When you see the word gentleman you probably have an image pop into your mind immediately. This image might not be the same for everyone but I’m sure there will be some similarities between them. What is a gentleman and who/how do you become one? Find out below.
Feel more like a caveman? Check out one of these posts.
What is a gentleman?
To start off with, we need to establish what a gentleman actually is. While certainly not every gentleman is the same, let’s see if we can find some commonalities.
Oxford dictionary: “a man who is polite and well educated, who has excellent manners and always behaves well”
Cambridge dictionary: “a man who is polite and behaves well toward other people”
While the given definitions are slightly different, we can see some gentlemanly traits here;
- Well behaved
While those things are character traits, they are things that can be learned at least to a degree. These are the overarching traits that can be divided into many small things you can learn.
Things you can learn are skills. Those are the gentleman skills that are listed below.
What is NOT a gentleman?
To get a better idea of what something is, it’s always useful to look at what something is NOT to be able to define the edges better. It’s like increasing the contrast of a picture. It makes the edges of objects clearer.
There are some things a gentleman is not;
- A pushover
- A “nice guy”
For some, the word gentleman might elicit some negative ideas. Maybe the idea of a rich, snooty guy talking down to the less fortunate comes to mind. This is not the type of man I’m talking about. That also wouldn’t match with the ‘gentle’ part of gentleman.
Although there are many skills you can learn to become more of a gentleman, you also need the right mindset to go along with it. Having the skills without the mindset might still improve your life but, you might not be the well rounded person you could be.
To read more about the Masculine Mindset, click here.
Why would you want to become a gentleman?
So why would you want to become a gentleman? Isn’t the concept horribly outdated? Well, in some ways it might be. There are plenty of skills that made a man a gentleman that are still very relevant however.
As a man you probably want to improve yourself, advance your career, improve your social life, improve your relationships, etc. While working hard and being a decent person will get you pretty far with those goals, possessing some of the skills listed below might help you get an extra edge.
Being perceived as a “gentleman” might help you in ways you might not immediately think of. A first impression might mean the difference between getting a job or not. Other people might not even be consciously know they are judging you on their first impression of you.
Behaving, dressing and talking more like a gentleman will improve the first impression you give people. On top of that, it’s not just the first impression. If you do it right, you actually have the skills to back up this first impression.
Which skills does a gentleman possess?
Besides having a certain mindset there is a certain skillset that a gentleman possesses. You might already possess some of them. Great, now you have more time to learn some of the ones you don’t.
In no particular order;
- Dressing well
- Proper behavior
- Caring about others
- Knowing etiquette
- Knowing how to stay in good physical shape
- Being “cultured”
- Tie a tie
- Shining your shoes
- Giving a speech
- Having a proper handshake
- Making small talk
- Speaking a foreign language
- Telling a story
- Smoking a cigar
- Smoking a pipe
- Pour a beer
- Know how to pair a wine
- Know your scotch/whiskey
This is by no means an exhaustive list but, these are some of the most important skills a gentleman should possess. The second list of skills might not be the healthiest things to do but it might be good to know them even if you probably shouldn’t use them too often.
The first part of the list contains skills every man should have some sort of proficiency in since it only benefits your life.