11.02.2015

5 Characteristics of Poise



I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Last week was such great fun with the book launch and the book signing. I just love meeting the readers of the blog...


Bethany from The Glamorous Housewife snapped this photo from last week's reading. Thank you Bethany!

Today we are going to discuss the 5 characteristics of poise that are listed in chapter 1 of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic.

5 Characteristics of Poise

1. Confidence: Feeling comfortable in your own skin; a genuine self-assurance.

2. Composure: Keeping a positive perspective while maintaining calm self-possession.

3. Compassion: Thinking of others and practicing selflessness.

4. Presentation: Appropriately and stylishly dressed, with good posture.

5. Present: Poised people live passionately in the present moment.


This week's video expounds on the characteristics and explains why these are some of the major components of poise. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

This week I would love to know, out of the 5 characteristics listed, which one do you feel you need help with the most?

News
If you are looking for a signed copy of any of the Madame Chic books, Pages: A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach, CA has limited inventory. Be sure to give them a call at 310-318-0900 or email info@pagesabookstore.com to order.

Comments of the Week

Miss Dorothy writes:

Some time ago I had an appointment with a business woman who I felt was very attractive although she was far from pretty. I've thought of her several times since and realize her true beauty was found in the professional way she conducted herself, the courteous way she treated me, her sincere smile, and her impeccable grooming. I think what she had was poise. It's funny that she made such an impression on me that when I first heard about your book I thought of her.

Hello Miss Dorothy, what a great story. I bet the business woman had no idea the great impression she left on you after so many years. It's amazing how our poise can affect people in mysterious ways.


Kierralanice writes about Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic on Instagram:

I stumbled upon this book in Barnes & Noble and purchased it immediately after reading the title alone. In just 24 hours I’m already almost finished and looking to read the others. I’m so inspired and found myself making conscious efforts to change so that I can be a woman of great poise, femininity, and grace. So much wisdom and great information. Thank you for walking in your purpose. I wish you the greatest of successes and hope to cross paths one day.

Welcome to The Daily Connoisseur community, Kierralanice!


Jesse M writes:

My copy arrived yesterday, and one of the things that most excites me from what I've read so far is regarding wardrobe. After reading your first two books at the beginning of the year, I did implement a capsule wardrobe, but not with high-quality pieces that I truly loved. My reason was that I didn't want to invest in such clothing until my body was back to "normal" (I've had three babies in four years, and it SHOWS! LOL). I've just worn "what fits," and many days, I feel frumpy because of it. But my eyes lit up when I read your suggestion to buy the beautiful, high-quality clothes in my current size, and then have them tailored as I slim down! (Honestly, why didn't I think of that?) I'm so eager to start purposefully shopping! Thank you!

Hi Jesse, I'm so happy you feel inspired to work with what you have in this present moment. You will see wonderful changes happen in your life. Let us know how it goes!


Texas Lady writes regarding the Exercise Clothes in Nice Restaurants commentary:

Another lovely video. I thought your tone was polite, as always. I think the word "judgmental" is bandied about quite a lot these days, often in a pejorative way describing anyone who tries to uphold a standard or defend tradition. Of course, any commentary is judgmental, by definition. Anything involving judges is judgmental - our court system, the Olympics, and contests of any kind.

What is so wrong with using our judgment, anyway? My mother always taught me to "use good judgment." Didn't everyone's?


Very well stated, Texas Lady. We all use judgement every day of our lives whether we like to admit it or not and using good judgment is something that our mothers taught us from a very early age. The irony with many who decry that someone is judgmental, is that they themselves are also judging.

Shannon M writes:

This video reminded me so much of my grandmother. Her and my grandfather had very little money. Her tiny house was clean, clutter free and well kept. Her clothes were always well ironed, well kept and appropriate. She went to the hairdresser's once a week and always kept up her grooming. She had so little, yet gave so much to others. She was quiet, humble, dignified, modest and loving. One of my most happy memories is of our weekly shopping trips, where I would sit next to her in the back seat. The smell of her freshly applied make up (or rouge as she called it, lol) and how neatly pressed she would look, just to go shopping : )

I loved reading these memories of your grandmother, Shannon. She sounded like a lovely lady. I am sure many of us have similar stories regarding our grandmothers, who lived in a more gracious time.



