Being graceful is about more than just not tripping over yourself. It’s not only a way of carrying your body, but of maintaining control over your actions as well as your thoughts. People who are graceful are naturally elegant without being aloof, and they care for other people and treat them with respect. Even if you’re famous for walking into doors, you too can be graceful with a bit of hard work.
Be comfortable in your own skin. People who are graceful are known to be in control of their bodies. They don’t tend to trip over their own feet or to let their limbs wildly flail, knocking over vases or cups of coffee. They carry themselves well and are comfortable in their own skin. If you want to be graceful, then you have to work on being aware of what your body is doing and where it is going at all times. This may sound easy to do, but you’d be surprised by how often people get distracted and don’t realize that they are invading another person’s space or sitting in an awkward position. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to be in control of your own body or to feel comfortable in your own skin. Still, working out, whether you’re running or rock climbing, helps you feel in touch with your own body.
Maintain proper posture. If you want to be graceful, then you have to stand up tall and proud and maintain a straight back even when you’re sitting. It can be tempting to slouch if you’re tired or just want to relax a bit, but if you get in the habit of having a straight back, you won’t even be bothered by having proper posture after a while. Even if the people you’re talking to tend to slouch, you shouldn’t follow suit just to mimic them. Work on standing tall and keeping your eyes straight ahead instead of looking at the ground if you’re walking and you’ll instantly look more graceful.
Having correct posture also helps you have confident body language. People who are graceful are also known to be confident because they’re proud of what they have to bring to the world. Slouching or curling up makes it look like you’re trying to hide, even if that’s not the case.
Breathe deeply and fully. Not only does this look and feel better, but it also improves your cognitive functions. Be mindful about your breathing and feel aware of your body as you breathe in and out. If you feel yourself getting stressed or overwhelmed, make a point of taking deep breaths until you feel yourself calming down.
As you may know from yoga, breathing in and out, and focusing on your breathing, helps you be in touch with your body and can make you a more centered person. This is a must if you want to be graceful.
Improve your flexibility. Having strong flexibility is part of having control over your body. You should make time for daily stretches so that you feel relaxed and not too tight throughout your day. This is especially important before you work out, or if you’re sitting at a desk all day and need to relax your back and neck a bit. Make time for stretches, even if you’re doing them in front of the TV, and you’ll be surprised by how much more graceful you feel.
Doing yoga can improve your flexibility tremendously. Take a beginner’s class and see what a difference just a few hours a week can make.
Dress gracefully. Your clothes don’t define you, but they can help you look more graceful. The most important thing is that you wear clothes that are clean, stylish, and well-fitting, and which give you an elegant and put-together look. Your clothes don’t have to be expensive; instead, they should be tasteful, not too loud or bright, and flattering.
Don’t wear clothing that restricts your movement in awkward ways. High heels may look graceful, for example, but they shouldn’t be worn for long periods. Baggy over-sized pants give you a weird shuffle that is not very graceful. Always wear clothes that make you feel confident and attractive, and style your hair accordingly.
Make sure that your clothes are free of wrinkles, and check them for stains after you eat.
It’s also not graceful to have a button popping open or to have your shirt halfway untucked, so do a clothes check every few hours.
If you want to go for a more elegant style, a simple black dress can do the trick. Also clothes in subtle colors, such as browns, pale pinks, or grays, can help you look more graceful.
To accessorize, just a pearl necklace, some simple stud earrings, or a silver bracelet can do the trick. You don’t want to overdo it with bulky accessories, which can keep you from looking graceful.
Wear makeup, if it suits you. Not all women like to wear makeup, and if you’re a woman who doesn’t like to do this, then don’t feel the pressure to to change. But if you do wear makeup, you should make sure your makeup is balanced and even and that it doesn’t come off as too dramatic at the wrong times. For example, you can wear bold eyeliner, but then you may not want to have super thick eyeshadow and heavy mascara as well. Just a bit of lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow and you should be good to go. Make sure that your foundation matches your skin color.
Remember that not enough makeup is always better than too much.
If you wear concealer or blush, make sure that it’s fully blended.
Walk with purpose. Keep your head up, your eyes forward, and walk at a natural brisk stride. People who are graceful don’t hunch over or dawdle; they know where they’re going and they’re proud to be going there. If you look at the floor, you’ll look lost or like you’re not confident. Looking straight ahead will also make it more likely that you’ll be making eye contact with people, which will also make you look and feel more confident and graceful.
Of course, if you’re walking next to someone with a slower walking pace, then you should slow your pace down out of respect.
