1. Show genuine appreciation for things you genuinely appreciate. Being too cool to show gratitude is never cool.
2. RSVP to events. Leaving a host guessing how many people will actually show up is not only rude, but a total crapshoot. If you said you’d be bringing a plus one and your plans change last minute? Let your host know.
3. Don’t be a flake. If you commit to something, commit to it. Be it dinner with a friend, or a new project.
4. Always leave a tip. Even if your service was horrible. Everyone has a bad day, and these people are living off of their tips. If you had bad service, tell someone in charge, don’t stiff your server.
5. Educate yourself. Read the newspaper. Remember that there are two sides to every story. Learning something new can be exciting.
6. Be independent. Do not depend on a man, your parents, your bestie, for anything. Support yourself, financially and emotionally.
7. Be well groomed. Brush your teeth and hair. Get up five minutes early to iron that shirt you’re going to wear. Smell nice, it will get you further than you think.
8. Know when to stop drinking. You don’t enjoy taking care of sloppy drunks, and neither do your friends. Keep this in mind the next time someone sets down drink number four in front of you. Know your limits, and do not push them to the brink.
9. Stop apologizing. Stop being sorry for changing your mind, turning down invitations, taking a personal day, being successful, being happy, being sad, the things you want, being honest, getting the job, needing time to think, etc. Stop being sorry for being yourself.
10. Be original. It’s okay to admire someone else’s style, but nobody likes a copycat. Earn your own stripes, have your own thoughts, create your own signature style.
11. Practice kindness. Think of someone you know who is, above everything else, kind. Being kind will help you excel, at work, in relationships, and in your own mind.
12. Draw boundaries. Being kind does not mean you are a doormat. Know when to stop giving, stop accepting, stop excusing, and stop letting things slide.
13. Be flexible. Learn how to adapt in all kinds of social situations. Be the girl who knows how to navigate a swanky cocktail party and a dive bar.
14. Be a peacemaker. Drama is overrated. Quit instigating it.
15. Be humble. Do not brag about how much money you made last quarter, or how many guys you hooked up with, how many drinks were sent to you at the bar, how much free stuff you got, how much praise you received on a job well done… you get the picture. Nobody likes a braggart.
16. Be punctual. If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, you’re disrespectful.
17. Put your damn phone down. Practice making eye contact, actually listening to people, and make yourself comfortable with actual human interaction. Instagram will still be there when you get home.
18. Laugh more. Learn to laugh at yourself. Being a super serious, uptight lady in a corset is so 19th Century.
19. Treat everyone with respect. Everyone. Learn to speak to the janitor in the same tone you speak to your boss.
20. Think before you speak. Do not return rude comments with equally as rude comments. Just because you know how to lay the verbal smackdown does not mean you should.
21. Be open to new experiences. Try new things. Stop living in your comfortable bubble.
22. Have a good work ethic. Everyone appreciates the willingness to throw in a little elbow grease.
23. Engage in conversation. Really listen to people when they’re talking to you. Provide insightful feedback. People can tell when you’re actually paying attention to them.
24. Keep your hands neat. Nothing says trainwreck like a handful of chipped nail polish.
25. Always offer to pick up the bill. If someone else insists on it, that’s fine. Offering is what counts.
26. Be honest. If something is bothering you, be open about it. Passive-aggressive behavior is super unattractive.
27. Have ambition. At work, in life. Have goals that amount to more than finding a man.
28. Don’t be a tease. When it comes to sex and dating, don’t promise things you can’t follow through on. Nobody likes a tease.
29. Eat. Eat when you are hungry. Eat when you feel like it. Eat food on a date. Don’t feign that you’re full. When you don’t eat, you get hangry. When you’re hangry, you make irrational decisions. By not eating, you propagate the idea that women should all be delicate skinny butterflies that exist on ice cubes and air. Stop obsessing over your weight and order the damn burger if you want the damn burger.
30. Travel. Take a trip alone, take a trip with a friend. Experience a culture different than your own. Learn new customs. Create your own adventures.
31. Learn how to take a compliment. A modern day lady knows her strengths and is proud of them. Denying your strengths and achievements is not demure, it’s downright stupid.
32. Maintain an air of mystery. We live in the age of the over-share. Learn to filter yourself, leave some things to the imagination.
33. Stop gossiping. A general rule of thumb is: Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
34. Stop competing with your friends. Encourage them to go after their goals. Be happy for them when they get that raise. Praise them instead of trying to outdo them. Stop tagging bad photos of your friends, even if you look amazing in them. Not all aspects of life are meant to be a competition.
35. Be authentic. A lady is never afraid to admit that she does not know something, and doesn’t pretend to know things she doesn’t have a damn clue about.
36. Stay in touch. Reach out to old friends, new friends, colleagues, your siblings, your grandparents. Write letters, emails, texts, Facetime, call them. Keep the relationships you value afloat.
37. Be someone you admire. Make decisions you are proud of. Strive to be the kind of person you think is amazing.
38. Be your best self. Stay true to yourself. Even if it means disregarding any of the above suggestions. No two people are exactly alike. Maybe ten of these things seem important to you, maybe twenty, maybe none. Shape yourself into the woman you want to be – not the woman someone else thinks you should be.