Mental Poise; What is Your Facial Expression Saying About You? Pt.2

Hey friends,
Thanks for following the post from last week. I got quite a few good comments and questions. Generally, I can deduce that having and maintaining mental poise is somewhat like trying to grasp the wind; something intangible. Having mental poise and controlling our facial expressions have to do with ‘influencing our countenance.’ The word influence means to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something. Like we discussed last week, mental poise has to do with ensuring that your (negative) thoughts do not show up on your face. But how do you achieve that? How do you influence your countenance when it is influenced by how you feel per time?
If we are given five concrete steps to build a house, knot a tie in different styles, tie our shoe laces, style our braids, tie that ever-so-stubborn gele (Nigerian head gear), apply makeup or navigate our way to a particular destination, we could probably more easily work with that; something tangible (Google Maps and countless Youtube videos for everything make this abundantly clear). But how do we have and maintain control over our feelings which are ever changing, sometimes engulfing and unexplainable…seemingly intangible?
I am not here to tell you that there is a set down principle or a hard and fast rule to keeping your feelings in check. I’m only going to share a couple of pointers (in no particular order) that I know to be true and am trying to put into practise myself. Hopefully, they’ll point in you in the right direction and give you a very good head start.
1. Decide: I have found that about the most effective tool to effect a change in our countenance or feelings is the ability and resolve to DECIDE! We’ve probably all heard the famous saying ‘If you want to change direction from where you are, move your feet, you’re not a tree.’ No matter how you feel, who has upset you, how much you don’t want to be at a party, etc., you have the power to decide that you deserve and want to feel better. I have found that when you so decide everything else falls in place to favour you. You literally train your mind to start thinking this way by default.


2. Feelings are in motion: you must realise that how you feel at a particular moment will change…possibly in just a few moments. Your feelings are continually changing; they are e-motion; in motion. You therefore cannot afford to base how you respond, behave or present yourself on something which is ever so fleeting. Like is said, your emotions are babies or infants, they should be strapped in the passenger’s seat no matter how loud they howl.


There are times when my husband is doing my head in. I feel like I’m going to explode at that time. ‘Doesn’t he get it? How can he? Can’t he see that he’s hurting me?’ At those times I feel not speaking to him is the best solution for both of us. However, in recent times, points 1 and 2 have kicked in a whole lot. I decide that I’m not going to get myself worked up. I’m not going to be bothered when he’s sleeping so well. I’m not going to become an angry, unpleasant, grumpy and ill-mannered person because of external factors.

I remember that whatever it is I’m upset with him about will change. It may not change there and then, but with good communication (which I can’t do when I’m mad) and prayers, he will see what I’m trying to say and do all he can to avoid hurting me. When I think this way, I’m able to concentrate on the good, play with him, love about and have good and productive conversations.


3. Edit your thoughts: be careful what you listen to, what you read, what you watch and what you talk about. I know this has been over flogged, but it is because it’s true. Think about it, have you noticed that you watch some movies sometimes and for the next few hours or even days you are depressed? There are some conversations you engage in or merely hang around and you become quite irritable. Maybe the conversations touched on a matter that you are sensitive to. You read a magazine or an article on a particular topic and you are angry the rest of the day. I know this has happened to me, especially with conversations. Filter and edit your thoughts, just as you would filter and edit when picking out what clothes to wear.


I hope this post has been helpful to you. I’ll share three more points next week. Be sure to look out for it.

Have a great week!

Categories: How to be a Lady, Importance of Etiquette, Manners, social etiquette, Social Intelligence | Leave a comment

Mental Poise; What Does Your Facial Expression Say About You?

Hello friends,

I MUST start this post by apologising profusely for being away for so long. A lot has been happening with me. I’ve been in geographical transition and that took way more time, attention and energy than I ever thought it would. Thank God most of it is over now. I’m doing well. (You’re so kind, thanks for asking. *Smiles*) I also took some time out to give full attention to this  before writing my own posts. I should have done even better hubby, forgive me. Please check it out, you’ll be thoroughly blessed.

I do hope you have all been off to a great start this year; committing to God,  planning, achieving and enjoying life. I sure have, in spite of an already busy year.


Alright, to the business of the day. Mental Poise. This topic has been on my mind for a couple of months now. It could be because it is something I’m still getting a hang of or just because it is something we could all fall prey to and need to master. We’ve discussed on this blog a number of things that make you an elegant lady; how you sit, walk, talk, poise, social conduct, etc. However, in addition to all of these, a very important element in being an elegant lady or coming across as one, is your EXPRESSION.

