If a woman wants to become classier as she gets older, say goodbye to these 10 behaviors

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Oh, to be a classy woman.

The idea of being refined, mature, and gracious—I don’t know about you, but it’s one of my ultimate goals. 

And for what it’s worth, I think all women, if not all people, should strive to be classy.

However, most advice on being classy (or most advice about anything, really) focuses on things you should do.

Not really on things you shouldn’t do or things you should stop doing.

Sometimes, it’s actually easier to stop doing things than to start engaging in new practices.

If you just started your journey to becoming the classiest woman you can be, then it’s crucial to know these rules.

Because, if a woman wants to become classier as she gets older, she should say goodbye to these 10 behaviors.

1) Making comparisons to others

In the world of social media, we all get tempted to compare ourselves to others. After all, we’re constantly bombarded with the curated highlights of other people’s lives.

Bodies of photoshopped models… men in sportscars they’re pretending to own (but merely rented)… skincare influencers with zero acne… the list goes on. 

Young women are told that they need to be pretty much perfect.

Or we see our peers traveling, getting promoted, or getting married. Rarely do we see their own fair share of messiness and failures that plague everyone’s lives.

So it’s easy to feel that our lives suck. 

That we suck in comparison to them.

And this makes us insecure, making it incredibly difficult to act with class. 

2) Fishing for approval

A classic example of insecure behavior? 

Constantly seeking approval and validation from others. 

This is something I can personally relate to. I was a huge people-pleaser back in the day. All my actions revolved around gaining the approval of other people, and it made my problem of low self-esteem even worse.

Things I did to fish for approval included:

  • Deflecting or downplaying compliments;
  • One-upping people’s suffering;
  • Bringing up my own achievements when others are talking about theirs;
  • Constantly self-deprecating myself in front of others in hopes that people will disagree with me and tell me how absolutely awesome I am and that I just don’t know it.

Sorry, the last one was a bit too specific, huh?

But that’s what insecurity makes you feel. You’ll constantly feel like everyone is judging you harshly, making you overthink and overcompensate.

3) Letting jealousy fester

Worse comes to worst; insecurity and constant comparisons can lead to jealousy and resentment.

Look, we all feel jealous from time to time. But letting it fester can be catastrophic.

At the height of my people-pleasing phase, I began to feel jealous of my friends. After all, I was a bit of a late bloomer, as you might say.

I was envious of their trips, their relationships, and their achievements. It was only when I realized that I was gradually becoming a worse friend to them that I committed myself to letting the jealousy go.

Instead of seeing more successful people as competition, try to see them as inspiration. 

Tell yourself that if they can do it, why can’t you?

4) Engaging in negative self-talk

Another way people end up intensely insecure is by incessantly engaging in negative self-talk

And the thing is that the more insecure you are, the more prone you are to talking down on yourself. It truly is a vicious cycle.

And trust me, I get it. It can be incredibly cathartic to self-flagellate for your mistakes or wallow in self-pity. But that’s only for the short term—the long-term effects can be disastrous.

Such behavior will make you feel bitter and resentful down the road, and you’ll become not the most pleasant person to be around. 

Remember that how you treat yourself is indicative of how you’ll treat others. If you can’t practice empathy and gentleness with yourself, how can you do it with others?

Being classy involves being classy with yourself, too.

5) Undervaluing small acts of kindness

For some reason, people think being classy involves grand productions of kindness or success. 

Like donating millions to charity. Or giving an important keynote speech. Or being the most famous person at a fancy gathering.

But you don’t need to be Taylor Swift or Mother Teresa to be a well-respected and admired woman. In fact, true class and kindness lie in the little everyday things:

  • Be a good mother, partner, daughter, or sister;
  • Treat service workers with patience;
  • Help out your neighbor when they look like they need it;
  • Lend a listening ear to those who need it;
  • Clean up after yourself in public places.

Just because it doesn’t get recorded or doesn’t hit the news doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. Don’t be classy just to get attention (which, by the way, is the exact opposite of classiness).

