Interview by Whitney Johnson. Written by Mackenzie Scibetta.

Watching a grown woman yank on another woman’s hair while wearing a skin-tight dress and holding a cocktail is the opposite of what it means to have poise, but as we know from the latest celebrity news, it is neither surprising nor uncharacteristic in our society. In fact, it is almost commonplace for women these days to have a lack of grace and dignity. Lucky for us, relationship author and blogger Jennifer Scott recently released her third book in her Madame Chic series dedicated to this topic. In Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic, she serves us a guide to a classy and elegant lifestyle and also sprinkles in some dating advice.

Relationship Author Shares Her Tips for Having Poise

First, can you define poise for our readers?

There are five main characteristics that make up poise: confidence, composure, compassion, presentation, and being present. Confidence is really just about feeling comfortable in your own skin and owning who you are. Composure is so important and hard, especially in a difficult situation where someone is pushing your buttons. There are so many encounters where we could use composure to our benefit. As for compassion, that asks us to think about someone other than ourselves, which is a major part of having poise, especially in our narcissistic society. Also, how you present yourself — not just your clothes but how you behave — can say a lot about you. Making eye contact, speaking clearly, and dressing in your own true style will help. Lastly, being present means not getting stuck in your own head and worrying about the future. Instead, seize every moment you have.

Related Link: Most Popular Girl in New York City Shares Online Dating and Relationship Advice in New Book

What celebrities come to mind when you think about poise?

I love Rachel Bilson because she doesn’t have a big presence on social media, which says a lot about her. Other celebrities that I love are Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, and Kirsten Dunst because they all posses a lot of grace. And of course, Audrey Hepburn is still an icon even so many years after her death.

An obvious choice for someone who needs to work on their poise would be Miley Cyrus. She’s trying too hard to shock people, and that’s not going to last long-term.

What was your favorite chapter to write in Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic?

I loved the presentation and style part because it is so valuable. People assume style is superficial, but it’s not! It’s simply about presenting yourself well with dignity and respect. I always encourage my readers to find their own style. You see people on the streets wearing black yoga pants everyday with an old t-shirt, and it’s rancid.

In what aspect of their life do you find young women need to work on their poise most?

I think they struggle most with finding their place in the world and learning how to carry themselves. It’s hard in our society, especially with celebrities focusing on the wow factor; young women start to think they should behave like that too. They’re acting anti-establishment because it’s the popular trend right now. Instead, young women should really think about how they present themselves and what their choices say about who they are.

Jennifer Scott Provides Dating Advice For Those Lacking Grace

Now for some dating advice! What suggestions do you have for women going on a first date?

First, I think that dating should be taken seriously. You shouldn’t just accept any invitation! Next, dress beautifully and in a respectful way because you want to attract the right kind of person. There’s no need to be overly sexual to try and get the guy interested in you. Also, when you’re in conversation with him, don’t spill your life story. Instead, show that you’re well-read and discuss current events or books and movies that you enjoy. Make him see that you’re an interesting person.

Any tips for someone meeting their partner’s family for the first time over the holidays?

This is where poise can be your secret weapon. Make sure to dress respectfully, make good eye contact, shake hands, and bring a gift for the host. Show them what a dignified young lady you are by really being present and engaged. And no matter what, do not play on your cell phone the whole time!

Related Link: Relationship Author Dr. Tara Fields’ Love Advice: “The Happiest Couples Don’t Necessarily Have More or Less Conflict”

How can a woman maintain her poise post-breakup?

It’s really easy to maintain poise in the good times, but it’s even more important to maintain it in the bad times. Always pause when you’re agitated and do not jump on social media. Keep things private, both good and bad. Additionally, don’t let yourself go into a funk of wearing only sweatpants. Pull yourself together to help keep that positive attitude.

Lastly, as a working mom, do you have any tips for our readers who are struggling to balance their family life with their career?

Set your priorities. Family is the main focus for most women, so when you come home from a long day of work, make sure to spend time with your spouse and kids. Whatever precious time you have with them, be present and make it count.

Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic is available on Amazon. If you’re looking for more from Jennifer Scott, check out her blog Daily Connoisseur!