Understanding class in someone isn’t as straightforward as attractiveness or wealth.
It comes in many forms, but it largely stems from a woman’s sense of self and how she treats other people.
While these are definitely common habits of classy people, becoming classy is an internal endeavor; more than a lifestyle change, it’s a behavioral change.
To help you, there are a few guidelines that most classy people abide by.
These tend to go unspoken, but observe enough classy people and you’ll find them all following more or less the same guiding principles.
Here are 12 rules every classy woman follows to elevate her life.
1. She Respects Herself
While society may have a different idea of what should and shouldn’t be, a classy woman doesn’t allow herself to be defined that way.
Her integrity and self-respect empower her to be who she wants to be; who she feels she is, not what others say of her.
She respects her body, so she exercises and eats well.
She respects her mind, so she reads books and continues learning.
She respects her identity, so she doesn’t do things that she knows are below her.
Classy women can stand on their own, independent and strong.
She’s confident, sticks to her values, and doesn’t conform to another person’s idea of her.
2. She Doesn’t Play Games With Others…
Good communication is essential to forming good relationships with friends and with colleagues.
No riddles. No games. Just the authentic truth.
A classy woman says what she means and means what she says. She doesn’t expect people to read her mind.
Instead, she clearly expresses her ideas and feelings.
When someone disappoints or angers her, she doesn’t bottle it up and hide it.
She maturely discusses it with the other person, still being respectful and kind.
She doesn’t try to manipulate others with her words either.
She can respectfully share her opinions without imposing them on others.
3…But She Does Have A Playful Side
She knows when to be serious and when to be playful.
When she’s made a mistake in the past, she’s able to modestly laugh at herself.
She knows not to take life too seriously, so she accepts and lets go of her regrets and past mistakes, learns from them, then moves on.
When she jokes around, it isn’t at the expense of others. Instead, it’s usually about the silly things that happen in life.
This is what makes her such a joy to be around: no one gets hurt.
She tries to make everyone feel comfortable when they’re around her.
4. Choose Good Friends
A classy woman tends to spend most of her time with others.
Whether she’s attending another event or meeting up with someone for lunch, the company she keeps doesn’t tend to be a coincidence.
She’s deliberate about who she wants to spend her time with.
Multiple studies have shown that one’s friends can affect one’s behavior – for better or for worse.
So she’d rather surround herself with people who are positive, that support her, and whom she can support too.
She doesn’t stay with people who are disrespectful to waiters or doormen, or those that talk behind others’ backs.
5. She Always Looks To Improve Herself
A classy woman knows her potential.
The skills and knowledge that she’s born with isn’t final, and she knows that.
She’s able to remake herself again and again.
This is what psychologist Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset.”
It’s what has allowed good women to grow and pursue their passions.
If she’s unfamiliar with the managerial side of her company but she’s interested in it, she takes the initiative to learn.
You might see her taking online courses and reading business books to help her grow her knowledge on the subject.
She’s able to walk the thin line between self-acceptance and never settling.
She pushes herself to become better but has the compassion to understand her weaknesses.
When she falls or gets knocked down, she doesn’t let it get to her. She gets back up and tries again.
6. She Shows Respect To Everyone
A classy woman understands that everyone deserves to be treated with the same level of respect. We’re all humans, after all.
While there might be people who have had bad histories and a record of less-than-ideal behavior, she still interacts with them politely and with her manners.
This is the same attitude she brings when interacting with higher-ups as with interns, receptionists, and customer service personnel – people who are conventionally above and below her position on the corporate ladder.
Showing respect and kindness to other people costs nothing, but for others the price might still feel a little high.
She greets people using their first name. She remembers what they said to her, and she’s generous with her compliments.
She isn’t doing it to win favors: she’s doing it because she genuinely likes others.
7. Go for Timeless and Appropriate Styles
Trends are transient, but class can last.
That’s why when it comes to styling herself, a classy woman tends to gravitate towards the more timeless fashion styles.
Instead of wearing the latest shiny piece of jewelry, she might instead invest in genuine pearl earrings that both last as well and never go out of style.
Her outfits are always event appropriate. You’ll never catch her being underdressed.
