31 Aug 2017

Stand Up or A Stand Out

A Stand Up or A Stand Out on vickiarcher.com

What does it take to make an impression?

Who does stand out in the crowd and why do they?

Standing out or being noticed is so much more than a fabulous blouse of a pair of killer heels. Making an impression is less about what’s on the outside and more about what is on the inside. It does read as obvious but it is easy to forget our inner in the quest for outer beauty and attention.

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love attention? How do we make sure of attention? Easy, we try and stand out, be noticed and make an unforgettable impression.

Yes, I do notice well-dressed women with style in spades and I also know what I can’t see is what has probably drawn me to them in the first place. I like to think in a bright and shiny world the inner and the outer go hand in hand. That would be naive of me and so often the beautiful ones are a brittle veneer.

I believe we should stand out, we should make an impression but for reasons we can be proud of. Looking our best selves is important but only a minuscule part of life’s equation. These days I want to work not only on my physical self but also on intangible qualities to help make a stronger self. As I am often saying I wish to be better not younger.

How are we going to do this?

We must be good listeners.

If we are listening we are focussing on others. It is so natural to become wrapped up in our own thoughts, cares and worries; we forget the voice of our friends and families.  Everyone loves a good listener.

Let’s not judge.

I know most of us have fixed opinions but those who don’t judge win hands down every time. Think about it, don’t we seek out friends who we feel won’t censor or criticise?  We are generally attracted to those who will take into account our point of view.

Give more of our time.

Time is our most precious gift and being there, whether we are needed or not, is one way to create an impact. Time is a balancing act and not an easy one. I for one am no tight-rope walker and fall into the net on a regular basis. Giving time is a question of willingness and management; it is not an easy equation.

Be approachable.

Oftentimes we might think we are approachable but others might not. Don’t you remember the girl at school who was too frightening to approach? That’s the kind of approachable I am thinking of. Some would call it an aura and others a vibe; whatever it is it is an important one to keep positive.

There is no such thing as too generous.

Generosity is about giving in every way; it is not simply about monetary value. A generous person is how we would wish to be described. When I think, ‘generous’ I think warm, loving and unselfish.

Take one for the team.

Sometimes it is important to do what we don’t want to. Yes, it is on our list to say, ‘no’ more and listen to our own voice but there are junctions in life where doing what we don’t want have significant value for others. It will be noted and paid back a thousand times over.

You have created a wonderful lasting impression on me. Any tips to add? xv

Leave An Impression

keep it simple, you do the rest

estelle sheath   ||  maggy sheath  ||  gwen midi  ||  felicity & coco pencil  ||  cap sleeve midi  ||  victoria beckham lace  ||  kate unger embellished

keep it longer, always a winner

eileen fisher silk maxi  ||  alfred sung v neck  ||  cap sleeve a-line  ||  trumpet gown  ||  nic & zoe flared hem

image, campaign for ligne rosset


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Taste of France

This is an inspiring post to start the day. I think some of the qualities are related–someone who is a good listener is generous (with listening, and possibly other things) and probably doesn’t judge and is approachable. Smiling can go a long way–if you smile and mean it, are you judging? or not approachable?


To stand out, particularly in a gathering (not always so good to stand out too much on the street) here are some tips I picked up/worked out as part of my work: Read widely, keep up with latest movies, see as many of the classics as you can, similarly with the fine arts. Opera, ballet and the theatre too if you have an interest. Also keep up with current affairs – and not just in the country where you live. It helps to make us all more interesting people – but it’s also essential to have or develop a genuine interest in others. Part of the really listening side you mention Vicki. But it’s also important to give meaningful and relevant responses. Compliment people on something about their appearance – shoes, lipstick colour, tie. Ask about their holidays, if they’ve seen a popular film or television program, or if you dare, a controversial one, at that time. All very basic stuff really – but sometimes people freeze up when they don’t know many guests, feeling intimidated or nervous and can forget.
Be helpful to your host, if you can introduce people and get them started talking by saying something interesting about each at the time (learned this lesson early from an introduction by an expert “This is Toby, he’s a morris dancer – actually he was a young doctor who was learning morris dancing for fun. – Toby, this is Pamela, she’s just arrived from Australia”. It piqued our interest in the other and made it easy for questions to be asked). Circulate, learn how to extricate yourself from a bore. Don’t trot out any hobby horses you might have and risk boring people yourself. Don’t do the obvious looking over the other person’s shoulder to see if there is anyone else more interesting. Smile but be prepared to be serious if that’s the direction the conversation is going. Also have a couple of amusing jokes up your sleeve, if appropriate. Avoid standing too close to people – most people don’t like having their personal space invaded. The distance you stand differs from culture to culture. Be aware of and respect cultural differences. Take care with how much you drink. If someone is continually filling your glass before it’s empty – you won’t be aware of exactly how much you’ve consumed. Wait till a glass is completely empty then get a refill if you want – it’s also a good way of escaping from someone. Switch to mineral water or similar if you think you’ve had enough. (At outdoor receptions in the tropics I’d consume up to 6 mineral waters. People were shocked as they thought the drinks were gin and tonics. But they soon learned this was my way at official parties.) Many of these suggestions are part of the diplomatic tricks of the trade for how to behave at receptions, etc, but they also work well outside such circles. In short, be nice, be genuine, helpful, well mannered, care about others, but also be smart and sensible. And yes, be generous and show appreciation. And most of all, have fun! People who are happy and enjoying themselves stand out. Best wishes, Pamela