6) Neglecting your passions

It’s easy to lose yourself in the daily grind. With prices rising far more rapidly than the average income, many people feel the need to work themselves to the bone for financial comfort.

But trust me, it’s not worth it if you lose yourself in the process. You’ll burn out, and you might end up in a worse condition than you were before.

It’s incredibly important to constantly nurture the things that bring you joy. Your hobbies, interests, and passions—these are the things that make life worth living!

Neglect them, and you’ll be an empty shell who’s either intensely irritable or deeply depressed. And people who feel that way usually aren’t the classiest or the most gracious of people, are they?

7) Underprioritizing self-care

We women talk about self-care a lot. Out of our kindness, we encourage other people to do it all the time. 

But do we practice it ourselves? 

In my experience, not as often as we preach we should. 

Because even if we’ve been talking about self-care a lot, many of us still feel like we’re being petty or decadent when we engage in self-care.

Newsflash: you can’t pour from an empty cup. 

You can’t be gentle and patient with others if you’re not gentle and patient with yourself. 

Neglecting self-care might lead to burnout, depression, or even disease. Which makes you either irritable or anti-social. Or sick. So there’s that.

If it makes you feel better, even the World Health Organization actively encourages self-care.

8) Listening with the intent to respond

When a friend is opening up to you or is telling you a special story, does your tongue itch with: 

  • Comments you want to share about your friend’s experiences?
  • Advice you want to give them?
  • Stories about your experiences?
  • Arguments against their opinions?

Then, you’re making a common mistake, which is listening with the intent to respond rather than with the intent to understand someone. 

After all, you can’t really listen to them with your whole heart if your head is preoccupied with the things you’re planning to say. You’ll likely end up replying in a crass, unclassy way, too.

You likely won’t pick up on their specific word choices, the tone of their voice, or the intricacies of their body language. 

You won’t fully understand what they’re trying to say because you’re probably failing at reading between the lines.

9) Bottling up resentment

We’ve all gotten hurt by others. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life. 

I’m not saying that you should just forgive and forget every wrongdoing done to you. After all, we women go through a lot. There are some things you just can’t handwave away.

However, actively resenting people who’ve hurt you only allows them to keep on hurting you even more.

This is far easier said than done. And for what it’s worth, I completely understand that it’s not fully possible for some people.

But as much as you can, redirect your attention and energy to yourself and the future. 

10) Judging others

Look, we all subconsciously form opinions based on first impressions

But the key is to not go any deeper. You shouldn’t try to infer deeper things about them based only on the things you’ve seen or know about the person.

If you find yourself judging another person, try to look at things from their point of view. For example, I remember this one time my friend turned up underdressed for a party.

My gut reaction was to judge her as lazy or unclassy. Then I thought: what if she was rushing here? What if something went wrong with her clothes? What if she had a tough week?

There could be a million reasons why she was underdressed and any of them could be valid.

Then I realized that I was the one being unclassy for judging her in the first place.

In conclusion

Don’t fret if you still do some of the things I mentioned above.

I’ll be honest with you: there are still times that I catch myself doing these things.

In fact, I’d wager that most, if not all, women, even the ones we consider classy, still do this from time to time too. 

And, you know what? That’s completely okay. 

We’re all human. We’re all a work in progress. Perfection was never the goal, but rather a constant improvement. Hopefully, this article helped you determine the behaviors that get in the way of this goal.

Acknowledge your flaws, take accountability for them, and just keep on striving to get better. 

That’s the classiest thing anyone can ever do.

Anna Dovbysh

With 8 years of writing experience and a deep interest in psychology, relationship advice, and spirituality, Anna’s here to shine a light on the most interesting self-development topics and share some life advice. She's got a Master's Degree in International Information and is a life-long learner of writing and storytelling. In the past, she worked on a radio station and a TV channel as a journalist and even tought English in Cambodia to local kids. Currently, she's freelancing and traveling around the globe, exploring new places, and getting inspired by the people she meets and the stories they tell. Subscribe to her posts and get in touch with her on her social media:
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