A high school teacher once told me, “the true meaning of sophistication is knowing what to do in the situation you’re in.” Admittedly, that doesn’t make me any more sophisticated than with the popular definition, but it does give an added dimension to the ideas of sophistication, elegance and grace.
How many of us have been in a social situation in which we feel like a duck out of water, surrounded by graceful, sleek panthers? They slide from one individual to the next, mysterious, powerful and so, so pretty, while we waddle and quack.
Maybe the best thing to do is find a party for ducks. If true sophistication is knowing what to do where you are, maybe leaving is the most gracious option available to you.
That’s not failure. For one thing, some people are naturally more comfortable in a social situation. I’m generally not one of those people. I like my small groups and familiar situations. I can survive in a crowd, but I’m probably not having fun.
When to make an entrance, how to make an entrance, and when & how to exit are prime social skills. If you’ve got those down, record that under “elegance.”
And just think how awkward those panthers would feel at a party for ducks. Assuming they don’t eat us alive…