Great pointers, Pamela… I guess it all comes down to showing an interest in others and also being interesting to them
“singing for our supper”, so to speak :)

Anita Rivera

Good morning, Vicki! As I opened your page and saw your header, I was impressed. As I started to read, I was doubly impressed with the timeliness of your thoughts. Just yesterday, as part of a week-long preparation at school to work in our classrooms, organize our lessons and be ready for students on Tuesday, Sept. 5, we also have been attending a series of meetings. Yesterday’s district reunion was exceptional, and what made it so great was that we had a local but very nation-wide known organization come to speak to a crowd of hundreds of teachers in our district about “IMPROVISATION.” What strikes me about your post is that the bullet points you share here are EXACTLY the points that we reviewed yesterday. In groups, we had to improvise scenarios that would allow us to practice all of the skills that help us come out of ourselves and into the lives of others’ thoughts and opinions. Listening to one another as a group was essential to carry out the assignment of creating a cohesive but creative story. Since it was an improvisation, we had to come to an understanding of trust based on NON-JUDGEMENTAL behaviors. The rest of your list falls into place with the points we took away because the exercise was designed to teach and remind us how important it is to be nimble “improvisors” for the unexpected in order to teach and especially to learn. To be more approachable, to be generous with our skills and most of all, be compassionate.

For me, this district reunion was one of the best I’ve ever attended in my 15 years of tenure. Your blog post is one of the best since I’ve been reading you (and you have put out some fabulous posts) because in the long run, what makes us stand out is what’s the indestructible beauty found only on the inside. I wish you a fabulous journey dearest Vicki, as you touch lives and make an impact in your world. Much love. Anita


Thank you Anita… and what a wonderful district reunion you are part of.. this must make for inspired teaching. Good luck for the beginning of term..

Mimi Gregor

A person who obviously is confident — without being cocky, which is just irritating — is always a standout. So is someone with a sense of humor. It seems more difficult to find a woman who is humorous than a man. Why are women afraid to be funny? Is comedy perceived as being unfeminine in some way? Not that I’m complaining, really; it helps me to stand out by throwing bon mots right and left and making Seinfeldian observations. God knows, I won’t do it by being a leggy, blonde Amazon.


Ha ha… great additions, Mimi… Confidence.. yes! Humour… absolutely :) Telling a joke has never been my talent.. I wish…


Thank you for this inspiring post today, Vicki, it’s a great way to begin the day! I so agree with all your points, the real way to stand out is to be truly interested in others, and care. I don’t need to have “all eyes glued on me” because I am so stylish, confident, beautiful or whatever….{those days where they actually had a chance of being that are long gone}, I don’t need to be the wittiest either, but if the people I interact with feel as if I am interested and caring about their lives, their passions, and their hurdles in life, I’m a winner!


Knowing how to tell a good story is a way to engage others, as long as the story has an ending! Learning how to ask questions and then to follow the theme of the responses makes for great conversation- a lost art. And sometimes the person who seems least approachable is actually the shyest, not the most aloof.
Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful messages!

Linda B

What a fantastic post, Vicki. These are all such good points. I have been working hard lately to figure out how to stay confident in the face of lots of professional and personal challenges and obstacles. This is a wonderful road map!

Susan Lamb

Dear Vicki,
No pointers as I think yours are spot on! Ah, OK, maybe one ….. Don’t wait…don’t think there will be more time tomorrow because….there just may not be!

P.S. LOVE your site!

Susie Martin

Wise words Vicki -Thank you As for any addition- Smile & smile kindly generously sincerely & often is what I would add XX

Jay Schultz

Excellent post Vicki. I like to think I work hard on relationships and efforts to meet the new . But, you provided meaningful food for thought… especially, the last item. Sometimes, we can make an enormous (positive) impact in peoples lives by doing even the smallest thing for them – things we really didn’t want to do.

Leslie in Oregon

While I agree with virtually all the points you and your comments have made in and to this post, I do not share the stated overarching goal of “standing out in the crowd” or getting “attention.” I do not like to stand out in a crowd and attract attention; it invites a type of scrutiny that is, at best, meaningless to me. I have actively avoided fame and celebrity, accordingly, whenever either beckoned. Interacting with another individual, or a very small group of individuals, in ways that are meaningful to them is, for me, far more rewarding. To each her own…


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