18 ways anyone can radiate class and grace

There are some people who just ooze class, and they somehow manage to do it without looking like they’re even trying.

If you’ve ever wished that you could be more like them, take heart—it’s easier than you might think.

If you want to instantly radiate class and grace, here are 15 things you should do:

1) Love yourself

Self-love is one of the most important things on this list—if you don’t have it, then there’s no way you’ll ever manage to exude grace.

And I don’t mean that you should start going around wearing Louis Vuitton or acting like you’re the most important thing in the entire world.

What I mean instead is that you pay attention to your hygiene and don’t act like you’re everyone’s doormat—know your worth, and stand by it.

2) Respect everyone

A lot of people have the mistaken idea that to seem classy they need to walk around like they’re too good for the common folk.

I say “mistaken” because that kind of behavior is actually very crass—people who have class, instead, respect everyone around them—and equally!

It doesn’t matter if it’s the CEO, the janitor, or best friend. A classy person understands that everyone deserves respect, and so gives it no matter what.

So treat others like you would love to be treated—when someone is speaking, listen and do not interrupt them. Don’t bark at others even when you’re annoyed, and don’t be shy to say “thank you” and “sorry.”

3) Be mindful of what you say

Classy people know that words matter, and take great care to choose their words wisely.

They don’t pride themselves in being “brutally honest”, because they know that’s just an excuse to be mean. They know that it’s possible to be perfectly honest without being brutal.

There’s no way to take back one’s words after they have been said, after all. And so they know better than to let their mouth run loose when they’re frustrated and will instead wait until they’re calmer.

So if you want to be classy yourself, start paying close attention to what you say. Taking a few moments to think things through before opening your mouth will help a lot.

4) Carry yourself well

And by that I mean walk with confidence, keeping your back straight and gaze held high. Don’t slouch and walk around staring at the ground like you’re looking for your lost wedding ring.

Classy people don’t necessarily obsess over appearances, but they know better than to disregard them entirely.

But of course, you might not have to try too hard—if you’ve taught yourself how to love yourself, then it will show in your body language.

5) Smile genuinely

A good smile is just as important as good posture when it comes to projecting an air of class. It’s one of the easiest things to do, too.

When you smile, don’t just do it to be polite. Smile with your eyes…and if possible, with your heart and soul.

Try to use your smile to truly connect with another person, and make their lives a little brighter.

6) Learn how to carry a good conversation

Classy people are fun to talk with. You can talk with them for hours but they’ll never run out of things to say.

It’s not simply because they’re knowledgeable or smart. Rather, they just pay attention to whatever the person they’re talking to is saying.

So they would not only share their own trivia, arguments, or perspectives but also react to what other people have said earlier in the conversation.

Now, don’t be too hard on yourself if you think you suck at making conversations. Trust me—it’s a skill that you can learn.

But for starters, you can do the basics: maintain eye contact, react, wait for other people to finish, and always be respectful.

7) Be assertive without being rude

And yes, it’s possible to assert oneself without being rude—it’s just that there are people who think that it’s rude to tell them “no.”

Classy people can’t do anything about those who are dead-set on treating assertiveness itself as rude, but they will nonetheless go to great lengths to be as kind and gentle even when they’re setting boundaries.

And if you want to be seen as a classy person, you should definitely try to put in an effort to assert yourself… as nicely as possible.

Being gentle yet firm is an art that you can learn, and it takes practice. If you haven’t tried to do it before, then the only way you can do it is by trying it now.

8) Clean up after yourself

You can tell when a person is classy when they feel guilty for making a mess.

If you want to be classy, don’t be messy. Very simple.

Throw your trash properly. Close everything that you opened. Wipe the drop of ketchup that you dripped on the table.

No one else will clean up after your mess. Do it so you won’t bother others.

And oh, if you have a dog or a kid, make sure you clean up after them, too. They’re your responsibility and no one else’s.

9) Have a relaxed aura

A relaxed aura will make you more graceful and therefore more approachable and enjoyable to be with.

Come to think of it, even if you’re wearing a classy outfit and your perfume is worth a thousand bucks, if you look stressed, you lose your class.

So chill. Do your inner work, meditate often, and learn how to manage stress.

10) Maintain good manners

It’s a good thing we’ve been taught manners from a young age. They’re easy enough to follow, and generally do a good job of making us decently respectable in society.

So speak softly in public spaces, don’t come to a formal party dressed in pajamas, or throw your trash on the sidewalk.

But of course, it’s important to remember that one’s idea of “good manners” changes from place to place—slurping your soup is rude in America, but good manners in China. So when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask, and do as the Romans do.

13) Follow rules

Rules might not always make sense, and sometimes there are rules that need to be questioned. But someone who is classy will abide by them all the same, even if it’s something they question.

Think of, say, a workplace rule where employees are not allowed to bring their own lunch.

It might not make sense, and one may try to see if they can get it removed by management, but they’re not going to rebelliously bring their own lunch until then.

And of course, that applies especially double for rules that clearly make sense, like “do not run the red light” or “do not cut in line.”

14) Be humble

If you want to be truly classy, you should be able to know which things to share and which ones to keep to yourself.

Even if you have something to brag about, remain humble.

By no means should you not talk about your achievements at all—sharing one’s personal triumphs and rejoicing with others is something that people bond over.

But you probably shouldn’t be blabbing about them to someone you just met, or talking about those achievements as if they are a core part of your personality.

Those achievements are not there for you to lord over others, after all. At least that’s the case if you want to be seen as classy.

15) Cultivate your own style and personality

Instead of following trends, create your own style—from the clothes you wear to the kind of plants you grow in your garden.

I know I said you should have good manners and you should carry yourself with grace, but at the same time you shouldn’t be curating yourself so much that you start to become too constrained and bland.

Act the way you act, dress the way you dress…as long as you’re not bothering other people.

Choose things based on who you are instead of just following whatever is en vogue is what truly classy people do.

16) Be a good sport

If you lose in a game, don’t pout and whine. Don’t say that the other team is cheating just because you didn’t win.

And this extends to other things, too. If you don’t get the job promotion, the guy or girl, the award, then just be graceful about it. You can win next time.

A person with class knows they’re not entitled to anything, and you should remind yourself of this more often.

17) Don’t be a negative nancy

Pessimism doesn’t make you smart; optimism doesn’t make you dumb.

If anything, pessimism just makes you a pain in the ass. So don’t be one.

A classy person wants to spread love and happiness, instead of negativity. They’re also not a killjoy. They’re the kind of people who light up a room.

how can you understand others better 18 ways anyone can radiate class and grace

They try to see the good things instead of the bad. And the thing is, even if they don’t like something, they won’t complain too much because they know it can ruin it for others.

18) Don’t alienate others

You might think that in order for you to be classy, you have to be above others (but still remain humble). But that’s not being classy at all.

A truly classy person doesn’t want that there’s a big divide—that they’re sophisticated and others aren’t. That they’re classy and others are unrefined.

What they want is for everyone to feel like equals…that no one is left out and feeling like they don’t matter.

Last words

It is easier to be classy than you might think, though by no means should you underestimate the effort.

The most important thing is that you should learn to love and respect yourself and others—to resist the temptation to become cynical, misanthropic, and obsessed with appearances or status.

Everything else will start falling into place once you’ve got those sorted because, in the end, class and grace is not just an act you can put on—it’s a way of being that starts from within and manifests without.

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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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