What makes someone elegant?
Is it what you wear? Is it how you carry yourself? Or is it how you behave?
The truth is that it’s a combination of classy characteristics.
Let’s take a look at the clear signs you’re the epitome of elegance!
1) You’re mindful of what you say
This isn’t about censoring yourself.
Elegant is certainly empowered, not meek. And that means comfortably speaking up for yourself and others.
No, what I mean is this:
You don’t mindlessly speak before you think.
Everyone has the potential to put their foot in their mouth. But elegant people do so far less often.
Perhaps because they aren’t so quick to jump in without thinking.
They realize that words are powerful spells and you should be careful before casting them.
Sometimes it really is better to be happy than to be right. That can mean choosing to say nothing and biting your tongue.
At other times it’s about speaking up in a way that is most effective.
An elegant person knows this to be true:
‘You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.’
It’s a far better idea to be polite and flattering towards others than demanding and hostile.
A healthy dose of diplomacy is a skill that goes hand in hand with elegance.
2) Your body language comes across as confident and warm
A big smile, good posture, and the right amount of eye contact.
These elements come together to create an air of grace when you walk into the room.
Contrary to popular belief, the epitome of elegance has little to do with your looks. But it does have a lot to do with your appearance.
Let me explain:
Being good-looking doesn’t make you elegant.
What does is the way you choose to present yourself to the outside world.
Research has shown that wearing a smile on your face makes you instantly more attractive.
In fact, one study even found that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
The truth is:
An elegant person knows how to hold themselves in a way that shows class.
That includes making confident moves like:
- Standing up straight rather than slouching
- Looking people in the eye
- Keeping your head held high
- Avoid fidgeting
- Don’t be afraid to take up space
3) You’re subtle yet still make an impact
Being understated is elegant.
I love this definition of elegance as being a “beauty that shows unusual effectiveness and simplicity.”
That might mean in the way you dress. But it’s more about the way you behave.
Think of it this way:
When was the last time you saw an elegant person attention-seeking?
It doesn’t really happen, right?
They don’t really need to. They sort of steal the limelight without even trying.
Instead of hogging the conversation or desperately trying to get all eyes on them, they are more of a team player.
They’re gracious in their dealings with others.
They want to hear what other people think and feel.
When you are dealing with the epitome of elegance it’s not the “me show” it’s the “we show”.
4) You’re charming
The epitome of elegance has an undeniably captivating quality.
There’s a subtle yet distinctive difference between being nice and being utterly charming. And people who are the epitome of elegance tend to fall into the latter category.
Are you charming?
If you tick off a few of the things on this list, chances are you most certainly are (even if you’re unaware of it).
- You’re sincere
- You’re attentive to others
- You are inquisitive
- You’re not quick to judge
- You offer praise
- You remember people’s name
- You’re tactful
We should never underestimate the skill of charm and what it can do for you.
“Charm is more valuable than beauty. You can resist beauty. But you can’t resist charm.”
— Audrey Tautou.
That’s why being the epitome of elegance means you most likely ooze charm wherever you go.
5) You’re compassionate
Compassion and empathy are the traits that give true elegance an almost angelic quality.
Researchers have proven that altruism is one of the most attractive things we look for in someone.
Turns out kindness is sexy.
So is it any surprise that it’s also elegant?
We could all probably do with embodying greater compassion, and not just because it’s an instant elegance boost.
But also because studies have proven that kindness has a whole host of benefits:
- Improved happiness
- A longer life
- Better mental health
- A stronger immune system
- Reduced anxiety, stress, and depression
- Improved relationships
Whatsmore, compassion creates a so-called ‘positive feedback loop’.
Meaning the kinder you are the better you feel, and the better you feel the kinder you become!
Every elegant person knows that kindness costs nothing but its value is priceless.
6) You can keep a lid on your emotions
Never let it be said that elegance comes easily.
In fact, there are aspects of elegance that are downright difficult.
Rather than being something that comes naturally, it’s something that requires practice.
The traits needed to display elegance can involve plenty of personal growth. That involves a good dose of self-awareness.
Here’s the thing:
Elegant people have to know how to handle themselves with grace. That requires keeping control in tricky situations.
When was the last time you saw someone who is the epitome of elegance have a temper tantrum?
I’m guessing never.
You never see an elegant person fly off the handle and have a full meltdown. And that means having the restraint to hold back sometimes.
Of course, it’s not about being an emotional robot.
It’s just that you have the self-understanding and self-control to keep a hold of your strong emotions. That way you can find healthy outlets for them.
You know that there is a time and a place for everything.
7) You don’t impose on others
Elegant people most certainly do not take advantage of others’ kindness.
That means they avoid being an imposition.
The epitome of elegance involves a healthy amount of independence.
You’re certainly no damsel in distress that’s for sure.
Whilst you are perfectly happy to graciously accept help and support, you stand on your own two feet.
What might that look like?
Well, for example, you’ll gratefully accept an invitation to have dinner at a friend’s house. But you won’t outstay your welcome.
It won’t take countless yawns and some big hints about needing to get up early in the morning, that’s for sure.
Neither do you overstep the mark with people you meet. This all centers on boundaries.
You have a healthy and clear set of your own boundaries. But you also know how to respect other people’s boundaries.
That means that you don’t inadvertently tread on toes.
Which also goes hand in hand with the next sign on our list…
8) You’re skilled at reading the room
When you’re able to read a room what you’re actually doing is picking up on cues.
Sometimes these are very subtle and often non-verbal.
But in order to react appropriately, elegance requires this sociable skill in spades.
You are most likely adept at responding to even the smallest of reactions in others.
The gift of being able to read the room often requires:
- Staying present and paying attention
- Listening well to others
- Noticing people’s body language
- Reading between the lines
This highlights how elegance is far more than how you conduct yourself, it involves a great deal of emotional intelligence.
It demands responding to live feedback.
You can quickly decode others’ behavior and know how to react.
9) You’re patient with others
They say that patience is a virtue, and for good reason.
Think about it:
If we could all learn to have a little more, it would save us all so much drama.
I know this is the sign of elegance that I most want to work on.
That’s because patience sounds so simple, but is so hard to practice.
Or is it just me?
It’s easy to lose your temper when you’re having a bad day. Or to snap mindlessly at someone when you’re feeling frustrated.
Some of the most elegant people in the world seem to have endless patience.
Patience towards others is a beautiful thing because it helps them to feel comfortable around us.
It’s actually just another form of kindness when you think about it.
Patient people play an important part in cultivating a more peaceful world, rather than a stressful one.
10) You treat everybody the same
We’ve talked a lot in this article about what elegance is.
But here’s something it’s most certainly NOT:
Elegance isn’t snobby.
Sure, there is an air of class that comes with elegance. But that’s got zilch to do with money or even status.
The most elegant people treat everybody with dignity and respect, no matter who they are.
They don’t exclusively turn on the charm when they want to use it to their advantage.
They are just as kind, patient, tactful, and tasteful no matter who they’re speaking to.
As German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said:
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”