Whether in your personal or professional life, it pays to make (and leave behind) a favorable impression regardless of the setting or situation.
I've written about this point before in many ways over the years here at Classic Style, but it occurs to me that a concise list of reminders might be in order for any men (or women) of any age reading this. Keep in mind, this is not a comprehensive list of tips for making and maintaining a favorable impression with those around you, but it is a start toward ensuring that you are a pleasant person to be around. Off the top of my head, here are half a dozen points to keep in mind as you move through daily life with all of its interpersonal complexities and interactions:
1) Be conscious of and vigilant about how you present yourself.
Not simply in how you look, but in how you speak and behave. You've got one chance to make a favorable impression with new acquaintances, and you want to maintain that impression with others over time. Of course it's also a good idea to consider how you come across even to friends and family you have known forever. To put it plainly, don't be a rude, inconsiderate, and/or gross slob.
2) Always dress a little better than you have to.
We're not talking about three-piece suits and neckties or cocktail dresses here, although those still have their place. Rather, we're talking about taking steps to present yourself better than the now typical shambling soiled laundry hampers with legs that fill so many public spaces in 2019 from airport terminals to supermarkets to cubicled and open space offices to university campuses. Unless you plan to join others in the gym, at the poolside, or at the coast, donning clean, folded or pressed clothes, tucking in your shirt, wearing a belt, and putting on casual leather-soled shoes can improve almost any guy's appearance immeasurably. Same thing for the ladies when it comes to the now ubiquitous athleisure wear. Puh-leeze! You'll look a great deal better with some actual pants or skirt, a blouse of some kind, and real shoes instead of the white athletic variety with your hair brushed, pulled back, and out of your face. A single piece of understated jewelry, a sparing amount of lipstick in a subtle shade, a breath of mascara, and you'll look pretty much like a million bucks relative to most other women shlepping up and down the aisles of virtually any retail establishment these days. Whatever the case may be, it's amazing how just a few small changes can improve a person's appearance ten-fold, and very probably how he or she feels about him- or herself. Oops! Binary oppositions. I am such a silly goose. Zzzzzzzzz-self.
3) Be mindful of how you speak.
We're not just talking about working to reduce the near constant stream of obscenity that flows from so many peoples' mouths without any apparent thought in 2019. Can you say 'trashy'? We're also taking the necessary steps to sound like educated adults with more bouncing around the inside of our noggins than just the latest social media gossip about Fill in the blank. Can you say 'vapid'? Assuming we are beyond that stage of youthful rebellion against social convention and are not still trying to make the tired argument that good taste is somehow subjective, who among us wants a mouth like an open sewer and/or to sound like an airhead every time we speak? "And so she was like. . . and then he was like. . . so I was like. . . Blah, blah, blah. . ." Know what I mean?
4) With that in mind, take steps to become an informed individual.
It seems like there are very many people sounding off about very many things in 2019, but most of 'em have little to no idea of that which they speak. Call me silly, but it might make more sense to take at least 30 minutes each day to learn about something other than sports or reality TV stars. Read about or listen to broadcasts/podcasts about domestic and global affairs. Here's a novel idea. Watch the national news each evening. There's a whole lot of interesting stuff going on around the world everyday. Along similar lines, and as easy as it is to waste countless hours binging on whatever online series has currently grabbed your attention, make the effort to turn it off once in a while and READ something. It matters not whether you do that via traditional print media, online, or a using a device like a Kindle, but it is important to foster some degree of mental agility here. The point is to strive for variation in the kinds of media and information you consume 24/7. Many of you will no doubt be familiar with the expression, "Garbage in, garbage out," and there is no arguing that we certainly are exposed to enough of that on a daily basis in our intellectually and ethically bleak era.
5) Don't behave like a spoiled princess.
Goodness knows we have plenty of 'em floating around on either side of the Atlantic these days by virtue of blood, marriage, or the suburbs! This is not to single out the ladies since there are plenty of male versions of this entitled personality type on the loose too. But for the love of God, let's quit whining about how no one has asked about or done anything for you, how bad you think you have it, and how it is all somehow the fault of others. Whatever might be happening around you -- Newsflash! -- it's not always all about you. You are not the center of the universe contrary to what your parents might have conveyed in one way or another. Spare us the whiny, self-centered drama and get on with your life to the best of your ability, you spoiled, self-indulgent, self-involved pratt. It might very well be that those around you simply don't feel you are as fascinating and awe-inspiring as you believe. Time to take a hard look at yourself, grow up, grow a backbone, spare us the waterworks, realize that you have some personal agency, and start exercising control over what you can control, namely yourself. And on that note. . .
6) Stop thinking only of yourself.
Think about and show kindness to others through your day to day actions. Not just because you feel that you must, but because you want to, as good ol' Mom used to advise yours truly during my formative years. That could be as simple as preparing the evening meal for the rest of the household, clearing the dinner table, rinsing everything, and loading it into the dishwasher, or offering to pick the children up from school on the next early release day, or checking their homework to see that it has been finished before evening TV time. On the other hand, it might take the form coaching junior's or juniorette's after school sports team a few evenings a week, assisting an elderly family member or neighbor, or giving some of your time at a local shelter or soup kitchen for example. It is nice to help out when and where we can. To give something back in some way, shape, or form in other words without reaching automatically for the checkbook as the easiest answer.
There now. That didn't hurt much, did it? Internalize these six ways of being into your daily practices, and before you know it, they will become ingrained habits. You too will be well on your way down the road to self-improvement, which is really what style, taste, and class are all about. Even better, some of your efforts to become a better person just might rub off onto those around you, which ain't a bad thing.