What is it about a Southern Woman’s voice. It just soothes, like slow dripping honey. When we saw Jeanne Robertson a couple of weeks ago, I once again was struck not only by her grace, but by her voice. I think I may have lived in the deep south in another lifetime. I like to think I’m southern, but actually my Heavensville twang is not exactly attractive, it grates rather than soothes.
I have a daughter-in-law from North Carolina who is the quintessential Southern Woman. It’s a lovely thing to witness, and even if you aren’t from the south, you can certainly adhere to the wonderful traits in this excerpt from Southern Charm’s website.
1. Create warmth wherever you go. Be warm and inviting in relationships, with family, at the office, in your home, in the rooms you enter. Be open and enticing rather than cool and aloof. Shower those in your presence with engaging smiles. Make everyone feel welcomed into your world. Southern hospitality is the standard by which the rest of the world is judged. That special brand of hospitality begins with tremendous warmth, openness, and the giving of one’s self.
2. Always notice everyone around you. As you walk through the mall, down the aisle at church, or along the hall-way at the office, acknowledge everyone with a nod, a smile, and a word. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in your own world, oblivious of other people – even if they are strangers. This kind of openness is a very important part of charm. People mirror your treatment of them. If you are warm, you receive warmth in return. Coolness is reciprocated with aloofness. People respond eagerly to warmth, which enables you to get more of what you want from life because people are more willing to help you.
3. Establish instant rapport. When introduced to someone, lean toward the person (out of your personal space and into theirs) to establish immediate intimacy. Stop a foot or so from the other person’s face, smile, establish eye contact, and say a few kind words. In the South, we hate instant potatoes, but we love instant warmth!
4. Treat everyone with equal kindness and respect. From cabdrivers to waitresses to your boss to your prospective mother-in-law. Shower them all with smiles and courtesy. Everyone, regardless of his or her position in life, deserves courtesy, respect and kind words.
5. Be gracious, thoughtful, and always considerate of others and their feelings. It is possible to be both tough and nice. You do not have sacrifice one for the other; you must only know when to use each one. However, 98 percent of the time, nice works best.
6. Catch more flies with honey than vinegar. End of story.
7. Be utterly feminine. Men cannot resist a feminine woman – personally or professionally. In business, men become mentors to these women, enhancing their careers and professional knowledge. Personally, they become protectors, never suspecting that the woman is the true backbone of the relationship. In the South, our secret motto is “Let him think he’s the boss, but we know who the boss really is!” Men love strong, but soft, feminine women. They are enthralled by them. They are not personally or professionally attracted to women who conduct themselves like men – especially for long-term relationships.
8. Flaunt your femininity. But don’t overdo it.
9. In the business and social worlds, femininity is a plus, not a minus. Boldly use your femininity professionally and personally. We socially flirt at the office, wear feminine, soft clothing, and shamelessly use our feminine wiles to get what we want professionally – plum assignments, raises, and promotions. We never cross the line into inappropriateness, but we have been known to stretch it to the limits.
10. Sassy self-confidence requires faith in yourself and your ability to achieve. Remember: Faith is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Use that strong faith to chase away the insidious doubts that threaten success and self-confidence. Do not forget that it is within your power to succeed or to fail. Southern women are fiercely proud and therefore staunchly geared toward success in all they do.
11. Be spunky, not aggressive; assertive, not brash. Southern women are not timid in going after what we want, but we do it in a charming, self-assured manner, not in a rude, win-at-all-costs mode. When we get what we want, we don’t step over the scattered bodies as we make our victorious exit. We walk out with heads held high, knowing that everyone was treated ethically and respectfully.