How to be a gentleman? Most people know what it means to be a gentleman, but few people take the time and effort to actually be one.

At the core of every gentleman is the strong desire to serve other people.

Is it possible to teach someone how to be a gentleman?  I think so if they have the right character, positive attitude, and manors, then the details can be easily taught.  Being a modern gentleman is about being polite, truly caring for others, but also about having manors and confident in your abilities.

For example, being a gentleman is easy if you can turn the gentlemanly tips of helping other people listed below into habits.  Once you do that, then being a gentleman will come naturally.

Being a gentleman is also about taking care of yourself.  The positive feelings you have for others are also directed to yourself and displayed in your confidence and appearance.

If you are missing any of these core traits and tend to focus on your own well being above others, then it will be impossible to become a true gentleman.  You cannot fake true compassion.

These are my 18 Tips on how to be a Gentleman, and it really is easier then you think!

How to be a Gentleman?

Smile Often and have a Positive Attitude

I think that good attitude always start with a smile.  When you smile with all your heart, people can see it in your eyes.  When you do this, you transfer a little bit of happiness to someone else.  And this is the purpose of a true gentleman.

Always strive to be that nice person in the room.  Be approachable and convey that with your smile.  When you are truly happy to see someone, your smile will relay that feeling way more then your words or actions.

Be Polite to Everyone

Being polite is a trademark of the gentleman.  Politeness is not reserved for certain people but given to everyone, no matter their station in life.  The quality of your character will depend on how well you treat other people when you can expect nothing from them.

One way to do this is to always say good morning or good afternoon to someone you meet.  It will display your positive attitude and send a little good wishing their way.  Always a great idea.

“Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” -Al Pacino

Focus on People

Learning how to listen to other people is a lost art in today’s world.  People are too focused on themselves and show this in their conversation with everyone.

People listen to respond, and not to understand. 

If you focus your listening skills to understand, then any response will be about them and not about you.  This is a key skill to automatically become more likeable, and gentleman are naturally likeable people

Help Others

One of the key tips of how to be a gentleman is to always want to help other people.  In every situation, you should be trying to serve someone else without any regard for anything for yourself.  This selfless action is the core trait of a gentleman and needs to be at the foundation of everything we do.

There is no limit to the amount of help you can provide someone else but realistically you have limits in your time, resources, and ability.  You often cannot help other people beyond your abilities, but doing little things like opening doors, offering to share your umbrella, and other simple tasks that could mean a lot to someone else.

“A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.” -George Bernard Shaw

Never Break Your Word

A mans word is his bond.  It is a reflection of his character, and it is never broken. 

When you say you will do something, then a gentleman will make sure he does it, even if its not in his best interest.  Why, simply because he said he would and his word is his bond.

Life is difficult and sometimes life will prevent you from doing what you promised.  If this happens, a respectable gentleman will call the other person, apologize, explain why they cannot keep their promise, and provide a way to make up for it.  Making up for it is critical and not negotiable.

Restore trust and you will restore your honor and character.

“The word of a gentleman is as good as his bond; and sometimes better.” -Charles Dickens

Always be Punctual

Being on time for any meeting, social event, or gathering shows you respect other peoples time and that you value their friendship.  A gentleman is all about showing respect to others.

One of the biggest things that will determine your success in life is how you choose to spend your time.  Being punctual for your own calendar will make sure you spend your time wisely.  Make this a habit and watch your life change a little every day.

Dress to Impress

First impressions matter a lot.  Not just with your manors, hygiene, and smile, but with your clothes and style.  This will tell other people you care and respect yourself, which is critical for any gentleman.

A gentleman will always be slightly over dressed for any occasion and will make sure his sense of style is agreeable to the event.  Ties and jackets are usually not required but just a put together look that is intentional and presentable.

We all have all heard the phrase “dress for success”. It’s more than a saying. If you dress to look your best, you will also do your best, which is always at the heart of a gentleman.

"You can never be overdressed or overeducated" -Oscar Wilde

Always be Grateful

Being grateful of everything in your life makes a gentleman’s life twice as sweet.  Understanding the impermanence of life and realizing your success can change at any moment allows you to appreciate the little things.

A gentleman is always grateful for the people in his life and he tells them often.  He is always showing it in the things he does for them and how he treats them.  A gentleman is never afraid to show affection and love to the ones that matters to him.

Have a Firm Handshake

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The handshake is the business card of a proper gentleman.  When they shake someone’s hand, they relay genuine feelings of happiness in their firm handshake.  Since a gentleman is always striving to make his guests welcome, a proper handshake is the first and most important step.

A gentleman will always look people in the eyes when shaking someone’s hand and conveys his confidence in his eyes and firm handshake.  He is also genuinely friendly and welcoming.  Master the handshake and you will  have one of the most important traits of a gentleman.

