Last week I read an article titled “21 Gentleman Traditions That Still Apply Today.”
Being self-appointed Internet Accuracy Police (especially on the days that start with p-week), I thought “Huh. We’ll just see about that.”
I read it. I agreed with all 21 points. I agreed so much, in fact, I may have swooned. The points of manliness discussed were accurate and absolute truth, and I wish the man I love (who is already great) would do a few more of them.
Not to be outdone, and as an advocate for the abolition of hypocrisy, I thought it would be best to create a complimentary list for us women. A list that teaches us to be more than what we are, by being everything we used to be. A list that encourages us to become a complimentary counterpart to the masculine companionship we desire, and challenges us to be better.
This is an article about being a lady, a woman who exhibits traits of self-respect, politeness, culture, decor, propriety, respect, manners, modesty, and elegance.
21 Lost Ladylike Behaviors That We Really Need Today
1. She accepts chivalry.
When a man (or anyone) opens the door for her, she accepts it as a gesture of kindness and says “Thank you.” She does not read into it, assume he’s trying to make her look bad, take it as an implication of stupidity, or believe he’s trying to prove that she’s weak. Men are created to fight for a treasure and then keep it safe. She wants to be a treasure, so she acts like one.
2. She saves herself.
She brings her own coat. A lady understands that expecting someone else to be cold (or put out or in danger or inconvenienced in any way) because she failed to plan is not an opportunity for them to be kind, it is an act of rudeness by her. If she does forget a coat or is caught unprepared, she accepts the help that is offered to her and makes mental note to be better prepared next time. (See point 1 above.)
3. She speaks with uplifting kindness.
She uses her words to lift up, not break down. A lady understands that men are people too, no matter how tough they think they are or how tough she thinks they should be. A lady has in her the capacity to be a bitch, but uses her powers only to protect and defend, not attack or harm.
4. She thinks before she speaks at all.
She speaks with wisdom and avoids a foolish, flapping tongue. Every comment a lady makes is worth the air and effort required to make it. For her, there are no wasted words.
5. She doesn’t nag.
A lady understands that harpies are not attractive. She speaks her mind with intentional clarity and plainly states her expectations one time. If her desires are not met she fills them herself. (See point 2.)
6. She dresses like she’s got something hidden on the inside, and that it’s worth protecting.
A lady need not display her assets to everyone walking by. She is a treasure, and the things that matter most about her cannot be seen from the outside. She dresses to show she knows her true worth. A lady knows that not all attention is the same, and attention gained with flesh is fleeting. Broken relationships are built on such things.
7. She is honest.
100% honest with everyone, but first and mostly with herself. A lady knows that integrity is the basis for trust, and without the trust of others she cannot be effective in relationships or in life.
8. She works hard.
A lady refuses to complete any task half-assed, and she refuses to take the easy way out in any way, shape, or form. She understands that the worth of any outcome is reflected directly by the effort required to obtain it, and so she puts forth her best effort. It used to be that the men would work in the fields and the women would work equally hard in the home, then help in the fields. Ladies are built for hard work, but rarely do we do it.
9. She loves before all things.
She loves first, loves second, listens third, and speaks her opinion forth. She aspires to leave every person she meets better than they were when she found them, and lives her life heart first.
10. She stays mentally, physically, and emotionally fit.
“Fit” is measured by effort, not results. A lady’s shape is not nearly as relevant or important as the work she puts in to her health. She invests in her body, heart, and mind and cares for herself because she knows that she cannot be her best when she is falling apart.
11. She is consistently groomed.
She grooms herself like she is worth grooming. She brushes her hair, not because her husband is on his way home, but because she is worth the effort. A lady creates and outside appearance that exhibits self-respect and the expectation of worthy treatment. Although a lady knows how to sweat and is not afraid to do it (see point 8), she understands that cleanliness has its own time and (dominant) place.
12. She is creative.
She expresses herself and brings beauty and grace to the world around her through her creative efforts.
13. She is helpful.
A lady helps everyone she should, and as many as she can. She does not question “What’s in it for me,” but gives with selfless generosity in order to illuminate gratitude. Her giving brings balance to her life.
14. She runs her home.
A lady cooks. Cleans. Sews, mends, bakes, knits, fixes, remodels, tends. She does these things not because it is expected of her, but because her home is her domain and she cares for it with authority, supervision, respect, and responsibility.
