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THE ETTIQUETTE OF BEING A LADY

Updated on June 19, 2013

keep your legs together

PREVIEW

The whole idea of being a lady can never be fun. I love to sing loudly to any song off key in my bathroom. I love to wear jeans and sneakers and walk around comfortably. I do not mind paying at the mall in pennies only if need be. I do not speak perfect flowing English, I try to force it so many times, it just does not come out like the Britons, and English after all is my fifth language. All these though and more will not get people to take me seriously. In the corporate world, people will only accept you based on the impression they have created about you, they will only trust you if you look sober enough to learn and do not seem very far off from normalcy. This is the force that drove me to training myself on how to be a lady or how to behave like one if need be for a given function. I strongly believe that for one to become a lady it takes practice, in acting at times you can blow your cover. People often say be yourself, but then you can only be yourself if you are at your peak like Bill Gates and the like. Normal people really depend on others to move one step to the next. If I am going to be judged on the impression I create so be it. I will the rather be a lady. Or mostly act as one. Let us do this!

POSTURE

Sitting or standing in an upright position; rather than the health benefits it has for your backbone, is a sign of being a lady. Slouching or leaning is a no.It is also good to remember to sit with your legs together, maybe with your toes facing each other, your hand on the lap. Do not lean or sleep on the table while addressing others. Maintaining eye contact while addressing others is also a sign of interest and a sign of confidence. Keeping your eyes off the roof and the floor whenever necessary. Introduce a new person who joins you to the one you were addressing before their arrival, remembering their titles. Some people can kill you for not adding Professor or Doctor or lieutenant, it is good to be keen to the titles of others.

RESPECT AND WARMTH

No matter whether one is bluffing about a religion or football club you hate. Do not interrupt; give them attention hoping it ends soon. A lady never interrupts before another person has finished talking. If another person interrupts your talking, quietly note where you ended your conversation so that you can pick from their. After all you are the lady, they haven’t told you they are interested in being good mannered? You gain more from such especially if they picked off your conversation from a point of poor understanding when you eventually proceed with ‘I meant….’ Practice breathing in and out whenever you lose your temper that way you will never have to shout. Practising small gestures of being helpful to young children, old people or just picking a pen that has dropped on the ground may make you pass for a prince or princess, when actually naturally you break queues to get to the front!!!Compliment others personally, if I wear a beautiful hat today, I will feel much better if you tell me I have a unique sense of style. Smile more every smile is beautiful.

DOMESTIC MANNERS

When you visit a home belonging to others. Do not behave like you already belong. It is respectful to let the host talk more, show you where to sit .You may compliment the décor but asking how much it cost may come out very badly for some people. Most ladies are protective of their houses ask politely where you can put your handbag or shoes for the duration you are around. A lady has self control. I never knew eating was such a problem until I attended a camp. If you are a loud eater, train yourself to bite more slowly, cut your food into manageably pieces too, it makes chewing easier. Do not overeat over drink or talk vulgar. Save any vulgar discussions for your familiar crowds.

Eat food in small manageable portions

DRESS CODE

Maintaining a good daily hygiene is crucial. Being a lady is a daunting task. It is good to brush your teeth regularly and in between meals. Whenever possible smell nice. It is worth it to invest in a good perfume, buying cheap smelly perfumes is a no. Maintaining a good shaving a tweezing regimen leaves your skin soft and touchable. Skirts and dresses bring out femininity well. Where trousers can be worn choose a good pair of material pants over jeans. Track suits should only be worn to the gym and so are those shinny leather or nylon pants to the bar. Choose clothes well based on your body type; do not hang into clothes like a curtain and neither squeeze into clothes. Clothes are better well ironed. A lady however beautiful does not wear very revealing clothes flaunting cleavage or exposing thighs. Apply makeup that is matching with your attire, too much make up calls too much attention ladies are confident. They are never desperately looking for attention.

TABLE MANNERS

Wait until food has been served for all others to start eating. Ideally ensure the person serving has unfolded their napkin in readiness to eat then unfold yours too. No matter how much you are in a hurry wait!

There is always a temptation to eat as you talk, avoid this at all costs, where you cannot avoid kindly cover your mouth with your napkin and talk less. Compliment the host on the food well cooked, no matter how gross it tastes, it is worth the effort. Do not lie though, say something rational. Do not stretch your hand across other plates to get say a salt shaker, ask the person nearby to pass it to you and try as much as possible to concentrate on the food. It is polite, constant use of mobile phone may send a message to the host that after all you have better issues to handle than the meal at hand. Whenever necessary excuse yourself out. Remember to keep your elbows off the table or avoid leaning on the table. You may cause an accident and dirty your ‘lady’ clothes. Finally ensure you use your hands minimally. A lady does not come out of a dinner table with lips plastered in food and fingers clogged with food.


TAKE TIME TO ACQUIRE RELEVANT SKILLS

Take your time to learn about countries,people,their culture and even language.People will find it rude and eventually find you boring if you cannot easily relate to them from a knowledgeable point of view.They may not even trust you with anything.Where possible learn few essential vocabulary of the language of the people you expect to meet.They will respect you for trying even if you do not come out as perfect.Ladies do not have to be blonde,if you are meeting business executives,find out the topic of interest and try to get some heads up.No one likes people who nod to things they do not know and those who go to a meeting without any clue why they are there.It cannot be that bad.Thank God for google.If it wasn’t for impressions I would never what to be a lady anywhere in this world!!

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    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Slow and respectful is good. :)

    • Livingtwentyfirst profile imageAUTHOR

      Betty Tobiko 

      5 years ago from Mombasa.

      Thank you LongTime Mother for dropping by.I wouldnt describe myself as a perfect lady especially here in Mombasa in Nairobi I would pass for a lady without a doubt.Mombasa has a culture of Arabic and Swahili majorly,other than the immigrants from the mainland me included,most people here are slow and respectful.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 

      5 years ago from Australia

      You must be the most lady-like lady in Mombasa. I can see you have given this a lot of thought.

      Thank you for reminding me about the rules of good manners. I think we all forget some of them sometimes. :)

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