By going with timeless outfits, she guarantees she’ll always look the part, whether it’s a formal luncheon or a cocktail party.
8. She Can Forgive And Understand…
Forgiving someone for their actions can be difficult, especially when they’ve crossed the line. It’s one of the hardest things that anyone can do; most people go their entire lives holding a grudge against someone.
A classy woman is able to find it in her heart to say that some things are just water under the bridge.
While it’s difficult to understand someone, she believes that no one is beyond forgiveness.
There’s no need for her to carry such heavy emotional baggage.
By forgiving someone that has done her wrong, she’s able to forge a brand new relationship with that person.
At the end of day, what good does holding onto hatred bring to someone anyway?
9…But Can Also Be Firm When She Needs To Be
She’s brave and confident when it comes to defending her beliefs and standing up for others.
While she’s able to laugh off jokes and insults directed to her, when it’s directed at someone she cares about, that’s when she puts her foot down.
Although she may still forgive that person, it may take her much longer to do so.
10. She Has Integrity
True integrity can be hard to come by in a person these days.
All too often, people’s actions and behaviors are shaped by those around them, and by what they believe will get them the most social clout.
Classy women will always live with integrity, whether a million people will see it or whether they’re all alone with no one around.
Because to be classy means living by the standards you set for yourself, what you believe is right, and sticking to those standards even when no one will judge you otherwise.
11. She’s A Role Model For Others
Everyone loves a hero. They’re people to look up to. They show that it’s possible for someone to be so kind and forgiving; it’s possible for someone to be strong and confident enough to stand up for others.
When you’re with classy woman, you know it.
She inspires you to be a better version of yourself every day.
She motivates you to work harder and reach farther because she’s truly invested in seeing you reach your full potential.
She uses her platform to speak up about important issues affecting the people that she knows.
She isn’t afraid to stand up for truth when others are afraid of the repercussions.
These actions that she takes may inspire others to do the same, which is just what she hopes for.
12. She Empathizes And Connects With Others
When there’s someone feeling discouraged and unsure how to process their feelings, she’s there to help them.
She doesn’t judge or criticize others. Instead, she listens to them and gives them the attention they need.
She might go so far as to cancel her plans just to comfort a friend.
This is also why good women tend to have very deep and intimate relationships around her.
Her relationships are important to her, so she invests her time and energy in keeping them up.
13. She Speaks Up When She Needs To
Some women tend to withhold their opinions for fear of being called out for possibly being too emotional or different.
The social pressure might force her to simply stay quiet while, say, she continues earning less than her coworkers.
Classy women tend to be confident women as well.
They know their own values and empower others to speak up against injustices and inequality when they encounter it.
She knows that staying quiet won’t make the problems go away, so she takes action to try to change it. She doesn’t yell about it either; she remains calm and stern to assert her position.
14. She Doesn’t Discriminate
While she has felt discriminated against before simply because of who she is, she doesn’t take revenge for it.
She’s the better person.
To discriminate is only to follow in the line of hatred and inequality. By being welcoming and accepting of others, she breaks the chain and stands as a model for others.
Whether it’s someone who spoke against her or someone that didn’t believe in her, she has the strength within her to forgive them.
She sees that in the grand scheme of things, grudges and small arguments aren’t worth dividing people for.
15. She Doesn’t Let Anyone Define Her
There’s a tendency for some to let others define who they are.
They let trends define their fashion style.
They let groups of people define their personality and behavior – even if it goes against what they believe in.
Along the way, they begin to lose their sense of self. They forget who they are and recede into the crowd.
Classy women understand that who they are is not up for anyone else to decide; it’s up to them.
While others may see them as strange and different, she’s just trying to be who she is.
She lives her life according to her own set of values; honesty, love, integrity, respect, and humility, among others.
The world has an unlimited supply of good women.
Look around, and you might see them in the single mother trying to keep a roof over her family’s head.
Or the self-made entrepreneur that offers the opportunities that she never had while she hustled her way to the top.
The definitions of what being truly “good” is are broad and tend to be relative.
But there are certain values that we, as human beings, agree to be good qualities in anyone: having a capacity for love, being confident, kind, fair, and humble.
These are the qualities not only of a classy woman but of a good person.