Artistic Recommendation
Miss Betsy writes:

Jennifer, thank you so much for your newest book! It is so inspiring and encouraging, and also offers so much practical advice. I enjoy the sections where you recommend certain films, television shows and books as exemplifying poise and, if I may, I would like to add a recommendation. "When Queens Ride By", by Agnes Turnbull, is a short work of fiction written in 1926. It is available for Kindle on Amazon for a nominal fee. It is an inspiring story of a woman who transforms from being depressed and living in squalor into someone poised and contented - and all because of a stranger's fortuitous visit. I think some of your readers might enjoy it. Jennifer, I am so glad I discovered you, your blog, and your books - you have made a difference in my life!

Miss Betsy, upon your recommendation I am already reading When Queen's Ride By on my kindle and am truly enjoying it. Thank you!


This week I would love to know... out of the 5 characteristics of poise, which one do you need help with the most? (I need to work on number 2, composure. I think many mothers of small children will be able to relate!)

See you next week when I give you a tour of our home office. Have a wonderful week!

Jennifer x


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13 comments:

Sue Peterson said...

I definitely struggle most with the "presentation" characteristic. I don't think I look "bad" or "frumpy" on a typical day, but I struggle with doing makeup everyday, keeping my hair "styled" (it is always neat, but often just laying there dully), putting together dressier outfits (I live in jeans and I try to dress them up with boots and cute shirts, but I have nicer clothes to wear, I just feel like its work to wear them - like I'm having to work at wearing them...is that weird?). I just feel more comfortable when I'm casual, but I realize that it often makes me look like I don't care as much as I should/could.

Linda Johnson said...

I agree that presentation is important. I really hate to see people that looked like they just rolled out of bed in crocs and sweatpants at the grocery store. I just feel better if I get up everyday and make myself presentable, even if I am not going anywhere. The one I am really glad you mentioned though is the "being present". I sometimes wonder if I am the only one that drives to work and smiles at the sunrise, or the sheep spread out in the field that I pass every morning. People are so busy on their phones or texting, or worrying about where they have to be. It is so important to just enjoy what is around you. It isn't easy and I constantly have to remind myself when I get busy or stressed, to just slow down and enjoy the moments, but I try. I am looking forward to reading your book.

mimimanderly said...

The one that I have a problem with is composure. I am very impatient, especially when driving or waiting in lines. And I lose my temper when I'm stressed out (which is usually when something unexpected happens to throw off my neatly organized daily routine. This is something that I try to work on, with meditation, exercise,and just being aware that I have this problem. The other characteristics are a piece of cake to me... but this one... it's a toughie.

MT said...

The element that is the biggest challenge for me is composure. I like a sense of control and order, and when that sense of order is upset I tend to lash out. I yell, give backhanded comments, think mean thoughts, slam doors, or other unseemly behavior. I have gotten better with awareness and by creating quiet time in my day to relax and regroup. Requiring myself to model appropriate behavior for my children has also helped.

galant said...

Here in the UK your book isn't released until tomorrow, the 5th November. I am really looking forward to reading it. You know the song, "You have or you haven't got style"? Well, you mightn't poise right away but you can learn to adopt it, I am sure. I do think it would help if, when children were at school, instead of concentrating on games/sports they would benefit by learning deportment, how to stand and sit correctly because not only would they look better as they grew up, they would also feel better and good deportment would be better for their health in general.
I had ballet classes when I was young and I am sure it made me aware of standing 'tall'. Similarly, behaviour needs to be addressed: not speaking with your mouth full or open, not waving your knife and fork around, keeping your elbows tucked into your sides when cutting up your food (how many people do you see with elbows sticking out when they do this?), making sure shoes are polished or brushed, just small things which make a difference and which used to be called good manners and grooming. Also, the voice, which is often overlooked these days. Many years ago, when a child, I had elocution lessons. When in my hairdresser some time ago and the young shampoo girl was chatting to me and we were discussing bad diction on TV I mentioned my elocution lessons to her - she then asked me what they were for she'd never heard of elocution! What a shame that children aren't taught to speak correctly, for it would aid communication. You often forget how a person looks but the sound of their voice stays with you almost for ever.
I do think we can all take something from your book, i.e. ways we can improve our behaviour and appearance, Jennifer; I just wished that the things you mention - from what I've read about the book, for I've not read it myself yet - could be part of the national curriculum. How much nicer society would be if children were taught manners, deportment, courtesy, clear speech, and all the things which go to make up a person with that almost-indefinable quality: poise.
Margaret P

Evaline said...

I look foward to reading Polish your Poise very soon. My challenge is that my face is an open book and people can tell when I am annoyed. I need to work on maintaining a composed expression...maybe I should take up poker!

