If you want to be more elegant, stop doing these 11 tacky things

Elegance isn’t just about how you dress and how you look. 

It goes a lot deeper than that and has much more to do with your instinctual behavior and other aspects of your daily habits. 

Here’s a guide about what to cut out of your life if you want to be more elegant. 

1) Stop interrupting

In our fast-paced world of short attention spans, interrupting is very tempting. 

But it’s also tacky and can come across as rude even if you don’t intend it that way. 

The solution is to just be as patient as possible and wait for others to have their say. 

Then say what you’d like to say. 

This isn’t always so straightforward when you’re in a rush or don’t feel heard, of course, but in the majority of cases and when possible, try not to interrupt or cut people short. 

2) Stop cutting in line 

Cutting in line is normal in various cultures, but I’ve never met a person who actually likes it happening to them. 

Short of an actual emergency, avoid cutting in line. 

If you feel yourself getting antsy while a line isn’t moving, consider it a form of mindfulness meditation

Use this enforced moment or two of inactivity to focus your breathing and learn to deal with your lack of control over the progress of the line. 

It will be what it will be: and that’s OK. 

3) Stop burping in public

Burping is actually a natural reflex after eating a lot or ingesting carbonated liquids. 

In some cultures such as areas of China, India and Bahrain, burping is also considered polite after a delicious meal. 

But if you’re not from one of these cultures, do your best to refrain from burping in public or at least from burping audibly. 

It not only may be unpleasant to those around you, but can also come off as inconsiderate or lacking in maturity and self-control. 

4) Stop talking on speakerphone in public

When you need your hands free or don’t want to hold your phone up to your ear, speakerphone can be a good option. 

But speaking on speakerphone in public is generally pretty disruptive and can annoy those around you. 

If possible, purchase a bluetooth or other form of headset that allows you to speak and listen without projecting your voice very loudly. 

The result will be much more copasetic. 

On a related note about phone etiquette: 

5) Stop using your phone while people are talking to you

How many times have I done this myself? Too many to count, and I admit I feel a bit ashamed of it. 

Scrolling Twitter or checking a text while somebody is talking to you is just rude, even if you certainly don’t intend it in a disrespectful way.

Even if it’s somebody you don’t know or a person asking you directions, try to hear them out instead of flipping to your phone instinctively. 

I’m ashamed to have been a person who often engages in this tacky behavior and am doing my best to stop! 

If you are expecting an urgent message or dealing with an emergency of some kind and are with somebody else, just let them know that you may have to check your phone due to the urgent matter and to please excuse you if you do so. 

6) Stop gushing and oversharing on social media 

Social media can be a wonderful tool and has all sorts of interesting and entertaining material on it. 

But those who overshare on social media end up gaining a fairly tacky reputation. 

To be quite frank, this tends to divide into two principal columns:

  • Some men overshare and gush about their accomplishments, fitness level and wealth.
  • Some women overshare and gush about their own physical appearance and social life. 

This connects up to a related point: 

7) Stop trying to look rich

In my opinion, dressing well and looking after your appearance are important and elegant behaviors. 

But actively trying to signify wealth and status or look “rich” is a fairly tacky behavior. 

There’s nothing wrong with wearing brands you like or having a few high-quality colognes or perfumes in your cabinet. 

But do your best not to take selfies next to your hot new car or with your new jacket poised just right for somebody to see that it’s a high-end brand name coat. 

That’s really your business and not something that you need to be advertising or showing off about…

“Examples of tacky behavior include making public displays of wealth such as flaunting jewelry or cars through social media,”explains Michelle Sterling of the Sterling Style Institute. 

What makes someone classy and well-put together is when they have put thought into what their overall look communicates. 

They’re wearing pieces with a hint of luxury, but not in an over-the-top manner,” Sterling adds.  

8) Stop faking an accent 

This may not apply to you or even anyone you know, but I assure you there are people who fake an accent. 

To be fair, there are times that an accent can be a ticket into a certain career path:

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, for example, decided at a young age that he wanted to copy a “tougher” and more American-sounding accent which eventually helped him get into the movies.

But unless you have a specific career goal in mind, stick with the accent you have naturally. 

It’s more authentic, and plus it’s a lot less attention spent on crafting a specific, performative persona. 

9) Stop hitting on people in tacky ways

Flirting and seduction can be very classy and elegant when done by somebody confident and poised. 

But if you’ve ever watched a horny person hit on somebody openly and in crude ways then you know just how tacky it can be when done wrong. 

If you find yourself tempted to hit on people in very basic and pushy ways, resist the urge. 

It tends to lead to a bad reputation and it also comes across as overly thirsty and not valuing yourself very highly.

Plus, subtle flirting works better in many cases!

As Barrie Davenport says:

“If you want to have relationships with mature, emotionally healthy, authentic people, you must consistently be one yourself.” 

10) Stop being rude to service staff 

You can tell a lot about somebody by the way they treat a waiter. 

If you find yourself getting frustrated with service staff when they don’t understand you, try to consciously be patient and not snap. 

It’s tacky to take out frustration or be short with those who are just trying to do their job. 

We’ve all experienced poor service, including at restaurants that sometimes cost much more than they should. 

If this happens, make a mental note not to go to that establishment again, but don’t take it out on the men and women just trying to earn a living by working there. 

11) Stop spreading rumors or talking about others when they’re not around

This behavior is very common, but it often comes across tacky. 

Even gossip about celebrities and others tends to make somebody come across as sort of immature or lacking in their life in a certain way such that they feel the need to stuff it with gossip from somebody else’s life. 

Do your best not to get too into the drama or issues of others. 

If somebody is spreading rumors or talking a lot about the lives of others, let them know that you’re not that engaged in the topic or change the subject. 

True elegance 

True elegance is about how you carry yourself in this world. 

If you cut out the behaviors above, you’ll instantly become much more sophisticated and elegant. 

Like fine wine, elegant habits only mature and get more refined with time. 

Keep it up over time and these elegant habits will become part of your daily routine and second nature to you. 

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