If you want to be classier and more elegant as you get older, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

There’s a significant distinction between growing older and aging with grace.

The difference? It’s all about behavior. Growing older happens to everyone, but becoming classier and more elegant as you age requires some changes in behavior.

Sure, elegance and class can’t be acquired overnight. But the good news is, there are 8 behaviors you can ditch to cultivate a more refined persona starting today.

Let’s go and find out what they are. 

1) Casual swearing

One behavior that can certainly detract from your elegance and class as you age is casual swearing.

Swearing might seem like an everyday part of conversation, especially if you’re around people who use colorful language regularly. However, it’s one of those behaviors that can make us seem less refined, no matter our age.

As we get older, it’s important to cultivate a more sophisticated way of expressing our frustrations, excitement, or any other emotions that we might otherwise convey through swearing.

Remember, elegance and class are all about subtlety and restraint. Swearing is often the opposite of that – it’s loud, it’s brash, and it often leaves a negative impression.

2) Not listening to others

One behavior that I’ve personally had to work on as I’ve aged is not fully listening to others.

When I was younger, I often found myself waiting for my turn to speak rather than truly listening to what the other person was saying. It was like I was more interested in getting my point across than understanding theirs.

As I got older, however, I realized that this habit wasn’t doing me any favors. It wasn’t just about being polite – it was about showing respect for the other person and valuing their perspective.

I learned that truly elegant and classy people are those who listen attentively. They’re interested in understanding others, and they’re not just waiting for their chance to speak.

This shift in mindset shines through the way you come across much more than you think – and it will certainly have an incredibly positive impact on your relationships too. 

3) Slouching

Posture is one of those aspects of our behavior that we often overlook, but it can have a big impact on how others perceive us.

Studies have shown that standing and sitting up straight doesn’t just make us look taller and more confident; it even affects our mood and energy levels. So immediately, this shift will help you be more positive, attentive, and engaged with people around you.

And even without interacting with others, good posture will improve the image you put out. Just compare two pictures of a businessman who’s standing straight, and one who’s hunched over.

The first one  communicates confidence, poise, and attention to detail. On the other hand, the slouched person can give off an impression of laziness or lack of care.

As we age, maintaining good posture becomes even more important. It’s a silent message to the world that we’re taking care of ourselves and that we respect ourselves enough to present our best selves to the world.

4) Gossiping

Gossiping is another behavior that can detract significantly from your elegance and class.

While it might seem like harmless chit-chat, or perhaps even a way to connect with your colleauges, gossiping often involves spreading rumors or sharing private information about others. It’s a form of communication that can damage relationships and erode trust.

Classy and elegant people know the value of respecting others’ privacy. They avoid gossip and instead focus on more valuable and positive conversations. If they must talk about others, they are always sure to speak about their successes or positive traits. 

Never forget, your words reflect your character. If you want to age with grace, elegance, and class, it’s important to choose your words wisely and say goodbye to gossip.

5) Being unkind

who happily embrace getting older If you want to be classier and more elegant as you get older, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

We’ve all heard the adage, “beauty is only skin deep.” True elegance and class come from within, and nothing radiates more beautifully than kindness.

It’s the things like looking into someone’s eyes rather than your phone when they speak, or waiting an extra two seconds to hold open a door. It’s also in the things like sending someone a thoughtful thank you note, or lending a helping hand when you can. 

Sometimes we may feel we are too rushed, too busy, too preoccupied to do these things. We’re wrapped up in our own problems, or tired from a tough day. But every time you snap at someone or brush them off, you’re doing immense damage to your class and image as a whole. 

These small acts can leave a lasting impression, which makes the importance of kindness only more important as we age. Life is short, but it’s never too short to let a little kindness shine through. 

6) Being stuck in your comfort zone

There was a time when I believed that growing older meant I no longer needed to learn and improve. I figured I had gathered enough knowledge and wisdom from my earlier years, so why bother?

But as years passed, I realized how flawed this mindset was. Staying stagnant, being content with what I knew, and avoiding self-improvement was just allowing me to become lazy and careless. 

And not only that, it was beginning to affect my relationships with others too. They could sense that I was somehow letting go of myself, that I wasn’t investing into myself anymore.

I no longer had much to contribute to discussions, and I felt out of the loop when newer topics came up. 

This made me realize that lifelong learning is not just important for self-fulfillment, it’s also a key attribute of truly elegant and classy individuals.

Of course, we should take the time to relax and have fun, but there’s always room for growth and improvement, no matter our age.

7) Holding onto grudges

I don’t know what you’ve been through in life, but I’m willing to bet one thing – there have been people that have hurt you. Perhaps incredibly deeply.

In situations like this, it may be natural to hold a grudge. In fact, it probably feels perfectly justified – how could you let them off the hook after what they did?

I know, because I’ve been there myself, plenty of times. 

But there’s a great quote by Nelson Mandela that shifted my perspective, which you may have heard too: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

This poison doesn’t just hurt your wellbeing. It seeps through in all your interactiosn with others, affecting your mood and your relationships. People can sense your bad intentions on a subconscious level, even if they aren’t directed specifically at them – and instinctively, they pull back.

That’s why classy and elegant people embrace the power of forgiveness. Letting go of grudges doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning what happened. It means freeing yourself from the burden of resentment and opening up space for peace – and a classier you.

8) Taking people for granted

In life, it’s natural to start taking relatinoships for granted. We have reliability and security with someone, so we no longer need to try hard to win their favor or pay special attention to them.

But the thing with things we ignore is that they don’t always stick around. Taking someone for granted is a surefire way to make people feel unheard, unvalued, and ultimately unneeded. At the same time, you begin to come across as someone self-centered, arrogant, and ungrateful. 

That’s surely not the image you want to put out there – so here’s how to flip it around. Tap into the power of gratitude. 

Take the time to notice the great things about the people in our life – whether it’s their sense of humor, the help they give you, or even just their smile.

And more importantly, tell them. A colleague of mine once said, “Appreciation is the currency of relationships” – and I couldn’t agree more. Not only that, but it’s also the currency of cultivating elegance and class.  

Final thoughts: Elegance is an inside job

When it comes to becoming classier and more elegant as we age, it’s important to remember that these qualities go beyond our external appearance.

Elegance and class are reflections of who we are on the inside – our character, values, and how we treat others. They’re about cultivating a sense of self-respect and extending that respect to those around us.

This journey of refinement and elegance isn’t always easy. It requires us to let go of certain behaviors and habits that may have served us in the past, but no longer align with who we want to become.

A quote from American author C. JoyBell C. sums it up perfectly: “Elegance is a glowing inner peace.” And this comes from being a person of integrity – someone who treats people kindly, doesn’t gossip, and doesn’t take loved ones for granted. 

So as we move forward in our journey of aging gracefully, let’s remember that true elegance is an inside job.

Picture of Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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