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Life Classes with Sara Jane Ho

Life Classes with Sara Jane Ho

Tips on being the most charming person in the room? Master the art of non-sexual flirting? Netflix’s resident etiquette queen and author Sara Jane Ho has all the right answers. 

My parents always told me it’s important to show interest in everybody. No matter if you’re speaking to an 80-year-old or a two-year-old, everybody has a story and you can always learn something from other people. So that’s what I’ve always done. In my new book, I mention something like non-sexual flirting. Flirting is showing sexual interest in somebody right? But you can show interest in somebody platonically and have chemistry and that’s so important to connect with people.

I view myself as a micro-cultural anthropologist. Anthropologists study human behaviour, and micro-cultural because every day we move through different circles. Your work, your family, your friends are all a different type of culture. So every time I’m with a different group of people I’m thinking, what’s the study here? How are they dressed? How are they speaking? What are they talking about? What are their interests now? When you get into that scholarly mode, your social anxiety goes away.

I have a great interest in traditional Chinese medicine. In the Mind Your Manners show, I brought in a lot of traditional Chinese medicine and talked about acupuncture and herbs as part of my makeovers for my students. I didn’t anticipate my Western followers to show such great interest in TCM, so I’ve now launched my TCM beauty brand in the States. For me this was a self-discovery. My mission has always been about helping women move through the world with confidence, and this is an extension of that, to blend the best of East and West and help more women around the world. 

My greatest personal achievement is learning to speak Mandarin like a native. I grew up in Hong Kong and I continued to study German and French in the States, but when I moved to China I needed to teach locals in a language that felt foreign to me. But I love a good challenge and I’m the kind of person to really rise up to it. Now locals won’t even believe I’m not from mainland China.

There’s a lot of anxiety in the world, especially after the pandemic, and Netflix approached me at a great time because I feel like there’s an absolute lack of etiquette today. Every aspect of life can do with an injection of etiquette right now. People don’t really know how to communicate any more, and instead of saying FOMO these days, people like to say JOMO, which is the joy of missing out. Human beings urgently need to connect with one another and that’s what my show is about and what my whole ethos of my school is about. 

See Also

Sara Jane Ho's new etiquette book comes out April 9, 2024
Sara Jane Ho’s new etiquette book comes out April 9, 2024

My new book is divided across five chapters: Friendship and Social Life, Work, Dating and Relationships, Family, and Food and Travel. When I wrote my Chinese etiquette book in 2016, it was more of a guide. In this new book I give so much of myself into it. There are a lot of anecdotes, case studies from teaching and personal experiences. I show readers how to be their best selves in any situation. Etiquette really is about making other people feel comfortable around you, because ultimately that makes us comfortable in ourselves. 

Pre-order your copy of Mind Your Manners: How to Be Your Best Self in Any Situation here. Out April 9, 2024.

Source: Prestige Online

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