note: all of these lovely images (in pink!) are from online vintage shop owner, Thrush.
Being gracious is certainly one of the attributes that I immediately thought of when I started devising the content for this series on being a lady. The term, of course, refers to kindness, politeness, and esteem.
When I think of graciousness, I immediately picture the women from Jane Austen’s novels--at least the heroines (because goodness knows there were quite a few malevolent vixens in her novels as well). They were always complimentary, seeking to be of service, ready to be kind.
This behavior, fortunately, is not extinct. In fact, I’d wager that you are all highly gracious, or at least try to be that way most of the time.
But there is one area of graciousness that I think we as ladies often do rather poorly, and that is the art of graciously receiving from others. I hadn’t thought of this until an acquaintance and friend of mine recently brought it up. Since then, I’ve noticed this fault on numerous occasions.What do you mean? you ask. Well, I’ll give you a scenario:
girl 1: Oh, I love your outfit today.
girl 2: Ugh...thank you...I just threw it on this morning. I feel so fat today that I hardly even care what I look like.
Sound familiar? If not, consider this scenario:
guy: Babe, you look great today. Did you do something different?
girl: What are you trying to say--that I don’t look good normally?
Is that closer to home? And how about this one:
boss: This project turned out great. You did a wonderful job.
girl: Thanks, but I can’t take the credit. So-and-so did so much of the work....It was really more of a team effort.
Do you see what I mean? We deflect esteem. We dodge favor. We pass off compliments to others. We are often self-deprecating to a fault.
So, if any of those scenarios sounded familiar to you, I’m assigning some homework, which is to practice this:
friend: Hey--you look nice today.
you: Thank you. That’s kind of you to say.
THEN...resist the urge to: a) make a snarky comment about the size of your thighs, b) complain about how much your outfit cost, c) avert attention from yourself by talking about how fabulous someone else looks, or d) saying “well...I’m no Heidi Klum, but...”
Instead take a deep breath, and graciously receive the esteem, because that is what a lady would do.
Glossary of beautiful vintage clothing/jewelry by Thrush:
1. vintage 1970s goldtone necklace
2. pale pink box blouse
3. pale pink mini dress
4. vintage 1950s pink shimmer holiday party dress
5. bowtie secretary blouse
6. vintage 1960s holiday ruffle dress