Where did all the badass gentlemen go?
That’s what my female friends tell me all the time. Being a gentleman went out of fashion when dating app behavior became the norm. Algorithms trained us to see each other as transactions.
Here’s how we can make gentlemanly behavior cool again.
Dress up in our best outfits again
The coroni-rona health crisis ruined fashion.
Most of us insist on wearing sweat pants wherever we go because, well, we’re so damn used to being comfortable. We love the feeling of loungewear on our skin. We love the idea that what we wear in the home can also be worn outside of the home.
A gentleman cares about his look. My grandpa was one such man. He always wore a suit everywhere he went. The suit would be perfectly ironed. His piano black shoes would get a shine each day before leaving home.
He wore after-shave too. But he didn’t drown himself in it. The scent was subtle to show care for any noses that may catch a sniff.
My grandma was always delighted to hold his arm wherever they went. He was a class act, and all it took was to dress up and take care of his appearance.
A true gentleman puts effort into their attire.
Meet in person
Zoom meetings are now the norm. The problem is they’re lazy.
Meeting over Zoom instead of in-person shows a lack of effort to build relationships. But when you do coffee with someone you get to look into their eyes. You get to feel their emotion.
Powerful relationships don’t get built over Zoom. They happen in person. It’s why every salesperson in the world spends so much time face-to-face with clients and prospects. Companies wouldn’t have sales teams if relationships could be built via Zoom.
Let’s make face-to-face catch-ups the default again.
Say please and thank you
Please and thank you are some of the simplest words in the english language.
It’s amazing how infrequently they get spoken these days. Saying please and thank you shows that you don’t think people who do things for you are your slaves — especially service workers.
They’re an acknowledgment of effort. They may seem like just words, but praise is often better than any monetary compensation people get from helping you.
A true gentleman is kind. Please and thank you show subtle kindness.
In my grandpa’s gentlemanly era there was no such thing as ignoring someone’s question.
Not answering a question directed at you was seen as odd, like you may need to be shipped off to the crazy house.
Since text messages became the dominant form of communication, it’s become normal to ignore questions. Even if you don’t like the question, doesn’t mean you should ignore it. A simple “no thanks” is a perfectly accepted gentlemanly response to a bad or selfish question.
When I was on the dating scene a few years back, it infuriated me how cruel men and women could be to each other. Let’s say I went on a date, it was far too common to never hear from that person again.
After spending my hard-earned money to wine and dine them, it felt like a kick in the nut sack. My female friends tell me the same thing. They put effort into organizing a date with a guy, then after it’s over, all too often, they never hear from the man again.
Let’s bring back gentlemanly manners. If a date doesn’t go well let’s just tell the other person and make our intentions clear.
Don’t write hate comments
A true gentleman doesn’t spread hate.
They’re gracious. They realize that we all have differing opinions and none of us were born with an Einstein brain.
Spitting hate only creates more hate. Spreading hate only shows low intelligence. It takes us back to our primal days as cavemen where we settled the score with good old fashion fighting and insults.
A gentleman knows that if you’ve got nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all.
Send handwritten notes
Sending an email is lazy.
If you want to stand out then follow people up with handwritten notes. Words written with a pen feel more personal. They show more care and that time has been spent on the communication.
Add a small token of your appreciation along with the handwritten note for more effect.
Show up on time
Lateness shows you don’t respect someone’s time.
It’s easy to have a day full of back-to-back meetings. This causes you to run from one meeting to the next because you did a bad job at saying no to the meetings that didn’t require your attendance.
And meetings run over, so you’ll likely never be at each meeting at the correct time. A gentleman respects other people’s time. They make their way to a meeting before it’s due to start to allow for any random dramas that may cause delays.
Then they show up to the meeting 5 mins early. If the other person has already arrived then they can engage in small talk.
Why does small talk matter? Because small talk is where a lot of relationships are built, especially business ones.
Be on time. It’s the least you can do.
Stand up straight
The post-coroni-rona man slouches. They look like a sloth bear. Standing up straight shows a quiet confidence. It’s a sign of good health too and gives you healthier joints and muscles. It can even give you higher energy levels.
Hold the door
It’s the tiny things that make a gentleman stand out. It’s so easy to be in a rush and treat your fellow human as if they’re invisible. Opening the door is a nice gesture and it takes less than 10 seconds.
Smile at everybody
A smile creates ripple effects in the world.
When someone is having a bad day and you smile at them, it has the opportunity to change that for a few seconds. And if your smile works, the other person will likely pass it on, often, unconsciously.
Smiles aren’t creepy.
Smiles should be the norm, because if you woke up alive today then you’re already doing better than most people in the world who live in graveyards.
Be quietly generous
A gentleman likes to get the bill at dinner.
They have no issues giving money to those who are less fortunate than them. They don’t scoff at the poor. No. They do what they can to help them.
A true gentleman is generous because it’s the best way to live.
Imagine spending your days counting every dollar. What a nightmare. It’s just money. It comes and goes. Money doesn’t come with you to heaven or hell when you die.
Let’s make being generous for no good reason popular again too.
We know the time for boys to act like gentlemen is needed badly, because all you have to do is look at Keanu Reeves consistently go viral for seemingly tiny human acts.
It’s not Keanu’s celebrity status that makes him go viral. It’s that he’s one of the few people who act like a gentleman in real life.
Let’s make the Keanu version of gentlemanly behavior popular again. Let’s make random gentleman acts trend until all the boys get the message.