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Politness, Attitude & Elegance

Saturday, 6 February 2016
The Art of living in society. As I write I feel like I'm about to copy the guide of the usual life by countess of Rothschild. How to handle your fork, how to salute a Russian eminence, how to dress for a charity gala. But actually not, I don't want to talk about any of those points. Here we will only talk about personal behavior, how to act in front of other people, but also how to be elegant for ourselves. How to be agreeable, how to show to somebody you are talking to that you respect them, how to act in your everyday life, at work, on the street, at the bakery, to look like the most agreeable and elegant person that anybody have ever met. Well, learning to act that way will surely be a way to be appreciated, respected, maybe even admired. But it will most of all help you with your own relationships, learning to respect, to avoid words whom could offend your speaker, and then you can have the opportunity to meet awesome people just by being polite and careful. All of that with an elegant attitude which could valorise you, to others, but most of all to yourself. So here we go with an attitude lesson. 

    What is elegance? It is the way you talk? Or the way you move? Is it to let someone go before you at the grocery shop, or to leave your sit for someone on the bus? To be well-dressed? To smile whatever happens? To write thank you notes? To have a trim every two weeks? The answer to all of those questions is universal, elegance is an attitude and a way of life. To wear a Dior tuxedo and a haircut costing 200$ with an angry face, a tong which can't say thank you, it is not what elegance is. But to get dressed at H&M, having a smile on your face, always being thankful and to look people in the eyes when you say hello, that is elegant. It all remains on a combination of things which have to find the perfect balance between appearance and behavior. And you can learn how to do this with few simple rules. First of all, when you talk to somebody, please, look them in the eyes. It is the first step to politeness. Then you can show that you care about what he or she is saying, that you replay do listen, you truly find interest in that they say. Even id it's not that true. Just to fake can make the day of that woman or man. To be elegant is as you can see the complete contrary of being selfish. To leave your sit to a pregnant woman on the bus, to hold the door for that man with all the shopping bags he handles, well, in a word, to try to make the best around you to make someone's day better. Just to care about little things. It doesn't ask for so much, just to say hello is sometimes enough, when you come in a shop, or to say sorry when you accidentally jostle someone. It is all about care, to care about people around you in your everyday life. Neil de Grasse Tyson said "For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you". Se here is the key to a peaceful life if we trust him, but in my vie it is also the way to live an elegant life. Because to be elegant is also to want to learn more, not only to be smarter, but to be opened to others, to what they know, to their culture, to themselves, to learn to know them better to respect them in the best way. 

    We can't always communicate thanks to oral language, and it is also because of that point that body language has to do with elegance and politeness. Once more, we are back with the attitude issue. How to stand right? How to talk with our body? I think the answers to those questions aren't all made up, but just come to us thanks to our experiences, in a nature way. You can travel to any country where nobody speaks your language, and you don't have a clue about their, and then you will see how your body would be useful to be understood. As much as your facial expression, you attitude and politeness will be actually necessary. Because without those things, you can't go anywhere. When you're in Vietnam's country side you can't say to a man who can't understand what you want "oh f*** you then !", like some Parisians would say to each other. And here we come to a very important step, necessary in all situations if you want to be an elegant person, the smile. It doesn't ask for much, with or without the teeth it's all your case, but in any way, it will be so pleasant to see for people around you. Whether it is the butcher, bus driver or your colleague when you arrive at work in the morning, it will always make of  you the most agreeable and elegant person on earth. And just because you will show to people around you that you estimate them enough, whatever the hierarchy gap between you and them, to respect them. And for yourself, there won't be any other way to make out of you the elegant one on the street, just like the music says, "you're never fully dressed without a smile".
     But there are not only politeness and our behavior to others that make out of us elegant people, there is also our relationship with ourselves. You have ti estimate yourself to know how to respect others. Be elegant with your outfit, take care of yourself, of you haircut, your makeup, everything related to appearance, because elegance is always related at first to the way you dress and look. And no matter your clothes' brand, from Hermès or a second hand chop, it is only up to you to bring them to life and to valorise them, not the contrary. And never forget, an elegant woman stands up straight, shoulder-blades almost touching each other, with a smile on her face and she walks with a determined step. 
    Attitude creates elegance, we always go back to the same idea. But don't forget to say hello is not enough to be elegant, you have to think it, to feel it, to stand up straight, and to have your mind guiding your acts. Classy outfits is required, ok, but if you just say hello to act like an elegant woman, a polite one, and to prove to others your elegance, you haven't understood anything. Elegance is above all a state of mind. It comes to life only after you have managed those little things, which are not so much in the end: self confidence and self esteem, respect of others, and will to always learn more and never close yourself to strangers. Like Yves Saint Laurent said, it is "l'élégance de coeur", it does mean "elegance of heart", which have to be the same on the inside and the outside. Your outfit has to reflect your state of mind. So be a true elegant person, because this quality is so rare in today's world that it will only make out of you someone even more precious.  

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