Good Manners

Proper manners are key to a gentleman’s toolkit.  They are always on their best behavior, know how to make a toast, and how to use the cutlery. They know to leave the napkin in the chair when leaving the table.

Having good manors is probably the simplest thing to do, if you truly care for other people.  When you care about others, then you will never offend others and go out of your way to make others happy.  This is the purpose of manors.

Display Confidence

Confidence is at the core of every gentleman, and he displays this with everything he does.  You can feel it in his handshake, is his tone when he speaks, and in his eyes when he looks at someone.

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and a gentleman knows the difference.  He has a great grasp of his abilities but never boasts of his success. 

Gentlemen Rules of Etiquette Rule 2

Say Thank You

Being polite is more then just saying please and thank you.  It is actually meaning it.

This ties into being grateful for what other people do for you everyday, and it doesn’t matter if its their job to do it.  Appreciate that someone else is giving you their most precious gift, their time, and thank them for it properly.

If you were invited to a party or social event, remember to thank the person for the invitation.  It is best to follow up your thank you words with a kind, hand written letter.  A proper gentleman knows the effort throwing a party takes and spending a few minutes with a hand written note truly expresses your gratitude and will really make the host feel good.

It is very simple to do and really makes a huge difference so why not make it a habit today!

Lead by Example

The best way to show your character is to live by your values.  A good leader walks the talk and knows his values are not for show. 

If you are not clear of your values and life goals, spend some time figuring them out.  Write them down and commit to living your life to a set of values and goals.

Be the change you want to see in the world and be the person your father would be proud of.

"A gentleman never has to tell anyone he is a gentleman."

Give Praise Publicly, Coach Privately

When someone does a good job, don’t be afraid to tell them in front of other people. This will not only make them feel good; it will show others that you appreciate and notice other people.

The opposite is also true.  A gentleman will give negative feedback privately and in person if possible. Since its your goal to be helpful, always provide ways to improve the outcome if appropriate. 

I recommend coaching instead of criticizing someone as it doesn’t just tell someone that they did something wrong but also tells them how they can improve.

Show Love and Respect

Remember to not take your significant other for granted. Be grateful for everything she does for you.  A proper gentleman knows to love his spouse with his whole heart and mind, and is never afraid to tell her so.

A gentleman knows to always say “I love you” and backs it up with action.  Sending flowers, giving her all your attention when you are together, and always being faithful in your relationship.  It’s the everyday actions that builds a strong relationship and probably one of the most important traits of a gentleman.

Give her a relationship that everyone is jealous of.

Never be Vulgar

The words you choose to use will say a lot about your character and personality.  A gentleman never offends and therefore never will never use bad language or say offensive things. 

Be inclusive to other people and show your intelligence and command of your language and never be vulgar.

This is also extended in your clothes, actions, and thoughts.  If what you are wearing, thinking, and doing will offend someone else, then stop doing it.  Simple.

Be Genuine

Always be true to who you are or who you want to become.  Your values and principles make your character and your character is everything.

I am a firm believer that everyone needs a role model in their life, but this role model can only serve as a guide.  Learn from your role models in your life but always be true to yourself. Find your own personality and style, and wear it proudly.

Being genuine is also about being happy with who you are, and not pretending to be someone you wish you could be.  If you want to change who you are, then do it.

"Don't be afaid to stand for what you believe in, even if that means standing alone." -Andy Biersack

Put Away Your Phone

This one really bothers me a lot.  When in a restaurant or in public, people are always pulling out their phone or electronic device and playing videos and music and annoying everyone in hearing range.  I can give a pass for very young children who may not be able to use ear buds but for anyone over the age of 6, this is unacceptable.

A gentleman knows personal connections are more important then anything happening on their phones, and in the company of someone else, they focus all their attention on the other person.  Turn off your phone, keep it in your pocket, and socialize the old fashion way.

Conclusion

Knowing how to be a gentleman is simple and can be done with just a few simple tips.  Care for the well being of others, stay humble, have good manors, and be confident in yourself.  By following these simple tips, you will instantly improve the way other people view you.

There are good reasons why gentlemen always appear to be successful in life.  Opportunities are the doors for success.  Being a gentleman will bring you more opportunities, and in turn, increase the success you get in life.

Always strive to be the best version of yourself.  Be the gentleman your parents would be proud of, and live the life of your dreams.  It just takes values, principles, desire, confidence, and action.

To get inspired to be your best, here are a few articles loaded with great quotes and sayings. From the Gentlemen’s Manual, 21 Rules to Being a Gentleman, 50 Best Quotes on Character Building, and 50 Quotes on How to Treat a Woman.

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Thanks for reading!

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