Sit with grace. When you sit, don’t flop in a chair. Pull the chair out and sit down carefully. Though you don’t have to look like royalty sitting on a throne, you should avoid slouching and continue to sit with straight posture. Don’t lean back with your legs spread, and sit with your legs together or crossed instead. When you sit down, make sure you do it with care, no matter how tired you are.
If you’re sitting on a bus or a train, try not to take up too much room. Being a space hog isn’t very graceful.
Maintain your composure. People who are graceful aren’t often seen blowing up at people, saying things they regret, or hurling furniture through windows. They are composed and don’t let other people get to them and they know when to take a breather if they feel themselves getting angry. They aren’t seen ranting and raving or hurling insults at people, either. They tend to stay calm and to be a bastion of strength when others need them. That said, graceful people aren’t perfect. If you blow up at someone, you have to give a sincere apology.
Speak well. People who are graceful tend to be articulate, to speak at the right volume, and to not speak too fast or too slow. They are clear and direct in their language, have a varied vocabulary, and make their thoughts clear. They also tend to avoid cursing or using too much slang. Though it’s okay to pause sometimes when you’re gathering your thoughts, graceful people don’t tend to stutter or say “uh” or “um” or “like”
every other word. They have control over their words and they believe in what they say.
Part of speaking well means thinking before you speak. If you plan what you’re going to say before you say it, then you’ll be more likely not to have to backtrack and to be clear in your words.
In order to speak well, you should also have a mastery of proper grammar. For example, you shouldn’t say “Him and me went to the movies” when it’s really “He and I went to the movies,” and so on.
Take an acting class. Graceful people are poised and confident, both verbally and non-verbally. Learn some good gestures and movements, and use them. You don’t have to be the next Jack Nicholson to take an acting class. You can just use it to learn how to carry yourself with more poise and grace. It can also help you build confidence and learn how to speak in front of an audience, which is something that people with grace naturally excel at. You’ll also learn how to interact with a wider variety of people, which is also something that graceful people know how to do.
If an acting class isn’t up your alley, you can try taking a dance class or a ballet class. That can help with your poise, coordination, and composure as well.
Be polite. People who are graceful are polite. They don’t talk out of turn, they don’t offend people, and they don’t make off-color remarks, especially not in front of people they don’t know super well. They make a point of asking people how they are, of offering their seats to people who are standing, or just generally avoiding any vulgarities or unacceptable behavior. They are also considerate of others and make sure not to ask questions that are too personal or that make people uncomfortable. Good manners are a big part of being polite, too. You need to not chew with your mouth open, hold doors for people, stand when you’re introduced to a new person, look people in the eye when you talk to them, wait your place in line, and generally show good breeding if you want to be graceful.
Avoid bragging. It’s not very graceful to talk about how gorgeous, stylish, or accomplished you are. In fact, graceful people are very modest, and are proud of who they are without feeling the need to broadcast their achievements. You can talk about the things you love to do without making seem like you’re the best at it, and you can mention your hobbies or interests without mentioning your medals, prizes, or world records. Graceful people don’t seek validation from others and don’t need to show off to feel happy and fulfilled.
If you brag a lot, people will be less likely to hang out with you. You should feel grateful for all of the advantages you have in life instead of bragging about everything you’ve accomplished. Sure, you might have done a lot, but there’s no need to broadcast it if you want to handle your good luck and achievements with grace.
Have poise. Graceful people are known for their poise. They carry themselves with dignity and make an effort to stand tall, to not stumble around, and to have confidence and purpose in their bearing. People with poise don’t often get lost, get in arguments with people, or lose their sense of focus. If you want to be graceful, then you have to have poise both physically and in your temperament. Having poise means being balanced in all aspects of the word. People who have poise also maintain their poise in difficult situations. They don’t get flustered or fight back to people who are rude, vulgar, or mean.
Treating Others with Grace
Be considerate. Graceful people are always considerate of others. They make an effort to really listen and care for people and to put themselves in their shoes. They often think about how other people are feeling and make an effort to make them feel better and make their days feel easier. They give up their seats to people who are tired. They check on friends who they know are going through a hard time. They don’t go around being loud and disruptive and make sure not to bother people in public. If you want to be graceful, then being considerate is key.
To be considerate, you need to practice empathy and to really think about what another person is thinking and going through. For example, if your friend just got dumped by her longterm boyfriend, then she may not be too thrilled to hear about your hot new date just yet.
