding you back from being your most classy self. 

Ready to make a change? Here are 7 habits you need to give up if you want to embody true class.

1) Interrupting others

You’ve probably been in conversations where someone cuts you off mid-sentence. And for a moment, you feel a little diminished, a bit disrespected.

There was a time when I didn’t realize how often I interrupted people. Maybe it was eagerness to get my point across, or perhaps impatience, but slowly it dawned on me: I was really damaging both my relationships and my image.

Interrupting is the antithesis of class. It screams, “What I have to say is more important than what you’re saying!” And that’s the exact opposite of the gracious attentiveness that defines true class.

You see, class isn’t just about how you dress or where you dine; it’s rooted in how you treat people. 

If you find yourself interjecting before others have finished speaking, take a deep breath and wait. Give them the floor, listen actively, and respond when it’s your turn. 

2) Oversharing personal details

Ever been around someone who spills all the beans about their life within minutes of meeting you? 

Whether it’s their latest breakup drama or intimate health details, you suddenly find yourself an unwilling confidant. Awkward, isn’t it?

I’ve been guilty of this myself. Eager to connect, I would often share too much too soon. It wasn’t until I saw people’s expressions change — from interest to discomfort — that I realized I was oversharing.

Class is often about maintaining a certain mystique. It’s about drawing people in, giving just enough to intrigue but not so much that there’s nothing left to discover. 

Oversharing not only erodes that mystique but can also make you come across as socially tone-deaf.

Being open is one thing; volunteering personal or sensitive information without any social cue to do so is another. 

The key is to gauge the situation and the comfort level of the people you’re with. If you’re just getting to know someone, maybe hold off on divulging your entire life story or your deepest secrets. Build up to it, layer by layer, as trust is established.

3) Excessive swearing

pic1330 7 habits you need to give up if you want to climb the class ladder

We all let a curse word slip now and then, especially in heated moments or casual settings among close friends. But there’s a line between the occasional expletive and a vocabulary that’s peppered with profanities like confetti at a parade.

I’m close to someone who loves to swear — he thinks that swearing adds color to his conversations, makes him relatable, and even emphasizes his points. 

And for some people, that’s fine. But I can’t help but notice the room’s energy subtly change when he does this with people he doesn’t know so well. 

Here’s the truth: Excessive swearing doesn’t make you bold or edgy. What it does is overshadow your message and distract from your personality. Plus, it can be off-putting for those who find it disrespectful or distasteful.

Class is about elevating yourself and the environment you’re in. It’s a blend of grace, poise, and thoughtful expression. 

Making a conscious effort to clean up your language doesn’t mean you’re dull or unauthentic. On the contrary, it challenges you to find more creative and articulate ways to express yourself. 

And, when you do choose to use an expletive for emphasis, it’ll actually carry the weight you intended.

4) Gossiping

Ah, the guilty pleasure of indulging in a little gossip! Most of us have been there at some point, huddled in a corner with a friend or coworker, sharing the latest ‘scoop.’ 

For a fleeting moment, it feels exciting, even empowering to be in the know. But let’s take a step back and think about what’s really happening.

When I used to engage in gossip, it gave me a temporary sense of belonging, like I was part of an exclusive club. But deep down, it also sowed seeds of insecurity and distrust. 

How could I fully trust people I was gossiping with if we were all so willing to talk about someone who wasn’t present?

Gossip might make for juicy conversations, but it’s essentially toxic energy, a habit that erodes trust and builds walls between people. Not only that, it’s a clear-cut class-killer. 

Nothing screams ‘unclassy’ louder than someone who can’t keep other people’s business out of their conversations.

The classy route? If you don’t have anything constructive or genuinely kind to say about someone, it’s better to say nothing at all. Make it a point to steer conversations toward positive topics. 

Believe me, you’re not only elevating your own vibes but you’re also uplifting the social atmosphere around you. Now, that’s what I call true class.

5) Poor table manners

I have this friend who is an exceptional listener and conversationalist. Our talks are always engaging and insightful, a real treat. 

But — and it’s a big but — every time we sit down for a meal, I find myself looking away. Not because I want to, but because his table manners are, well, less than elegant. 

Imagine this: sauce dripping down his face, chewing with his mouth wide open, and elbows sticking out like he’s doing the chicken dance. It’s so distracting that it even pulls me out of our otherwise fantastic conversation.

Now, appearances shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all, but hear me out: table manners are less about putting on a show and more about showing respect for those around you

When you eat like you’re home alone, it sends a message that you’re not considerate of your dining companions. 

Think about it. You wouldn’t appreciate someone talking loudly on their phone in a movie theater or cutting in line, right? Poor table manners have the same effect; they’re disruptive and inconsiderate. 

Striving for class isn’t just about looking good; it’s about making the people around you feel comfortable and respected. 

6) Being late 

pic1270 7 habits you need to give up if you want to climb the class ladder

Let’s talk about punctuality, something so simple yet incredibly revealing about a person. I used to have a habit of always running 5 to 10 minutes late.

It wasn’t that I tried to be late, but something always got in the way. I rationalized it as my “fashionably late” arrival. But then, I realized what my tardiness was actually communicating: a lack of respect for other people’s time.

It’s easy to dismiss being late as a minor fault, something that everyone does now and then. I get it; life happens. But when it becomes a habit, it’s more than just an oversight.

It sends a loud and clear message that your time is more valuable than others’. And trust me, that’s not the impression you want to leave if you’re aiming to climb the ladder of class. 

Class is all about mutual respect and treating others how you’d want to be treated. Would you appreciate someone else consistently wasting your time? Probably not.

So if you find yourself chronically late, take steps to manage your time better. Set reminders, plan your day in advance, or even trick yourself by setting your clocks ahead. 

7) Fidgeting

You might be surprised how much the little things, like fidgeting, can say about you. I’ll admit, I used to be a notorious fidgeter — tapping my foot, drumming my fingers, you name it. 

But then, during a particularly meaningful conversation with someone I admired, I noticed their gaze drifting from my eyes to my restless hands. 

That’s when it hit me: my fidgeting was a distraction, and it was stealing the show from what should’ve been a focused, respectful interaction.

Fidgeting doesn’t just make you appear restless or insecure; it can also give off the impression that you’re bored, anxious, or not fully engaged in the situation at hand. 

In classy settings, poise is key. Graceful individuals possess a sense of stillness, a composed aura that invites meaningful interaction and commands respect

The same sense of stillness shows that you’re present, that you’re listening, and that you care about the people you’re with.

Next time you catch yourself fidgeting, take a deep breath. Center yourself. Be aware of the messages your body language is sending. 

Unveiling your classy self

As we’ve journeyed through these 7 habits, it’s become evident that achieving class isn’t about extravagant gestures or keeping up with the latest trends. 

Instead, it’s the subtle nuances — how you speak, listen, eat, and even how you occupy your physical space — that speak volumes about your character.

The truth is, we’re all works in progress, and that’s perfectly okay. Each habit we choose to improve upon is a step closer to unveiling the best version of ourselves — the version that respects others and, in turn, commands respect.

As you begin your own transformation, remember: the classiest thing you can be is authentic

So embrace these changes as additions to your true self, not as replacements. The road to class doesn’t require a full overhaul, just a few touch-ups to reveal the masterpiece that was there all along.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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