There’s a lot of talk and misconception about what it means to be a “classy woman” these days.
For most people, it means having a sophisticated outfit, eating out at fine dining restaurants, or knowing which wine to drink with a meal.
But it’s more than that.
To be classy is to radiate poise, to carry oneself with dignity, and to navigate life’s challenges with grace. It’s about the person you are, not the labels you wear.
Just as classy women know exactly how to behave, they also know the behaviors they need to avoid. Because sometimes, what you don’t do matters just as much as what you do.
In this article, let’s unpack those habits you need to say goodbye to if you want to live life with class and grace.
1) Being inconsiderate
The first thing you’ll notice about classy women is the way they treat others with consideration and respect.
And no selective treatment, either. Whether one is a high-powered executive or a restaurant server, they will get the utmost consideration from a classy woman.
For a classy woman, the Golden Rule is THE rule – to treat others the way she wants to be treated. So, she’s always aware of how her own actions might affect those around her.
How does that play out in real life? Here are some examples:
- She arrives on time for appointments.
- She shows appreciation for what other people do, even if it’s just a small gesture.
- She listens attentively when someone’s speaking.
- She chooses her words carefully and strives to be constructive and respectful when giving feedback.
- She’s mindful of her actions in public spaces.
Simply put, inconsiderate behavior is an indication of self-centeredness, a trait that is at odds with the thoughtfulness and empathy that embody class.
Treating people with kindness doesn’t mean being a walkover, though. How you treat yourself is just as important…
2) Treating yourself badly
My mom, one of the classiest women I know, has always drummed this idea into my head: How you treat yourself matters. You set the stage for how other people will treat you.
Treat yourself well, and it will lead others to treat you well, too. Plus, self-care is a natural confidence-booster!
Think about it: when you don’t do the basics – a proper diet, regular exercise, and sufficient rest, you don’t really feel like you’re at your best, right?
And let’s not forget about mental health. Let go of destructive habits like excessive self-criticism, perfectionism, or allowing stressful situations to overwhelm you.
Because these practices aren’t just toxic; they also undermine your self-worth.
So, what to do instead?
Well, if you want to be classy, talk to yourself with just as much kindness as you do other people. It may take a bit more mindfulness than you’re used to, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.
3) Putting up with bad behavior around you
As I mentioned earlier, classy women are all about setting the tone for how they wish to be treated. And that means they don’t tolerate bad behavior.
For instance, she values her time and communicates that value to others. If someone consistently shows up late for appointments with her, she will address the issue politely yet assertively.
That way, it’s clear what her expectations and standards are.
She’s pretty much the same way in relationships. When she gives love and respect, she expects to receive the same in return.
If her partner behaves unkindly or disrespectfully, she doesn’t let it slide because that would send the message that disrespect is acceptable.
And if they don’t, well then, she knows to keep her distance for the sake of her mental and emotional well-being.
4) Pushing other people’s boundaries
While we’re on the topic of boundaries, let me say how it goes both ways for classy women.
Meaning, just as they expect you to respect their boundaries, they’ll also give you that same courtesy. It’s the Golden Rule at work again.
For instance, if a friend says they need some alone time, a classy woman doesn’t press for explanations or insist on providing company. She respects their need for solitude.
Similarly, if a colleague prefers not to discuss personal matters at work, she makes sure not to overstep and keeps conversations professional.
Which brings me to the next point…
It’s perfectly normal to share secrets with your besties, right? But be careful that you don’t cross the line into gossiping.
That’s something you won’t find a classy woman doing. She knows that spreading rumors causes emotional harm and breeds negativity.
Remember, being classy is all about being respectful. About spreading joy and positivity rather than insecurity and negative vibes.
6) Constant complaining
Speaking of negative vibes, complaining can feel deliciously indulgent, doesn’t it? Especially when you’ve got a huge weight to get off your chest.
And don’t get me wrong, we don’t want to be pollyannas, always smiling and putting on a fake-happy face!
A healthy rant can be just what’s needed some days. The thing is, if your rants become too much and too often, it’s no longer healthy.
If you want to be classy, take care not to let that happen. You know why?
First of all, constant complaining tends to perpetuate a negative mindset. It shifts the focus to what’s wrong, rather than what’s right or could be improved.
Plus, you don’t want to be the Debbie Downer – the energy-drainer – in a group, which is exactly what a chronic complainer is.
So, instead of wallowing in complaints, choose to channel your energy into finding solutions or learning from the situation.
7) Reacting instead of responding
Now let’s talk about conflict. How do classy women deal with it? Definitely not with knee-jerk reactions.
Fortunately, classy women have the emotional intelligence to turn a potential conflict into something constructive. How?
By responding rather than reacting. What’s the difference?
Reacting is an immediate, instinctive process driven by our emotions. We do it unthinkingly, which is why we might say things that heighten the conflict or words we would later regret.
On the other hand, responding involves a more thoughtful process. We pause to consider the situation, process our emotions, and think about the best way to handle things before we act.
Imagine you’ve been working hard on a project at work, pouring in extra hours and giving it your all. You present the project to your boss, hoping for recognition of your hard work. Instead, your boss criticizes it, pointing out areas that need improvement.
Here are two possible outcomes you could take:
Reaction: “I don’t understand why you’re criticizing my work when I’ve put in so much effort. You’re never satisfied!”
Response: “I understand there are areas for improvement and I appreciate your feedback. I did put a lot of effort into this project. Could you please clarify these points so that I can better address them in the future?”
It’s pretty clear which one’s more classy, right?
8) Placing yourself as queen of the heap
Humility is a classy trait. I’m not talking about those humble brags we see on socials…
“I just woke up and threw this outfit together and, for some reason, people keep complimenting me on my style. So weird!”
Mm-hmm, not that kind of humble.
Real classy women show real modesty. They know their strengths, but they also know their weaknesses. They recognise their privilege and feel grateful to those who helped them get where they are.
Most importantly, they know there’s still a lot to learn from others.
I know what you’re thinking… What’s wrong with being proud of your achievements?
Nothing at all. If you’ve done well, be proud of it!
But if you’re a classy woman, you’ll know you don’t have to belittle others, do attention-seeking things, or act superior to do that.
Look, we can all have our moment to shine without stomping on other people. To acknowledge our success without arrogance – that’s real class!
We’ve all been guilty of engaging in these behaviors at one point or another. But the good thing is, there’s always room for change!
All it takes is a little more mindfulness so that we can make conscious decisions each day to act with kindness, respect, and integrity.
As you bid goodbye to these eight behaviors and replace them with more empowering ones, you’ll find yourself evolving into the best, most authentic version of you.
After all, there’s nothing classier than a woman who radiates authenticity, kindness, and self-respect!