15. She respects others.
A lady shows respect to everyone, not just to those she feels are deserving of it. She does not do this because society demands it of her, but because she understands that respect is earned and she wishes to be respected in kind. Men are creatures of respect, and a lady makes the effort to speak the male language.
16. She leads by example.
A lady never points fingers and says “do as I say, nevermind what I do.” She is aware of her actions and choices and the image she creates of herself to those around her. A lady’s children will exhibit her character not because she tells them what to do, but because she shows them what is expected, every day.
17. She keeps her legs closed.
Whether she’s sitting in a skirt or dating someone new, a lady understands the concept of modesty. Although she is sexually liberated and accepting of her sexual energy, she understands the equal importance of discernment and modesty. Most importantly, a lady understands that someday she will be required to account for all her sexual choices, and she holds a sense of respect for the last man she’ll ever love.
18. She knows she’s not a man, so she does not try to prove she is the same.
A lady does not try to act like a man. Not in a “what do you mean I can’t chug a beer” kind of way, but with respect and understanding that we are weaker vessels. WeakER does not mean WEAK, but a lady recognizes and accepts that she is smaller than her male counterpart. She knows she needs help sometimes (see point 1), and she accepts it (both the reality of her limitations and the help itself).
19. She uses her manners.
When she’s done downing that beer like a champ and her burp (unintentional or otherwise) shakes the rafters, a lady says, “Excuse me.” She does not talk about throw-up at the table. She does not fart in public or sniff her armpits in the elevator before a meeting. She does not interrupt, chew with her mouth open, scratch her crotch, or brush her teeth in the drinking fountain. A lady exhibits a gentle spirit, and avoids gross behavior.
20. She demands nothing.
At most, a lady asks nicely for what she wants. She does not demand. She expects even less than she asks for, because she is willing to do for herself what needs to be done (see point 2).
21. She lets him chase.
A lady does not pursue. She may get in the way, make herself conspicuous and easily noticeable, but she does not make the pursuer’s effort. One of the most feral desires of men is to conquer; a lady understands this and allows him to hunt for her affection. In this day and age women forget this need of men, then pursue and chase and manipulate and tempt, then they wonder why men are lazy and never take them out or buy them flowers. “He didn’t have to do that to get you, why would he do that now?”
Four more for the modern woman:
22. She protects herself.
Self-defense classes, pepper spray, taser, handgun. Check, check, check, check. A lady knows her worth, and she is willing to defend it.
23. She is the same person all the time.
Online, at home, at work, with kids, with adults, with friends, and with family. Although different aspects of her identity may show to some and not others, a lady maintains only one fundamental character. If the person she is on Facebook is not the same person she is by herself at home, she’s lying to herself and something needs to be fixed (see point 7). If you’re a man and the woman you know in person is not the same one you know online, RUN. It’s a trap.
24. She lives the fullest life she possibly can, even before and without Prince Charming.
A lady understands that her worth is her own choosing, not dependent upon a relationship status. IF prince charming shows up in her life, she will scooch over to make room. OVER, NOT BACK.
25. She defines herself.
A lady does not depend on her circumstances, life, situation, relationship, family, friends, failures, or accomplishments to define her, she understands that it is her character that makes her who she is. She knows that all she’s worth is in her already, and that nothing outside of her can take it from her.
Understand this: “ladylike” does not confine you to a quiet corner of the sitting room, obediently sipping tea and darning socks before returning barefoot to the kitchen. GOOD THING, or I’d never stand a chance.
“Ladylike” is a description of character, most clearly defined when compared to its masculine counterpart. “Ladylike” is perceptive, and only stark when in comparison to a man that holds his own.
And, until I found the right man, I was convinced I was masculine. I was sure I was absolutely not a lady, then HE found me. The man I love found me, and the feminine space beside him was large enough for me to slide in as I am, without shrinking, without hiding.
True harmony and companionship is not found when a man stands up and behaves as a gentleman, or when a woman behaves like a lady. It happens when we do those things TOGETHER, at the same time, as a pair, as a team.
Before we point a finger at the men of the world and say “Why aren’t you doing more,” let’s take a long, hard look at who we are.
…and remember point number 2. It’s up to us to save ourselves.
Live every day like it’s your last one. Find yourself, own your truth, and change your whole world. Forge Depth, and never stop digging.
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