Be respectful. Graceful people are also known for being incredibly respectful to the people around them and they are always thoughtful in their actions. They don’t make offensive comments, they don’t step on other people’s toes, and they respect the privacy of others. They give credit where credit is due and they don’t interrupt people or insult them, to their face or behind their backs. Instead, they make a point of treating other people with the respect that they need and deserve.
People who are respectful don’t interrupt people when they are speaking. They don’t talk on the phone when they’re checking out at a counter. They don’t hog a four-person table at a cafe to themselves, either.
Be tactful. Graceful people demonstrate tact in their daily interactions. They understand that it’s important to choose their timing and words carefully and know that it’s important to deliver important news in a kind and thoughtful way instead of piling on the insults. They know when to be discreet and when to deliver information in private, and they know that they shouldn’t make thoughtless comments without knowing their audience first. Tact is key when it comes to being graceful.
Tactful people don’t make comments that are likely to embarrass people in public. For example, if your friend just went through a breakup, you might not want to make a comment about it in front of a group of people.
Help other people. If you want to be graceful, then you can’t put yourself first all of the time. Graceful people are often selfless and are happy to devote their time to helping others, whether they’re helping a friend finish an essay or volunteering at a soup kitchen on Sundays. You shouldn’t think that your time is so important that you can’t possibly take a few hours out of your week to listen to others, to share your things and time, or to just make the world a little bit better.
When you help people, you should do it out of the goodness of your heart, not because you want something in exchange.
Don’t hold grudges. People who are graceful don’t waste their time stewing or being filled with bitterness and resentment. They learn to forgive people and to move forward, instead of letting anger dominate them. Though you shouldn’t let people walk all over you, you should accept that people make mistakes and that you should forgive them if they are genuinely sorry, within reason. Graceful people make allowances for other people and don’t waste their time getting caught up in petty feuds. Besides, holding a grudge will make you a more bitter, less happy person.
Along with not holding grudges, don’t gossip about the people you less-than-like, either. There’s no sense in spreading bad vibes, and it’ll probably get back to those people and will cause more drama.
Take criticism with grace. One of the most challenging times to be graceful is when you’re facing criticism. Whether your boss is telling you to improve your negotiation skills or a friend is telling you that you need to stop being late to everything, you should learn to take criticism at face value, and to use it to improve, if it truly is constructive. Don’t be a bad sport or a sore loser, and understand that people won’t always be suffocating you with praise. It’s important to learn to take the bad along with the good and continue being graceful no matter what.
Of course, if people are just criticising you for the sake of being mean, then you should ignore it. But when people are truly trying to help you, you should be receptive to it so you can improve as a person.
Wear clean clothes. You don’t need designer clothing; just have a sense of style and presentable clothes and hair.
The trick to looking graceful is to move smoothly. You want to look as though every move is deliberate and considered, but not too slow or hurried. This will take some practice.
Stay clean by showering every day or two, and smell nice. (A good aura may be achieved with a subtle perfume or body spray.)
Forget about how your body “should” be bigger, smaller, smoother, hairier, a different color, or whatever. It is what it is, and the truth is it’s pretty cool. (The bodies you see in magazines usually aren’t real anyway.)
Being graceful doesn’t mean being rude or prissy.
Try not to say “like” too much, as it gives off the impression of being immature.
Try repeating affirmations or focus words to yourself. Think phrases like “I am smooth, suave and graceful.” “I sweep into a room like this.” Feel free to dance a little or make a gesture as you say these words.
Whenever you descend stairs, or are going down, always make it appear as you are traveling up. Keep your shoulders open and your head and gaze held high. If you trip, give a little smile and come out of it smoothly; instead of people laughing, they are awed by your recovery.
How you look to others: the more you understand this the better you will progress.
Watch what you eat. We are not talking about losing weight here (grace has nothing to do with weight, it’s all in how you carry it). Eat your veggies and avoid anything too starchy (bread, potatoes). Drink lots of water, and go easy on the stimulants (caffeine and nicotine).
Being graceful physically also means not being too bad on the eye – if you have a lot of acne, get a facial cream. Acne gives off the impression of being dirty or that you don’t wash your face.
You can sway or rock gently, but don’t twitch or fidget.
If you are on the heavier side though, wear clothes that fit – but aren’t too tight. They make you look more presentable.
Always be aware of where each part of your body is and what it is doing. You own this tool and you control it, it does not control you.
If you have read the Twilight series, think about Alice Cullen. She has very graceful movement at all times.
How to Improve Your Posture
How to Perform Yoga Postures
How to Dress for a Formal Occasion (Girls)
Sources and Citations
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