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Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

Most people know Audrey Hepburn for her works in classic films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Sabrina”, and “My Fair Lady”. Born in Belgium, Audrey spent most of her childhood in Belgium, England, and the Netherlands studying ballet. Audrey shot to stardom after landing a role in the Broadway play “Gigi”, which led to her first substantial film role in “Roman Holiday”. Audrey Hepburn received many awards throughout her career, and  is still one of the few stars to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. While her work in Hollywood is infamous, after age 40, Audrey appeared in fewer films and began working heavily with UNICEF. For the rest of her life, she worked in poor, developing areas of Africa, South America, and Asia. Audrey Hepburn proved that gorgeous women can be powerful and intellectual, which was particularly unique during the 1950’s to 1970’s. In addition to her career and humanitarian accomplishments, Audrey Hepburn spoke English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and German. Such a diverse and skilled woman truly lived her life in a way all of us can learn from. The following 15 quotes from Audrey Hepburn are sure to rouse you to be the best you can be.

1. Live Your Life

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

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    In a world full of greed and power-hungry public figures, it’s refreshing to be reminded that life is simply meant to be lived.

    2. Don’t Forget About Others

    “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

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      This poignant way of looking at ourselves reminds us that somewhere out there someone else has it worse off than you. However, this quote also speaks to how important it is to take care of yourself in order to be in a position to help others.

      3. Solitude Can Be Healthy

      “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”

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        It’s rare to hear famous figures express the benefit of stepping away from attention. Though all of us want to achieve our goals in life and at work, everyone functions better when we’re properly rested and approaching life in a balanced way.

        4. Actions Define Us

        “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.”

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          This succinct summary of how to approach other people is an elegant reminder that actions speak louder than words.

          5. The Journey Is What Matters

          “Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.”

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            Much like focusing on enjoying our life, this brilliant quote about success highlights the importance of enjoying the journey rather than obsessing over your destination.

            6. Too Much Attention Can Be Bad

            “There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.”

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              Audrey was one of the few stars to approach their public life with a balanced perspective. This lovely quote reminds all of us that attention is temporary. Moreover, no one should sell out their character in order to seek approval.

              7. Be Selfless

              “It’s that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so ‘don’t fuss, dear; get on with it.’”

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                Increasingly, today’s world of social media drives us to be concerned with ourselves more than ever. This energizing quote reminds us that sometimes it is sincerely more important to consider the greater good.

                8. Happiness Is Simple

                “I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.”

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                  Similarly, this wonderful definition of happiness reminds us to appreciate the great things in our lives while we have them.

                  9. We’re All The Same Inside

                  “I’m half-Irish, half-Dutch, and I was born in Belgium. If I was a dog, I’d be in a hell of a mess!”

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                    In the era Audrey Hepburn lived, racism was largely acceptable, mainly institutionalized, and even falsely propped up by erroneous “science”. From someone perceived to be from one race, such a bold statement that each of us is simply a mix of humanity is truly a stirring approach to what can be an ugly, judgemental subject.

                    10. Appreciate The Moment

                    “Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.”

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                      This beautiful metaphor is another impressive way to think about our life’s journey. Especially in a world where we take pictures first and experience second, this electrifying reminder to live in the moment is one we should all remember more often.

                      11. Value Your Voice

                      “Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.”

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                        This motivating quote illustrates why you should celebrate your unique qualities. Each person has their own voice, and Audrey Hepburn understood that sticking to this inner compass is what really makes life work for you.

                        12. Seize Each Opportunity

                        “I’ve been lucky. Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.”

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                          Another impassioned approach to life, each of us should be unafraid to go after the things we want.

                          13. Never Give Up On Someone

                          “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

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                            A powerful view of forgiveness, this encouraging reminder to treat people kindly and with understanding is more applicable today than ever.

                            14. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

                            “I don’t take my life seriously, but I do take what I do – in my life – seriously.”

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                              Another impressive reminder to enjoy life without becoming overly stressed out, this quote illustrates the difference between taking your goals seriously and becoming too critical of ourselves.

                              15. Aim High

                              “I tried always to do better: saw always a little further. I tried to stretch myself.”

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                                Ultimately, the path to success requires each of us to work harder and push further each and every day. If Audrey Hepburn’s life is any indication, there really is no limit to what you can achieve.

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                                Alicia Prince

                                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                Published on April 7, 2021

                                6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                                6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                                Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

                                While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

                                1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

                                Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

                                If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

                                In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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                                2. They Make Everything Transactional

                                Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

                                For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

                                Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

                                A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

                                Some statements to be wary of include:

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                                • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
                                • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
                                • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
                                • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

                                3. They Criticize Everything

                                One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

                                However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

                                Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

                                • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
                                • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
                                • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
                                • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

                                4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

                                We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

                                For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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                                This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

                                5. They Socially Isolate You

                                Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

                                Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

                                This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

                                In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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                                6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

                                It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

                                Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

                                Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

                                • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
                                • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
                                • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
                                • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

                                Final Thoughts

                                It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

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                                Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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