15 things elegant people never do (so you shouldn’t either!)

Elegance is more than just wearing shiny diamond jewelry or dining at fancy restaurants; anyone can do that.

Elegance can’t simply be bought; it’s something someone has to truly embody.

Truly elegant people know this.

It takes more than just a wardrobe change or a career jump to something that pays more.

It’s about their behavior and how they carry themselves.

As many things that elegant people do – such as showing others respect as well as being confident in themselves – there are as many things they never do.

Often, it’s by simply avoiding certain behaviors and habits that elevate their personality and catches the attention of others– like a shiny diamond.

Below are 15 things that elegant people never do.

1. Think They’re Better than Others

When some people reach a certain level of wealth, their egos tend to inflate as well.

They might be denied at a restaurant because there are genuinely no tables left then pull out the “Do you know who I am?” card on the waiter just doing their job.

But truly elegant people aren’t like that.

Even if an elegant person earns large amounts of money or drives expensive cars, they would still be someone who welcomes anyone, regardless of social status.

They aren’t the type to think that they’re “too important” to greet waiters or doormen.

They understand that the universe does not revolve around them.

They don’t use their background as leverage to get what they want.

2. Talk More Than Listen

Some people love talking because they’re trying to prove themselves to the people around them.

But the truth is, the more confident someone is the less likely they feel like they have to prove themselves.

Elegant people don’t try to dominate the conversation or steer the conversation in a particular direction, because they’re comfortable going with the flow.

They value listening to other people because they see it as an opportunity to learn.

3. Make Fun of Other People

Putting other people down is a tactic used mainly by insecure people to make themselves feel better and look better by comparison.

Elegant people tend to have inner strength and they use that strength to support the people around them.

When you’re comfortable with who you are and what you offer in the world, you don’t feel a need to artificially make yourself better in front of others.

4. Change What’s Out of Their Control

“For after all,” the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “the best thing one can do when it is raining, is to let it rain.”

There are many things in life beyond our control that cause stress and frustration.

The traffic jam on the way to work.

The rainy weather on a special day. How others treat us.

The foolish think they can change these things to what they desire.

Elegant people know that’s impossible.

They understand that there are things in life that are within our control – our patience and humility – and beyond our control.

Focusing on what they can control is what makes elegant people so effective in their lives and work.

5. Try to be Someone They Aren’t

Often, society can sway people to become someone they aren’t just because it’s a personality that’s trendy.

If the typical “bad boy/girl” trend becomes trendy, she isn’t going to join the crowds of people changing their image just to not appear like an outsider.

In fact, elegant people don’t follow anyone else’s style completely but hers.

Sure, she may take inspiration from powerful women like Oprah or Anna Wintour, but for the most part, they have their own identities.

You can tell them apart from a crowd of people because they don’t choose to dress the way they dress, or speak the way they speak just because it’s what’s popular right now.

6. Try to Please People

It’s easy to feel like we’re obligated to make everyone like us and what we do.

We take on certain responsibilities at work that we know is completely out of our skill set, just to impress other people.

An elegant person, on the other hand, never does this.

They aren’t one to bend over backward for people.

If someone asks for something but set an impossible deadline, they aren’t going to try to just please them for it – they fight back.

But not in the way that most people are used to, one that includes offensive words and attacks on a person’s character. Instead, they carefully explain and convince others of her side.

7. Raise Their Voice

When other people get angry, they tend to raise their voices to start a screaming match.

It’s a primal behavior that elegant people are able to navigate their way around if they’re on the receiving end and avoid resorting to it if they’re on the giving end.

When someone really makes them mad, offends them, or mistreats them, they don’t launch a verbal fight. They discuss.

They sit down with the person, maturely, to bring up the issues they have with them.

There, they talk to them honestly and openly, so that the issue is resolved in a productive and civil manner.

8. Disrespect People

An elegant person always remembers who they deal with: people.

