How to be a truly sophisticated woman is a learned art, not a natural instinct. Some say sophistication is the quality of understanding of the ways of the world. However, that is truly unsophisticated reckoning, when you consider man’s innate cruelty to man, which has ever been, since man wandered this planet. Yet mankind has the ability to reach almost impossible heights.
Others would say to be truly sophisticated is to have the quality of being complicated, or made with great skill. The human being is indeed, a highly complicated being, but that doesn’t stop humanity from wanting to murder, or ever be the hunter, or have the ability to reach for the moon.
Still others claim a sophisticated person is one who knows about culture, fashion and other matters that are considered socially important. Many see sophistication as being seen in expensive outfits and the latest fashion, seen in all the ‘right places’, driving a fast car and having the latest functioning iPhone. This kind of sophistication involves having a large bank account.
Is that really sophisticated? Some of the beastliest people could be described in this manner, yet it can cover a heart that is black. Many of the rich and famous fall into that category, particularly when you read what the daughter of Marlene Dietrich wrote. The old saying is, ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’, or ‘all that glitters is not gold’.
What we consider socially important to one person is not important to another. Superficial sophistication is the latest fad, the latest technology, or having influential friends. The cost of your vehicle, or the size of the diamond on your finger, may be sophisticated to some. For others it is appreciating art or literature and how much you have travelled.
Another description of a sophisticated person is one who does crosswords, speaks elevated language, watches sophisticated films, whatever they are, and loves to look up words they don’t know the meaning of. However, the truly sophisticated woman has confidence in her own ability, without being a ‘show pony’.
The Truly Sophisticated Woman
A sophisticated woman has an open mind and is not afraid to try new things or see things from a new perspective. There is no painless birth, and to be creative is to be prepared to go through the pain barrier. Just ask anyone who is learning something new in technology.
The sophisticated woman is an adventuress and eager to nurture her mind and intellect, while seeking personal development. A large part of being sophisticated is being flexible, adaptable, and teachable. This woman knows, “You are never too old to learn,” as there are many more horizons out there waiting to be discovered.
The truly sophisticated woman knows that language is poetry, and it takes effort to use it well. She is tolerant of other people’s opinions, even though she holds true to her core beliefs. A sophisticated woman is a listener and aims to edify and inspire others instead of exhibiting the tall poppy syndrome. Politeness and good manners are natural tools to her and she never tries to pull others down to make herself look good. She recognizes that she has a position of value in society and her realm of influence.
True Sophistication has a Simplicity
Taking pride in one’s appearance is important and being seen in the latest fashion is not a necessity. Simply adding a scarf to a plain blouse can speak volumes. Always looking her best is more important to the sophisticated women than following the latest fashion. Clothes can come out of the wardrobe years later and still look great. Dressing for the right ‘occasion’ is also important.
When Margaret Thatcher was invited for her first visit to Balmoral with the family and Queen Elizabeth, she had not been coached as to casual attire. It must have been so embarrassing for the British Prime Minister.
There are many roads that lead to the same destination, but a truly sophisticated woman retains her own set of values with no need to censure others and does not try to impose her opinion on others. We all have the right to express ourselves, and have our own desires and values, but we cannot insist they are what others have to accept.
A sophisticated woman takes a long, calm look at interpersonal relationships. She knows that there are relationships that pull a person down and other relationships that build up. If you stay around negative and judgmental people long enough, you soon adopt their attitudes towards life. A sophisticated woman will choose her associations carefully and always aim for the ‘higher ground’.
A Truly Sophisticated Woman is Kind
A sophisticated person will even display humour when she makes a mistake. We are all human and we all make mistakes and therefore need to be kind to ourselves when we make wrong choices.
There are too many people who live in the past, going over what could have been, what should have been, what they missed out on. Such a person misses the beauty of each new day and sets a course for more disappointment and even the rabbit-hole of depression. The greatest vison in the world is hindsight, but it is only that, ‘hind’. Tomorrow is a new day and you will make more mistakes. Get over it and move on to the best of your ability.
The Sophisticated Woman Never Quits
Being a truly sophisticated woman is to face all life’s challenges and never quit. Going forward is the only way to go, as going backwards is death. Sophistication is about how you see yourself in your heart. I knew a woman who was a farmer’s wife, and the moment she felt she was in ‘better’ company, she would take a deep breath, raise her chin a few inches and put on a make-believe plummy voice. Did that make her sophisticated? Sadly, it merely showed what she thought of herself.