What kind of face do you wear? What kind of face do you deserve? What do your facial expressions say about you without your consent? Do your thoughts, your mood and feelings show up on your face? What is your facial expression like when you are in limbo (waiting for a bus, waiting for a friend at a party, waiting on a queue to pay for your groceries, casually walking into a mall or office where you believe nobody knows you)? Have you pictured yourself in your head or remembered what someone has told you in the past (or recently) about your expressions?

When I’m upset, I tend to block everything out and just do what I necessarily need to do. I’m not rude, but I’m not very friendly and I’m almost certain I don’t look approachable at times like that. I may feel it is within my right to keep to myself or pull a face when I’m legitimately upset. I may feel people need to understand and empathise with me. They should respect my space. Alas, the life of a poised elegant lady doesn’t always permit this.


To learn to be graceful, we must first study expression. Expression is the result of your thoughts materializing on your face. It is a form of action and communication.

To ensure that we only give beautiful expressions, we have to control how we think, and control the impressions we make in our head. That means to obtain beautiful and elegant expressions, we have to obtain mental poise.

We also need the power of analysis and self-correction. Mastering this will give you command of yourself and an appearance of ease (Culled from The Elegant Woman).


Next week, I’ll share a few things I have learned and know about controlling expressions. We’ll talk about influencing our countenance, how to communicate more pleasant messages with our expressions


Categories: How to be a Lady, social etiquette, Social Intelligence | 3 Comments

Social Etiquette Quiz 2

Hello friends,


I sincerely apologise for not posting the answers to the quiz last week as promised. The answers are below and the final quiz…and post for the year.


1. C

2. D

3. A

4. A

5. C

6. A

7. B

8. A

9. B

10. C


How did you do?


Here’s the second and final quiz. Some of the questions have options while others do not. Feel free to write your own answers.


1. If introductions are being made and you are somehow forgotten, you should keep quiet and let it slide

a) True

b) False


2. While having a conversation with someone, it’s okay to keep talking even if you can’t remember their name. Don’t make your error obvious

a) True

b) False


3) It’s okay to have private discussions in places like toilet cubicles, office cubicles or taxis

a) True

b) False


4) What percentage of the message you communicate is conveyed through your visual appearance

a) 30%

b) 55%

c) 75%


5) Is it appropriate to tell your business partner or potential client that his zipper is undone?

a) Yes

b) No


6) The host; the person who invites you to lunch, pays the bill

a) True

b) False


7) It’s okay to leave your phone on during a meeting if you’re expecting an important call


8) Is it appropriate to respond to a conversation or comment your overhear a colleague having in his/her cubicle


9) What does Faux Pas mean?


10) What does RSVP mean and what is it’s origin?




Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!





Categories: Etiquette quiz, Importance of Etiquette, Manners, social etiquette, Social Intelligence | 1 Comment

Social Etiquette Quiz

Hello friends,

How have you been?

The year is coming to an end, so I’m sure most of you are taking stock and reflecting. Hopefully, at the end of that, you can truly rejoice and be thankful for how far you have come. If so, a big congratulations to you and I pray for your continued advancement.

If you haven’t done as well as you expected, please don’t be distraught. Life is in cycles. It won’t always rain and it won’t always be sunny. Nevertheless, the vegetation of the earth needs both to grow, blossom and flourish. It never complains. As long as the farmer (you) is doing all the necessary, God will send the rain in due time (or the sun as the case may be). Do your best and after you have done all to stand, keep standing. It didn’t happen this time, but it could happen next time. You want to be ready. *wink* *hugs*


To round off the year, I thought I’d give you a series of quizzes to see how much. I’ve taken some myself and I’ll be racking my social intelligence brain for others just like you. I hope you find this fun and helpful.

Answers next week alongside the next quiz.


1. If you attend a formal dinner and find a spoon placed horizontally above your dinner plate, what is it for?

a) Salad
b) Soup
c) Dessert
d) Decoration


2. Who should get off an elevator first?

a) Elderly and infirm
b) Men
c) Women
d) Whoever is closest to the door


3. If the person sitting next to you at dinner has accidentally started using your  bread plate (or glass), what do you do?

a) Discreetly place your bread on the side of your dinner plate
b) Ask the waiter for another plate
c) Tell your fellow diner they have taken your plate and find an extra somewhere on the table
d) Skip eating bread


4. You should always bring your host a small gift, even if he or she tells you to bring nothing.

a) True
b) False


5. What should you do if your cab driver complains your destination is too far?

a) Ignore him and sit back to enjoy the ride
b) Offer a bigger tip
c) Ask to be let out, give no tip and hail another cab
d) Tell your driver that you make decisions about where you’re going and it’s his job to drive there


