If you locate Quintessential Style on Amazon, you will find other books–in the same genre–recommended there. One book that caught my attention was Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic, by Jennifer L. Scott.
The dictionary defines the word poise as: “A dignified, self-confident manner or bearing; composure, self-possession, balance.”
I don’t know how much I consciously reflect on poise. There seem to be so many other things to think about these days, but the more I read Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic, I recognize that our poise (or lack of it) is laid out–for all to see–on a daily basis, whether we realize it or not.
According to Jennifer L. Scott: “Poise is silent. It is intangible. It is under the surface. It is mysterious, but we intuitively know when someone has it. If you meet a poised person, her confidence and friendliness put you at ease…the poised person is self-aware. She is driven by faith, inner peace, and high standards. These are the tools she uses to get through any situation in life.”
Wow…can we really live up to all that, Jennifer?
“Poise, also known as class, is not something you can acquire. It’s something you practice on a daily basis,” says Jennifer.
You don’t have to be a princess to have poise. You don’t have to be French. Poise knows no nationality, and none of us are born with it. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you can’t buy poise.
As I read it, poise is not so much a noun as it is a verb. Poise is created, or cultivated if you will, by practice — by learning to handle yourself and your daily situations in a balanced, controlled way. Here’s how Jennifer describes the actions of the poised versus the not so poised:
POISED NOT SO POISED
Is a good listener Would rather talk than listen
Controls temper Is quick to argue
Has good posture Slouches
Is well-groomed Needs to wash hair
Puts screen time in its place Addicted to her smartphone
Oh, and there’s much more on that list.
This book made me consider my own demeanor—how do I handle myself on a daily basis, with my family, my children, my coworkers, my friends? Am I considerate of others? Am I only in a good mood when everything goes well? How do I deal with disappointment? Do I tend to hog the conversation, or let others have their moment? Am I quick to judge or gossip? Do I have compassion and respect for others?
Who are the role models in your life who exhibit poise? I bet if you look around, you can find lots of them, both women and men.
“Keep your eye out for poise. It will shine like a diamond when you come across it, because it is so rare.”
…Jennifer L. Scott
Every day life hands us new situations and challenges. How will we respond? With grace and balance (aka, poise), or with over-reaction and thoughtlessness? It might take practice to possess poise. But poise can give us an arsenal of confidence to deal with any situation that arises. And, once poise becomes habit, it will quietly show up when we least expect it.
Polish Your Poise does what a good book is intended to do—provokes thought, enlightens, guides, and inspires.
Now, if you will excuse me. I’m going to practice my poise.
I grew up in the South, where there is a difference between a “woman” and a “lady”. I think it’s kinda the same thing. My Mother-in-law would fit that title of “Lady” or poised. She was always genteel, kind and polite. She was also a wonderful hostess, which incorporates all those attributes. I see a lot of those same attributes in you too Sharon. You always make others around you “comfortable.” That is something we can all strive for.