In the meantime, I was pondering on how poise and manners are learned. Being one of your more seasoned readers, I recall when more parents took a direct and open approach to guiding their children out in the world. They were not shy to say things such as "Let's stand to one side to let people come out of the elevator, or bus, before we go in, please." Or "Let's hold the door for the gentleman with all the suitcases." Or, "Let's keep our voices low at the table."

My wording is not conversational, but I hope you get the idea. I notice teens and twenty-somethings swearing a lot in public even with young children present, walking side by side on sidewalks making it difficult for others, and even crashing into disabled people, not offering their seat to those in need, letting the door slam into those behind them, not even being able to politely request a coffee at Starbucks. Some of my younger colleagues shout conversations back and forth to their office friends down the hall on a regular basis and roll their eyes at meetings when they don't agree with the speaker.

Of course, there are millions of polite young adults out there, but my humble impression is that parents today feel uncool in guiding their children. They want to be friends on the same level as their kids, not bossy old know-it-alls. So the kids don't receive guidance and just behave "naturally." If my parents hadn't guided me, I probably would have been a real brat.

So while we work on improving ourselves, let's have compassion for children and young people finding their way in this modern life and give them some support,too.

Little Miss Know-it-all said...

My granny is just like the lady you describe who always kept up herself and her home. She is now 99 and still a lovely lady but she never had much (except family, and that is everything!).

I rushed to read When Queens Ride By - sadly, it is not available either in print or Kindle on European Amazon sites (we are discriminated by our computer location/identity and I can only order Kindle ebooks via German Amazon; I actually really dislike how Amazon dictates what people outside of the US may want to read, or not!).
How disappointing.
But I will be ordering your new book, which IS available to me!

nellyb said...

Hello Jennifer, I love the message you are spreading with each of your books, and am glad that I stumbled across your Ted talk a few months ago. Your thoughts on presentation and poise are very similar to the example my grandma always set, and what my mum has always taught me- but sometimes it takes an external source to realise what they are saying is important!

I am wondering what your thoughts are in regards to your books and how it applies to males. Obviously your books are targeted towards a female audience, but interested to know if you have thought about how it applies to males, or expanding it to include them as an audience? In my opinion confidence, composure, presentation etc are all as important for males as well as females.
Would love to hear your thoughts! Keep up the good work!

Sanddollar 53 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kriskatmom said...

For anyone interested, When Queens Ride By can be read here: http://lilleysofthefield.blogspot.com/2007/04/when-queens-ride-by.html

imelda72 said...

Jennifer, this is totally random, but I happen to be rereading your first book in preparation for my upcoming trip to Paris! I just read about your collection of dressing gowns, which I find so interesting, and sounds so pretty! Do you still have and wear dressing gowns around the house? If so, would you do a video sharing them with us? I would love to know what exactly you mean, and to consider wearing them myself. Thanks!! :-)

Rose said...

Jennifer your book arrived in my letterbox in Australia last Tuesday, over the past week I read it with great absorption and delight. What a treat for those of us who have read all your books! This one broadened the themes introduced in the last two books and also gave dimension and practical tips to the concept of poise. I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed it, now I'm re-reading from #1 again.

I know that the privacy of the Chics must be closely guarded so I expect no comment on this but I'm sure both Madame and Monsieur Chic are immensely proud of you.

Once again I took great pleasure in your cultural recommendations and I will be following up on those, your last ones for music were terrific as I'm sure these will be.

Bravo Jennifer and thank you.

Woman of the House said...

I have some recommendations for books and a movie in which the heroines exhibit poise. The first is Mrs. Miniver, both the book and movie. The book is a series of vignettes from the life of Mrs. Miniver, who is an Englishwoman of the middle class. The vignettes begin just before the break-out of World War II and end not long after the war has started. Each vignette gives a glimpse into the gracious life of Mrs. Miniver and her family. It's not a plot-driven book, but there is much wisdom there. It's a favorite of mine. The movie is quite different, though I think it captured well the character of Mrs. Miniver and her approach to living. In the movie, she faces the challenges of the war with grace and confidence even though some of the situations are dire. And then actress Greer Garson is wonderfully poised in her role, as she always was. I hope to be like Mrs. Miniver when I grow up! (I say that having turned 52 yesterday. lol)

My second recommendation is Jane Austen. Her books are so much more than love stories. She was a keen observer of human nature and wise beyond her years. All her heroines, though flawed, are (or become in the course of the story) mature, selfless, self-possessed women of great respectability, poise, and composure. Of course, all the Austen books have been made into movies, but to get the full effect, you really need to read the books.

Just a few suggestions for anyone looking for literary examples of poise. :)

 
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