Being a gentleman is not a character, it is a lifestyle. It is not so much of doing the right thing, it is about what you stand for and how you reflect and decide to act to other people. I, myself find this lifestyle very intriguing.
A couple weeks ago, just a regular day. I was laying in bed and asked myself the question: How does men become a gentleman? What does it take to be a gentleman?
Once I’ve done my research I realized, I was already pursuing this type of lifestyle in some sort of way. But now that I know what it takes I am determined to define myself even more.
Below I made a list of 10 things I find important. What I think defines a gentleman. Sure, there are much more things you can think of. But if you’re doing these things then you are on the right track.
1. Watch your language
Starting off with language. In The Netherlands, it is common to swear with diseases. Some examples : Get cancer, I hope you get typhus etc. No idea how this started by the way. I think this is very odd. Sure, you can have a disagreement, or not like a person. But wishing someone to get a fatal disease that will most likeley kill this person, in the end, is a little bit harsh in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong I swear too occasionally, but since my experience of my internship in Canada, I have learned that having a potty mouth regardless of the situation can be really offending to other people.
I know that we might use swearwords to empower certain words or sentences and to show our excitement for something. I Still think it is not necessary. Nobody said you need swear to express yourself so why should we ;) ?
2. Hold the door open
It is just a small gesture but can have such a big impact. It shows kindness. It is not especially symbolic of being a gentleman, but it does show that you care about other people.
You might expect people to just do this, but that is an illusion. There are loads of people who don’t do this and just let it slam into others faces. Of course, you can be in a hurry but it is nice to sometimes show just the slightest form of humanity.
3. Be authentic, be yourself
I quote: ‘’The most important investment you can make is in yourself’’ Warren Buffet.
I so agree with this. You got to do it on your own and find out who you are and how you define yourself.
‘’Be a leader, not a follower’’. Take matters into your own hands. There are too many copycats in this world, be original.
Embrace your flaws and insecurities there is no shame in that. It sets you apart from everyone else and people will remember you because of those quirky little things.
‘’Love the little things’’ by Milou Florien (iloustrations)
4. Respect for others
Respect. A word with power. Admiring someone/something for who they are. For their ability’s, quality’s and achievements.
Everyone has their own skills they are good at. There is no shame in admitting someone else is better in something then you. I feel like this is actually a really strong asset. Knowing and acknowledging what someone else’s talents are, their strong/weak points. It is a powerful gift and good for your network because you know if they are the real deal or not.
5. Be spontaneous, open up
Do you want to be helpful? Get new experiences? and meet new people? Then be spontaneous. Say hello or good morning when you have eye contact with somebody. You don’t have to push it ‘’Canadian style’’ and say hello every time you walk passed someone :P, but just every now and then say hi, maybe even start a conversation who knows ^^.
If you see someone struggling simply ask them the question: Can I help you? If you are open and approachable then people will do the same for you. Example: You lost your way in the city, the first thing you want to do is use google maps, but wait and resist that feeling for a couple extra seconds.
Google maps should be your last case scenario. What you should do is ask a local. Not only will they give a good visualization of how to get back on track, They know every street and all the nice sights. Especially the special places who you’d never find if you go to the tourist places. Be engaging.
6. Be grown up, know that your actions have consequences
Don’t get involved in fights, be a people person, read them. If you can tell somebody has a temper then don’t interfere bluntly. People can be unpredictable so watch out for that.
Also from a work point of view. Employers nowadays check your social media and your email address. It should be professional. So not like email@example.com.
Sure, you can go to a party, but posting a picture of you being completely hammered, without your shirt on doing a keg stand is not that professional. But hey respect, cause it's pretty cool if you are able to do that haha. So watch out with what you post on your social media.
7. Define yourself through your clothes
Clothing, a gentleman, that does sound like an episode of Suits. Well, then you might think of suit and tie, but that is not necessarily the case here.
I personally think hygiene is important and looking sharp, but I think it is more important that you feel confident and good in your own skin. This also means wearing the type of clothing you like. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing something then simply don’t do it.
It is a matter of representation, we all have that one friend who wears these old Nike's, basic shirt and a vest. Well, there is nothing wrong with that. He doesn’t want to put an effort in his clothes, because he probably has a passion for something else. Don’t judge a book by its cover 😉.
8. Offer up your seat for elderly, woman or disabled people
I think this speaks for itself. Regardless of how you are raised. This is something everyone should do, it is the right thing to do. Are you perfectly fine? You don’t have any injuries? Good. When the bus or train is full and there is an old lady coming your way. Stand up and offer the seat.
9. Be a good listener, be genuine
There is that word again respect. How do you show respect to someone? well, let me tell you. By being genuine. To actually care about somebody’s story, regardless if it is interesting or not. It is important to this person. So show them that you respect their passion.
Listening to someone and asking them questions shows that your attentive and that the interest is mutual, this is a very valuable tool in a relationship. It lets people open up. They will tell you more personal things and be more passionately when they tell their story.
10. Be punctual.
Besides that it is professional it also shows that your passionate about what you are doing and that you are serious about it.
Same thing counts for having an appointment with someone. If you are not going to make it, tell them in advance. Don’t wait until the last moment to say ‘’hey sorry something came up, I have to take a rain check on this one. You don’t mind, right? No, it’s ok we’ll do it another time.
Well let me tell you something, it does matter. If you bail so last minute, you violate somebody’s trust and you will damage the relationship with this person. So do it in advance to avoid the disappointment or sadness that comes with it.
You made it to the end :). Thank you for reading the post. I hope you found it interesting. Do you recognize yourself in in doing any of those 10 steps? Are you a true gentleman?
Then comment in the comment section below :
- ''I am a gentleman''
Curious to see how many true gentleman I have between my readers.
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I wish you all a great weekend
The left handed writer