4 Tips for Practicing Poise

Written by Ann Burns

October 11, 2023

When the Villains are Beautiful

When we think of poise, we might think of some elusive woman who just has it all together no matter what.  But in truth, we all have our seasons of abundance and seasons of want.  Poise isn’t some elusive “it” factor, but the interior disposition that enables us to live a whole life, full of grace and beauty. 

Here are 4 tips that will help you become a truly poised woman:

Tip 1: Be Confident in Who You Are

Let’s face it: it’s really easy to allow others to sway us.  Maybe our friends are gossiping, or utilizing uncouth language, or encouraging us to check out trashy reads.  

Whatever the situation may be, succumbing to what appears to be the majority is quite easy. 

Or maybe we’re swayed by those grouchy coworkers who never stop complaining.  Perhaps we let a rude neighbor sour our mood. 

The point is, when it comes to our standards and how we feel, we are in control.  We don’t need to hand over our “emotional remote control.”

We get to choose what we allow and don’t allow. 

And this is where confidence comes into play. If we are seeking a life of beauty, wholeness, and joy, we can lean into the confidence of choosing a full life. Instead of permitting others to dictate our moods, or sway us into lowering our standards, be confident in the light you have to share and the woman you choose to be. 

Tip 2: Be Kind and Direct Rather Than Nice and Passive 

At the end of the day, “nice” is pleasantry. Whereas, kindness is rooted in truth. Nice is easy, and likewise, can easily be weaponized. 

Niceness is about saying the thing that sounds good and placating feelings.  It has nothing to do with truth, but appearance. Oftentimes, it’s used as an excuse to avoid standing firm in our convictions.  

Kindness, on the other hand, starts with interiorly orienting ourselves towards charity.  It has nothing to do with our own glory, and everything to do with cherishing the other the way God does. 

Sometimes kindness means difficult conversations. Sometimes kindness means letting people go.  Sometimes kindness means standing firm against the tide. 

Ultimately, it extends beyond “nice” because it wills the salvation of another. 

Whereas nice is often indirect or choosing to say what “sounds good” in the moment.  

A woman with poise is rooted in genuine charity; she does not play games, or  ingratiate herself.  A poised woman isn’t concerned with whether or not people like her because she is already confident in who she is.  Rather, she wishes to extend kindness.  And in turn, she is receptive.

Tip 3: Don’t Confuse Vulnerability with Oversharing 

With the “all knowing age” of social media, it’s easy to mistake oversharing with vulnerability. 

But these two things are wildly different. 

In order to understand this, we must first recognize the lost arts of discernment and discretion.  

When we communicate, share photos, create updates, we send out an invitation to others.  It’s an invitation to experience a part of our life or an invitation to exchange in dialogue.  While inviting people to see what we made for dinner may be innocuous, inviting individuals into a private family argument is  imprudent and damaging. 

We don’t need to share our dirty laundry with the world. Just as we don’t need to share every success with all our followers. 

But we can go further than that, we can honor ourselves and our families by choosing to keep sacred moments sacred. 

While being vulnerable with a dear friend or spouse is one thing, opening up about your family drama to anyone is by no means vulnerability. 

Boundaries are freeing because they provide us with healthy parameters to live a flourishing life. 

Intimacy is important, but, as the word states, it’s intimate and not for everyone.

Tip 4: Live Reverently 

Life is a gift, so keep on celebrating! Practicing etiquette and cultivating poise are not for show, but rather a disposition that enables us to appreciate the goodness of life. It is an extension of love and self-respect. It keeps wonder alive by embracing a little joie de vivre.

Live reverently by treating yourself with respect, bringing back the formality of handwritten letters, dressing up, and using your pretty things on a regular old Tuesday, simply because you know life is a wonderful gift and you are here to cherish it. 

Lastly, cultivating poise takes time. 

So be gentle with yourself, in turn you will be gentle with others.



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