“Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste…”
Let me interject:
Are you really?
Let’s take a look at how cultured you really are, and trust me, it’s not about money, so we’re going to focus on the “taste” part…
The top 10 signs that show you’re truly a cultured person.
Let’s get started, shall we?
1) You know a little about a lot
The first of the signs that show you’re a cultured person is that you know a little about a lot.
You may be a lawyer or a construction worker, but your knowledge extends far beyond your domain.
You remember fun facts and interesting tidbits from history, art, music and almost anything.
You’re the type who can likely watch Jeopardy and get a surprisingly large amount of the answers right.
“How did you know that?” people ask.
The reason is your innate curiosity.
Cultured people are genuinely curious.
They like to learn new things and be introduced to new forms of expression and creativity.
The truly cultured individual isn’t putting on a show or trying to feel better than anyone else.
He or she is simply endlessly curious about life and the world, and as a result they know many different things.
2) You practice good manners and etiquette
Next up in the signs that show you’re a cultured person is that you practice good manners and etiquette.
You do this not only for formal situations or among close associates and colleagues, but with everyone you come across.
You make it a point to put your best foot forward whenever possible and do your best to comport yourself excellently in all contexts.
- You drive and navigate traffic respectfully
- You eat tastefully and use your cutlery properly
- You speak in a respectful and clear manner
- You express gratitude when somebody helps you
- You avoid unnecessary arguments in favor of cooperation
- You clean up after yourself, do dishes and organize your clothes and living space
These are all signs of a person of integrity who also cares about others and the spaces they live and work in.
The cultured individual is somebody who brings their sense of class and refinement to every situation, even in terms of being practically responsible and organized.
3) You appreciate quality art, music and cuisine
Next up in the top signs that show you’re a cultured person is that you appreciate quality art, music and cuisine.
This is where you get into the question of who or what determines quality.
In my view, quality has both subjective and objective elements.
You may subjectively enjoy art, food and music of many different varieties.
But it’s fair to objectively assess whether that art, food or music is high-quality within its own context.
For example, if you love street art, rap and Italian food, it’s fair to ask whether you like high-quality rap, graffiti and Italian food or whether any old junk will do.
The same goes for if you like Baroque art, classical music and fine French cuisine.
Is it actually good, or does it just sound classy? Would someone take a bite of that French cuisine and genuinely say “wow” or would they just pretend to like it to seem sophisticated?
4) You understand the basics of the world’s largest faiths
Next up in the top signs that show you’re a cultured person is that you have learned about what people around the world believe.
Granted there are thousands of philosophies, spiritual paths and religious denominations.
But at least you know your way around many of the largest and most influential ones such as Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Jainism, paganism, indigenous knowledge systems and more.
You have a genuine curiosity in the worldview and cosmology of people from every culture and background, and you understand that not everyone has to agree with each other.
“Religious literacy—the knowledge of basic teachings, symbols, practices, founders, institutions, and values of the world’s major religious traditions—can help us to better understand the world around us.”
5) You read literature from around the globe
Next up in being cultured, we get to reading.
You may not be a massive reader or enjoy the activity very much, and that’s perfectly fine.
But if and when you do pick up a book or flip on your Kindle, try to read literature that spans the breadth, not just one genre or type.
Read influential and renowned authors from the past and present, and try out reading people from all over the world.
You’ll be surprised how much you learn about other cultures, histories and peoples.
6) You’re familiar with various cultures other than your own
On a related note to the fifth sign is that you are familiar with other cultures than your own.
Reading will help in this regard, as will having friends from many different backgrounds and traveling or working in other cultures.
Whatever opportunities life and chance provides you, you have a definite interest in finding out more about other cultures and looking at life through different eyes.
This makes you cultured in the most literal sense:
You’re full of knowledge and interest in culture at home and around the world.
7) You’re interested in tastes and styles different than your own
Next up in the signs that show you’re a cultured person is that you’re interested in exploring tastes and interests that are different than your own.
These may be different styles of clothing, cuisine, architecture, music, art, literature or home decor, out they all catch your attention.
You may even enjoy learning more about friends and people you meet who have totally different taste than you.
Whether or not you share their style, you enjoy seeing what appeals to other people and comparing it with what resonates with you.
In short, you’re cultured because you care about how you and others react to and perceive beauty and ugliness in their lives.
8) You don’t seek immediate gratification and appreciate subtlety
Another of the key signs that show you’re a cultured person is that you are able to delay gratification.
Evolution has designed a lot of us to appreciate rewards as soon as possible:
Sex, sugar, junk food, monetary payoff, leveling up in the video game and so on…
But as a cultured person you’re willing to be a bit more patient with your goals and with life.
You don’t need music to immediately build to a crescendo…
You don’t need a relationship to immediately lead to sex…
You don’t need to keep eating more and more just because it tastes good…
You’re fine ordering juice over Coke.
Cultured, I tell you.
9) You have a unique and compelling sense of personal style
In terms of your own style, one of the key signs that show you’re a cultured person is that you have your own unique style.
As Gianni Versace put it:
“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are.”
That’s exactly what you do.
You love to dress well, feel great and find clothes that fit, particularly tailored clothes.
But it’s not all about brand name or price, it’s much more about what defines and helps express who you are and what you stand for.
It’s much more about having and perfecting your own personal style and having it truly express you.
10) You are a trusted source of recommendations for friends and family
Lastly in the very important signs that show you’re a cultured person is that others turn to you for recommendations.
When they want to know where to visit when they’re traveling, or what artists you particularly recommend looking into, they come to you…
When they’re hunting for new films they don’t read the reviews, they ask you what films you recommend that have truly opened your mind in the past while…
This is more than just flattery.
If you’re being asked for your recommendations, it’s because people believe you have a discernment or taste that merits particular respect or interest.
Even if your picks aren’t their cup of tea, they trust you enough to go out on that limb and try.
It’s definitely a compliment and definitely a sign that you’re considered a cultured person of fine taste by others who know you.
Why be cultured, anyway?
The most uncultured thing to do is to try to be cultured in order to show off.
The nouveau riche are famous for doing this and regarded as hilariously gauche as a result.
Being cultured isn’t about putting the “right” art on your walls, liking the “classiest” classical music or wearing the trendiest obscure new threads.
Being cultured is about truly appreciating the finer things that you discover and celebrating and enjoying them.
The best and only reason to be cultured is because you have a true desire to refine your tastes and experience more.
Being cultured allows you to enjoy new forms of art, food, culture and literature.
The best reason to be cultured is because it’s worth it for its own sake!