If someone is frustrating them and being unclear, before calling them names, they might pull them aside and ask how they’re doing.

They really try to understand why someone would act the way they do, empathizing with them, and also doing their best to offer as much of her support as they can to them.

They understand that we often don’t see the full story when we’re talking to someone.

We only see a glimpse of their life.

Behind the scenes, they might be going through relationship problems or backstabbing siblings and relatives. No one truly knows.

That’s why they always make sure to be kind to people, because they might just be having a bad day, or they’re going through something difficult at the moment.

9. Waste Time on Gossip

Elegant people value their time and mental health. After all, they know they’re meant to be great and that means they’re supposed to be spending their time doing important things!

They know very well that gossip does not contribute anything to their professional or personal lives, or to humanity as a whole. If anything, it can do more harm than good. Gossip affects the way we think and deal with people.

Sure, elegant people will nod and smile when people gossip because they don’t want to be rude, but they will probably change the topic to something more important or find a way to excuse themselves.

10. Overcompensate to Impress

Some people may buy fancy cars and big houses as soon as they reach success, showing everyone just how much money they have in the bank.

Sure, you may impress people with your things, but you won’t impress them with you.

Elegant people don’t feel the need to show off their material possessions because they’re not trying to impress anyone. They’re already comfortable and secure with themselves.

Elegant people create genuine relationships based on shared histories and fun memories because these are the friendships that truly matter.

Superficial ones built off the back off your latest sports car? The moment your car is gone, the friendship is gone, too.

11. Forget Their Friends

Elegant people understand that time is their most valuable resource. It’s finite.

It’s why they’re more cautious about what is worth spending their time on.

While chasing money and playing status games can seem attractive, elegant people understand that such things don’t last.

They value the people they’re with more. That’s why they never forget their friends.

As they climb to the top, they always remember who helped them get there; who stood by them when they were on the verge of giving up on their dreams; who was the first to order their products or to show up at their events.

While they constantly make new friends, the elegant know they can never make old ones.

12. Impose Their Thoughts on Others

If they’re having a discussion about a certain movie that they personally didn’t enjoy, others might tell their friends that they shouldn’t see the movie because it was objectively bad.

An elegant person, on the other hand, might instead say, “The movie wasn’t for me.”

If they’re talking about someone they don’t find attractive, they don’t tell others that that person is ugly.

They say, “That person isn’t my type.”

Elegant people understand that what they think is right might differ from other people’s.

They always try to be considerate of other people’s opinions.

When they do disagree with people, they don’t close their minds.

Instead, they engage in a discussion for mutual understanding.

13. Spoil the Social Atmosphere

Elegant people aren’t the type to make others feel bad about themselves.

You might be in a group setting when a mean person shares that it’s one of their pet peeves when someone shares a story about when they traveled.

It might be awkward because just a few moments before that, someone did actually share their travel story, thus making them feel bad.

Elegant people can read the room.

They know when it’s time to make a joke or share something personal and serious.

They’re able to be sensitive to other people’s emotions and the general atmosphere of where group conversations are going.

And if they have nothing valuable to say, they’d rather say nothing.

14. Show Off 

Elegant people know it’s tacky to show off, especially if it’s something to do with wealth and status. This is probably the reason why you won’t see them wearing luxury brands like Prada or Gucci.

They prefer to keep a low profile even if they’re successful and famous and rich because they don’t find the need to flaunt anything.

Although we look up to them, they never want us to see them as someone better than everyone else.

15. Think of Themselves All the Time

Elegant people don’t live in their own bubbles.

When they’re at the cashier, they don’t linger and only think about what they want to order at the cashier.

They think about what they want to order before, so they don’t hold up the line.

If they have a meeting in the morning, they make sure not to arrive earlier.

They understand that being late is disrespectful; it tells the other person that your time is more valuable than theirs.

When they see one of their friends shivering in a cold room, they offer their jacket. Elegant people are always considerate of what other people feel. They want to make others feel good too.


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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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