A woman, who was the assistant pastor of a church, was not afraid to don old clothes and do whatever jobs needed doing. A stranger arrived one afternoon and saw a woman in gumboots and straw hat, up to her ankles in gooey mud, cleaning out an overgrown fishpond. “Can you tell me where I could find someone in authority?” was the condescending question, as if not expecting a ‘gardener’ could know where to find a pastor. That same ‘gardener’ appeared in the front row of the church on Sunday morning, as the smartest dressed woman of the congregation.
Not Afraid of Her Emotions
The truly sophisticated woman is not afraid of her emotions and has genuine empathy for others. She is not afraid to show tears when a story, a movie or a situation moves her, as she responds through memories of her own experiences and endeavours. The sophisticated woman will exhibit compassion to others less fortunate than her. There is a time to laugh and a time to weep.
Who can’t feel empathy when the heroine has faced all odds, fought hard, overcome the difficulties life throws at her and finally come out on top? It is through the hard times, and difficult circumstances, that a heroine learns about herself, learns about others, and learns about her own determination to survive. Learning how to cope with tragedy and ways to lower stress is all part of a sophisticated way of life.
She knows the power of both defeat and victory. When you watch the Olympics, for the three that make it to the medal-podium, there are numerous others who strove to give of their best.
Sophistication Speaks Clearly
A sophisticated woman will speak clearly, confidently and will show respect for others. Sure, there are times when everyone loses their cool, but rudeness is not an option. Remaining dignified under stress is an art few manage to master. Emotions cannot be given free rein, for staying calm and collected under any scenario is ‘cool’. A sophisticated woman will react to the issue not the person, despite what the emotions want to do.
A flair of temper is quickly followed by an honest apology. Why take the higher road, which is always perilous, when you can be humble and contrite without losing face? Forgiveness is one of the English language’s most admirable words, but something many fail to practice.
There are times to speak your mind, but always be mindful of how the other person is receiving you. Unnecessary complaints or gossip are not a part of a sophisticated woman’s way of life.
A Timely Word
It is the easiest thing in the world to give ‘good advice’, but much harder to receive it. If you are offering a word of ‘judgement’ on anything, ensure you sugar-coat the medicine, by saying complimentary things as well. As an author it is devastating when you finally put your ‘baby’ out there for public assessment. You have to be able to enjoy the good comments and not take adverse comments to heart. After all, you had the courage to actually put your thoughts into written words and few will see it your way.
It is important for a sophisticated woman, that she is not flakey or wishy-washy in her opinion, but speaks from a deep-seated conviction. A careless word can cause irrevocable harm, while a kind, gentle, empathetic word can speak volumes. A word of thanks goes a long way towards real sophistication.
True Sophistication is Dependable
She is not only trustworthy but also dependable and her word is her bond. She is careful not to make a promise she cannot keep.
It takes little effort to be well-mannered and courteous, making others around her feel respected and above all special in her presence. One of the biggest blights in modern society is the use of the phone, when in the company of others. Check it out the next time you are in a restaurant and see how many of the patrons are consulting their phone, instead of talking face-to-face with their companions. It is a sad day when the only way to communicate is to ‘text’ and preferable to ‘eyeballing’ your companions.
True Sophistication Listens
Listening is a vital part of the sophisticated woman’s arsenal. For her, listening is much more important than speaking. We all know how boring the person is who loves the sound of their own voice.
I had a husband who was always in demand, either self-made or encouraged, that put him on the phone to others most of the time. Texting was still a new thing at that time. Serious conversation with me was not essential to his well-being, leading to many tears of isolation. A truly sophisticated woman knows how to ‘disconnect’. There are even times to disconnect from family and friends, giving herself time to recharge your batteries.
True sophistication comes from the heart, not from the head. Sophistication is someone who is not only self-aware, but comfortable with herself, exhibiting a graciousness and confident simplicity. She has learned what really interests her, so not only does she do what she enjoys, but enjoys what she does.
The sophisticated woman is many talented and pursues things that spark joy in her soul. Not only that, what she does, she does well and is always ready to lend a helping hand to others, while taking care to make time for herself.
To be truly sophisticated is to have a sophisticated and confident attitude towards life, towards others and above all towards yourself. True sophistication is having the ability to reach your full potential as a woman, without having to hide behind masks.
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