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How to be Classy: 20 Traits that Command Awe and Respect

how to be classy

People are emotional – that’s just a fact. But, you do have control over yourself. If you need some tips, here is how to be classy.

We live in a world that bombards us with bad behavior. From reality shows like Survivor where the people lie and back stab each other, to the Real Housewives, un-classy behavior seems to be the norm.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to act like a crazy person. In fact, I think it’s really important to take the high road and be as respectful as possible at all times.

How to be classy – 20 tips that make all the difference

Usually, our behavior is modeled after our parents’. So, if you only saw lying, backstabbing, cheating, or any other kind of bad behavior in your childhood, don’t worry. It’s never too late to transform yourself into a highly classy individual. So here are some tips for how to be classy.

#1 Don’t create drama. Unfortunately, some people thrive on drama. They will lie, pick fights, and say or do anything to get people riled up. But that’s not classy. If you want to know how to be classy, don’t go creating drama. Just don’t.

#2 Stay away from drama. Okay, so many you’re not a drama creator, but if you even participate in drama, then that’s not classy. Perhaps your friend passes on a story about another mutual friend, and then you both decide to hold a grudge. That’s not classy. Don’t hang around people who create drama, and certainly participate or pass it on.  [Read: Drama queen alert! 12 classy ways to deal with a diva]

#3 Dress tastefully. The media tells women that we need to dress “sexy” or “slutty” to gain a man’s attention. Well, that’s just bull. Sometimes, less is more. Don’t show up to a job interview or a first date looking like a call girl. Dress like you respect yourself and that you feel like you have nothing to prove with your body.

#4 Be polite. Ahhhh, what ever happened to saying “please” and “thank you?” What happened to opening and holding doors for random strangers? These basic etiquettes are slowly becoming a thing of the past *or so it seems*. Don’t be selfish – think about others and have behaviors toward them that is polite. [Read: 15 tips to be nice and loved by all in just a couple of minutes]

#5 Be respectful. Just because you are a liberal and your friend is a conservative, that doesn’t give you the right to trash them and their beliefs. Everyone deserves respect, so always remember that.

Treat the CEO of your company just the same way you do the janitors – or a homeless person. If you want to know how to be classy, this is definitely one you can’t forget.

#6 Don’t be jealous. I know… jealousy is a natural human emotion. However, that doesn’t mean you have to talk about it or act upon it. Classy people keep it to themselves or share it with a very close friend. They don’t go raging on about their jealousy. That’s just not cool. Or classy.

#7 Be happy. You might not think happiness is part of learning how to be classy. But happy people have no need to prove themselves to others. And because of that, they don’t have to resort to doing anything that might embarrass themselves just to get attention. [Read: 13 happy things you need for a perfectly happy life]

#8 Have passions. If you want to know how to be classy, have some passions! If you don’t have any, then just try things out. Everyone will find a passion eventually. Classy people have a sense of purpose, and they follow their passions.

#9 Watch your body language. Many times, people aren’t even aware of the messages they send to others via their body language. But classy people are more conscious of it. They restrain themselves from rolling their eyes or getting too touchy-feely on the first date if it’s inappropriate. [Read: The classy girl’s guide to be more attractive to men]

#10 Don’t jump on the bandwagon. There will always be fads and trend that are cool and fun to try. But just because all of your friends are doing something, wearing something, or saying something doesn’t mean you have to as well. Be your own person and think about your actions before you jump on the bandwagon.

#11 Don’t be a selfie queen/king. Whether or not we want to admit it, taking selfies and posting them on social media on a regular basis is kind of obnoxious. Sorry to offend anyone who does this, but research shows that one of the reasons they do it is to seek attention. If you want to know how to be classy, then stop making it all about yourself. [Read: How to be graceful and elegant in 10 easy ways]

#12 Have empathy. Speaking about making it all about yourself, classy people also have empathy for others. Even if they don’t agree with what other people say or do, they still express that they understand their point of view. When learning how to be classy, this is one of the vital characteristics you must possess.

#13 Have self-confidence. Many people think that being self-confident is cocky or arrogant. But it’s not. The people who come across as cocky or self-loving are the ones who really don’t feel good about themselves. Classy people just have a vibe they give out to the world that shouts, “I’m a great person, I love myself, but I have no need to announce it to the whole world.” [Read: How to build self-confidence – 16 ways to realize you’re worth it]

#14 Don’t ever lose your cool. Emotions are hard to control, and some find it even more difficult than others. But even when you are angry at someone, you will want to remain calm so you don’t say or so something you’ll regret.

Take a break and walk away if you can’t do it in the moment. Don’t let your emotions rule your life and ruin your relationships.

#15 Be authentic. Everyone can spot a fake person from a mile away. And being fake isn’t classy. If you’re always trying to be someone you’re not, ask yourself why you are doing that? Just be authentic. Be yourself. Be honest. All of those things are vital if you want to know how to be classy.

#16 Be true to yourself. What I mean by this is that you should stay true to your values and beliefs. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Don’t be a people-pleaser or a doormat. Know your personal boundaries, and don’t be afraid to kindly and gently tell people when they have crossed over them. [Read: People pleaser – 20 common signs most people just don’t see]

#17 Surround yourself with positive people. Positivity breeds positivity. And classiness breeds classiness. So, if you’re hanging out with a crowd of people who don’t love themselves, create drama, participate in drama, and always lose their cool, chances are that you will end up being like that. So, you need to find people who are classy, so you can all be classy together.

#18 Think before you speak. Your mom probably told you this a hundred times growing up, but it’s true. Once you say something, you can’t take it back. We all get upset, but that doesn’t mean we have to blurt out every negative thing that comes to our mind.

#19 Don’t gossip. Gossip is potentially hurtful. Whether the gossip is true or false, you are still talking about other people, and they may not appreciate it. So, don’t listen to gossip, and for heaven’s sake, don’t pass it on even if you do hear it. [Read: 14 surefire ways to keep it classy at a party]

#20 Take personal responsibility. If you want to know how to be classy, this one is the foundation of it all. Don’t blame other people. Instead, look within yourself and own up to your actions and words. It’s not easy for a lot of people to do, but it sure is classy.

[Read: 18 ways to have high self-esteem and start winning at life]

Taking the high road is always preferable to not doing it. So, if you want to know how to be classy, just follow these tips, and you’ll be on the right track.

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Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...

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