It seems to me social grace has slowly become a lost art. A shame really, as I believe that is one of the most attractive features a person can acquire simply by practicing it. It can greatly improve one's aura of presence, as well as a general improvement of one's social function.
What is social grace? thesaurus.com lists it as "good manner." The list of synonyms includes: good breeding, civility, decorum, consideration, courtesy, tact, etc.. Generally speaking, a woman or a man who can avoid a conflict through diplomacy is considered to exhibit an excellent form of social grace. The definition can be further expanded to include compassion and consideration toward others (especially ones under duress), or one can simply perform proper etiquette in the appropriate occasion. A beautiful person who can exhibit social grace is considered to be elegant, an aesthetic value that is different from gaudy.
In the olden days, when nobility ruled the land, people of importance would observe proper manner to reassure their status in the society. As the world began to shift from hereditary rule to capitalistic democracy, the class-based values have slowly drifted out of favor. While I can understand why some people may consider such formality is an reminder of the class system, but mutual respect between different members of the society, whether one is rich or poor, sick or old, in my opinion, should be continued to be observed.
So what are some ways to be a more graceful person? As a starter, one can exhibit one's social grace simply by not exhibiting behavior that would be considered disgraceful or scandalous. That is, if you did something that would bring shame to your family, it is probably the wrong thing to do.
Second, shows some appreciation, whether the act is heroic or simple. The lack of gratitude and take things for granted is a modern trend, usually among younger members of the society. As the world becomes more well-off, at least in the materialistic way, more people believe money is the magic that creates everything they enjoy, without considering the people who had made things possible. A simple nod to a street sweeper is a way to show one's appreciation of the person who makes our street clean and beautiful. A manager who provides sufficient support to his/her team members so they can have the required resource to do their jobs without harassment is also a type of appreciation.
Third, show some compassion. While some of us have trouble shelling out some money to the needy (though one should be wary of non-profit organization who promises to help on your behalf), but do be empathetic or others' hardship and try to strive for some solution to the problem.
Another way to show social grace is simply show some humility. No matter how much we have accomplished, think about those who helped us along the way and attribute the credit to those who deserve it instead taking all the credit. When someone wronged us, considered the accusation as room for improvement, as there must be something we did that led to the misunderstanding.
Some case scenarios of social graceful behaviors:
YouTuber Commentator: Your video is so gay.
YouTube Video Uploader: I am glad you enjoy my video. Though I would usually use ghey rather than gay, as the latter implies something pertaining to a homosexual man.
Comment: A smiley at the end of the sentence usually works. And the rebuttal needs to be humorous to ease the tension. If done in real life, imagine doing a curtsy in your head as you smile, as it gives you the proper mental posture and a sense of confidence. The guy could be a homosexual. Some gay people believe or not, use gay to mean nifty and awesome. Being defensive is just going to make the situation worse and create an awkward atmosphere for other people who look at your video. Not only that, more people will begin to post "gay" remarks on your video.
Random Homophobe: Get out of my neighborhood, you faggot.
Faggot Boy: (*gives the perfect smile that could give homophobe a hard-on*)
Comment: Avoiding confrontation like this. Do not say anything. Just be humble and leave. The man might be someone who was never loved as a child, so he couldn't understand the value of compassion. We can show him what love is by simply ignoring them, instead of a scold, which only makes things worse. If the homophobe appears to be violent, please run away and call 911. Sometimes homophobic people are rather insecure about their own sexuality. They might be gay or straight (or anything in between). Do not always assume every cute guy is gay (a common gay mistake), but a big smile like our faggoty boy just did is a good test. Though dating a closeted case is not a long-term solution.
Hanky Panky: (*gropes and gives the most disgusting smile*)
Nice Asset: (*moves away*) You are mistaken me for someone else. >
Comment: You don't want to agitate a hanky panky. When they're humiliated, they might do something more aggressive, and you would end up a very sorry ass.... But do be stern and give a clear message that no means no.
Chick-fil-a Goer: (*lines up on to buy chickens*)
Comment: Nothing you need to do except you don't need to buy chicken from Chick-fil-a. Doing an over-the-top counter-protest with your c*ck in their chicken is not going to work. Shows your humility and compassionate side. They're the Christians and they ought to be the ones who know those values. Emphasize similarity rather than differences. They need to learn gay people are just like any normal people they know, an integral part of the society. Just because they judge us doesn't mean we need to judge them back. Nobody likes a judgmental person anyways. We can do other more educational work instead. Things of this nature takes time, or you can wait until they all die out as a specie. Violent, acute act may backfire. I have never seen a Chick-fil-a in California. Their own narrow-mindedness is limiting their own market, and probably already lowered the public perception of Christian church.