6. Introductions: the ‘less important’ person should be introduced to the ‘more important person.’ (e.g, the intern should be introduced to the boss)

a) True

b) False


7. If someone asks to to remove your shoes in their home, but this is not your custom and it makes you feel uncomfortable, what should you do?

a) Keep them on
b) Remove them anyway
c) Tell them you are uncomfortable and then decide what to do based on their reaction
d) Ask for a pair of slippers or socks if you are lacking them


8. You should always try to have an equal number of men and women at a dinner party.

a) True
b) False


9. If you plan to visit and stay at least one night with a friend or relative, how much advance notice should you give them.

a) 3 days
b) 1 week
c) 2 weeks
d) A month, if possible


10. If you need to sneeze or cough in public, how should you do it?

a) Hold your head down and sneeze or cough away from other people

b) Move to another room to sneeze or cough before resuming other activities

c) Cover your hand and nose with your left hand (to leave your right hand free for for shaking and socialising)

d) Try to suppress it as long as possible

Categories: Etiquette quiz, Importance of Etiquette, social etiquette, Social Intelligence | 2 Comments

Top 10 Things Every Lady Should Have in Her Handbag

A lady’s hand bag is like the holy grail. The Holy Grail is a dish, plate, stone, or cup that is part of an important theme of Arthurian literature. According to legend, it has special powers, and is designed to provide happiness, eternal youth and food in infinite abundance. LOL! Doesn’t that sound like your handbag lady? It sure sounds like mine. Most of her embarrassing details, entertainment and life support resources could be in her bag. She could very well survive an emergency and save your life while at it with the content of her hand bag.
Okay, this is quite a hyperbole, but you get the point.
It just doesn’t happen in the movies. A lady’s handbag does contain the most interesting and needful things…as it should.
Here’s a list of my top 10 things I believe every lady should have in her bag. It’s in no particular order except for the first two. (I’m still trying to meet up on all, especially with the bag changes.)
By all means add yours when you are commenting on this post.



1.Sanitizer: sneezing, railings, hand shakes, sweaty faces, door knobs…our hands are in constant contact with people
and things. We may not have running water and soap around us 24/7, but we can largely improvise with a hand
sanitizer. You would not believe the amount of germs we pick up almost every minute.This is my number one must have.


2.Tissue and/or oil absorbing sheets: the multi uses of tissue can not be over-emphasised. It could be needed to wipe a stain, clean off dirt, blow your nose (as discreetly as possible), blot your mouth or face, etc. Oil absorbing sheets help to keep your makeup in place while avoiding an oily face.


3.Notepad and pen: you may have to write down and address or make a note of important information on the go. Just in case your batteries are flat or worse still, you lose the information on your gadget, a notebook and pen will rescue you.

4. Cash: mother says ‘You MUST always have money in your bag. Anything can happen.’ When I say money, I don’t mean a credit or debit card or a cheque book. I mean actual cash. The banks may not be open at the time and cash machines around may be temporarily out of order. In Nigerian parlance, it is called ‘vex money.’ It comes in handy when you need to ditch a bad date, pay for something urgently, avoid being stranded, etc. It is not to be spent on the general, it is just to be available for emergencies.


5.Breath mints or gum:Vital. Essential. Important. We are constantly having conversations so it’s important we freshen up as often as necessary. More so when we have just eaten, taken or nap or haven’t spoken for a while. Foul breath can be very repulsive.




6.Lip balm, lip gloss, lip stick: whatever it is you use that keeps your lips supple and vibrant, have that in your bag at all times. Chapped, dry or cracked lips are a no no for every lady.


7.Safety pins/sewing kit: I’m sure I’m not the only one who has the unfortunate experience of having a ripped skirt or a popped button. We have either shockingly put on weight (*sigh*), walked past a jagged edge, taken a fall, stretched just a bit too much or just worn out the clothes. A sewing kit will save you a lot of embarrassment and a bit of money at the tailor’s where they’ll charge you so much for a single button. Pppuuhllease!


8.Deodorant: for those days when you rush through the motions of getting out of the house and forget that you have not ‘tended to the area,’ having a small can of deodorant in your bag will be like heaven to you. If you need to freshen up or step out while at work, to receive clients or just because, your deodorant or body spray will rescue you..
Ps: I don’t recommend perfumes or body sprays for your armpit, just deodorant. The combination of a sweaty armpit and perfume or body spray is repulsive (last use of that word).


9.Business cards: you just thrilled an audience, a potential investor or client. They ask for your business card and you don’t have it. It would not be the best situation having to explain that you changed your bag last night, you just ran out of or you actually don’t have one. Your business card is a point of continued contact.
You should always have one with you.


10.Hand lotion: just like your lips, your hands should be supple and without cracks. No dry hands.


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