How to Be Gracious in the Modern World

Graciousness, to some people, is an old fashioned virtue whose time has come and gone, but for others, they know that graciousness is the hallmark of the successful person and certainly has its place in today’s society.

Graciousness is not just the hallmark of European royalty, although if you wanted to know what being gracious “looks like”, you could certainly start there.  The Queen of England is the epitome of good grace, BUT we don’t need to behave like royalty in order to be considered gracious ourselves, although we do need to learn to be gracious if we want to get ahead in life. 

 Gracious people make all those they meet feel good about being with them.  Who doesn’t like being in the company of someone who is polite yet friendly, considerate, kind, and has good manners?  You may not have grown up in an environment that taught you how to be gracious, but this is an attribute that anyone can learn… here are some tips to get you started.

  • Graciousness is a show of class. It means a pleasant and calm exterior. Even if and when those around you have forgotten their manners and lost their temper and dragging you into an argument, rise above it, be the better person, show some class, be a lady or a gentleman and don’t lower yourself to their standards. Refuse to be drawn into an argument. Excuse yourself and remove yourself.
  • Remember your manners in all things, even the little things.. Allow your elders or seniors to enter rooms before you; hold the door for them; always say please and thank you and excuse yourself if you must push past or intrude on another in some way.  Don’t eat the last cookie on the plate!  Always be polite.  Ask first… “May I …?” 
  • Don’t take anything without asking first – including chairs!  “Excuse me, is this seat taken?”  And if it isn’t and you can take it, say thank you.
  • Accept compliments gracefully, with a smile and a thank you, even if you don’t believe it.  If someone says, “that’s a nice coat”, you do not say, “Oh, this old thing!”  You can say something like, “Thank you, it’s my favorite”.
  • Whether you are being criticized during a meeting with your boss, or by anyone else, a gracious person does not lose their temper. Be calm.  Don’t respond until you have cooled down and able to respond calmly and demonstrate your maturity and “class”.
  • Bring other qualities of graciousness into your character and even if you don’t possess some or all of these qualities now, fake it until you make it.  Pretend you have those qualities – people who don’t know you won’t know if you are naturally well-mannered or pretending to be while you are learning! Whatever you practice regularly eventually becomes habit.  So, show respect for others, be patient, be courteous, show empathy, be kind, be cool, calm and collected.  If in doubt ask yourself, how would Princess Mary (or the princess or prince of your choice) respond to this, and emulate them.
  • Always RSVP to invitations and whether you can or cannot accept, always say thank you.  Likewise, when somebody RSVPs to your invitation, thank them for doing so.
  • Don’t wait to be asked for your help. If you can see others need your help, offer it.
  • Be a good loser. If you lose (a job promotion or a pageant contest), keep that kind smile on your face; congratulate the winner sincerely, shake their hand, and refrain from saying anything negative to anyone.  Even if it was rigged, a gracious person does not say that, apart from which if it was rigged, most intelligent people already know that without you commenting.
  • Drop any habits you might have that even remotely resemble aggression, hot temper, argumentativeness, etc.  Do not participate in road rage!  If someone cuts in front of you, on the road or standing in a queue, a gracious person realizes that this rude person is lower down the class scale than they are otherwise they wouldn’t have been so rude, and as with all people who are not as gracious as yourself, you say nothing and you do nothing, because if you do, you drag yourself down to their ungracious level!
  • Remember the three wise monkeys:  Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil – not sure if that is the right order, but the important point here is a gracious person obviously does not associate with bad deeds, wrong doing, illegal or evil activity. Also avoid temptation if it might lead you astray!

 Graciousness is not a quality that is hidden. It is always on display and shown by your behavior, mannerisms, responses, reactions, and attitude.  YOU are always on display, therefore, your graciousness must always be on display… which is why you must never let yourself be dragged down to the level of those beneath you on the personal development ladder.  They may or may not figure it out themselves one day; it is not your job to point their shortcomings out to them – a gracious person would never do that! 

Imagine a world where every single person was gracious and considerate and thought of others with respect.  Well, we can’t change other people… we can only change ourselves, but the effort is well worth it because your life will change in positive ways once you do!

Be the change you want to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Education, coaching, training and support tools for pageant contestants