One of the best kept beauty secrets is engagement.
I’m not talking military manoeuvers or diamond sparklers, but engagement of the mental and emotional kind; being engaged with others.
Engagement is all about listening, being interested, participating and actively sharing in what our friends, colleagues and families think and feel. It is about being there; about the one to one.
When someone is captured by what you have to say it is the most flattering of sensations.
For in a way, engagement is an art.
To be engaged we need to fine tune the senses, know when to listen and when to contribute. Engagement means positive contributions not overwhelming advice or reiterations of i-told-you-so. Engagement is not for selfish people, those who are only interested in their own stories, journeys and adventures. It’s a two way street and we need to take the time to really hear what our pals are saying, for if we do, they will surely reciprocate.
Being made to feel beautiful, interesting and valuable is a precious gift.
Engaging with someone in our most genuine way is how to bestow such generosity. Putting ourselves last in line and considering others before self, especially when we feel as if our world is balanced very precariously, is not the easiest. To be preoccupied with our own goals, successes and problems is natural. The key to good engagement is balance. To be able to step outside of ourselves and really focus on others for that moment.
Engagement like swings and roundabouts, means our turn will come.
Another way to show an engaged persona, is to be present in the moment. Remember what it feels like to be in the company of someone who makes you the centre of their orbit, their only focus, the only one that matters. We forget all about ourselves and we become mesmerised by them. It is uplifting and builds confidence. The tables turn and their interest in us makes them so desirable.
All the fame, intelligence, wealth and physical allure in the world means absolutely nothing if the ability to engage with others is absent.
Beauty has many faces; engagement is only one of them.
The Best Kept Beauty Secrets
for a more practical beauty secret, have you seen the valentine’s kit?
truly, perfect… xv
iris apfel photographed for architectural digest