Too many women make the fatal mistake in their efforts to please or trying to copy the special charms of women whom they consider charming. This is especially true of young girls.
It is a wrong attitude to take for two reasons. It suppresses individuality, that quality in you that should be cultivated to the full, and it often brings into your manner the false note of insincerity.
Don’t envy others’ charms
The fact that you admire intensely the special charms of another woman is not the slightest excuse for your trying to copy them, but every reason for your trying to bring into play individual charms of your own, some of which you may not even know you possess because you may have been too diffident, too self-depreciating or indolent to cultivate your individuality. Charms are distinctly a matter of personality. Hospitality, kindness, effective repose, tact, etc. — all these are charms that may be acquired if we do not happen to possess them.
But the special charms of personality, they belong each to the special personality that has engendered them.
Naturally serene and quiet of disposition, for some reason you envy Miss K’s vivacity. She has a spirited little way of tossing her head, she uses lots of pretty little gestures, her remarks have an entrancing habit of ending in question marks. You try to do as she does. But you don’t quite succeed, do you?
These graces that you admire so in Miss K would not be charming in her at all if it were not that they are perfectly spontaneous to her. They are expressions of her personality, which is so diametrically opposed to your own. You try to adapt them and you either make yourself ridiculous or, if not that, at least detract from your own charm, which is quite as deplorable.
Use your good common sense
Admire those charms in Miss K, but regard them as something absolutely her own. Don’t embitter yourself with envy. Cultivate with more care than ever — the graces that spring naturally from your own, serene, quiet self. There will be many people who will find them far more attractive than the charms you so covet that are Miss K’s.
The world needs her charms and it needs yours. You will only hurt these real merits of yours by trying to graft in among them charms foreign to your personality that simply cannot thrive because the special temperament needed to make them thrive is not yours. Under the grafted graces that bloom so unsatisfactorily, the graces natural to your temperament will fade.
Most of us are not awake to the possibilities of charm that lie in ourselves. Self-depreciation is a general failing. We do not often try to know ourselves, we are too busy watching other people. It is well to admire other people’s charms, but never to a degree that impairs our confidence in ourselves.
To each and every one of us was given as a birthright a personality different from any other. Life demands of us in return for the marvelous gift the development of it. If we do not develop it, but drape it in the shroud of self-effacement and depreciation, or hide its true light in the false gleam of borrowed lights, what else are we doing but robbing the world of what is its due from us?
Be yourself in all your ways, and someday, you will laugh at the days when you tried to copy Miss K’s vivacity, Mrs M’s laugh, your neighbor’s ways of walking, yo
ur cousin’s languor, etc. Envy has a way of growing weaker the oftener it is eliminated. Study yourself and develop your own personality.