There’s no doubt, being called a ‘gentleman’ is like music to the ears. It certainly lifts your spirit. But to what extent should you let this affect your actions and, thus, your perception of what it means to be a true gentleman.
Here, we’ll go over the basics of being a gentleman and what makes a man one. You’ll either discover or reinforce the knowledge of what the title used to depict during its early stages as well as what it represents today.
But before you ask yourself how to be a real gentleman…
What Is a Gentleman?
Is it a matter of what kind of clothing you wear? Could it be the actions of a man that make him a gentleman? Or is it some level of wisdom that grants him the name?
You may think it’s crazy to even suspect the first question. But consider this: In the old age, men who were born into wealthy, privileged families were automatically considered gentlemen. Through their garments they would exhibit their abundance and prosperity. Back then, being a gentleman and being a wealthy man were synonyms.
However, this was no absolute law, meaning that there were certain other characteristics that would define a real gentleman. For instance, courteous, polite men were honored to wear the title, regardless of their attire. Showing respect for others, being attentive and selfless were all ways of representing a true, honorable gentleman.
Another aspect tied with being a gentleman was the grade of sophistication a man would display. Only the wealthiest of men were capable of affording the highest levels of education in earlier centuries.
But what makes a gentleman today?
For the better, and through the ages, the perception of what constitutes a gentleman has changed. In essence, conduct is the main factor now.
A Title to Live Up to
Nobody is called a gentleman for doing something wrong.
First off, we no longer live by the assumption that men of “noble birth”, richness and luxuries will naturally earn the right to wield the title. We are not born gentlemen, but we become one instead.
These are some characteristics that will distinguish you for being a true man of honor:
- Good-willingness. You must be prepared to take action for the right reasons, form honest relationships, and have a kind approach towards others.
- Politeness. Respect the feelings of others around you. While this may go unnoticed, more often than not, being disrespectful surely doesn’t.
- Humility. Contain yourself from bragging about your own wealth or possessions.
- Honesty and sincerity. Be true to yourself and to others. Your manners shall remain the same, no matter what company surrounds you.
- Courtesy. Associated with being polite and respectful. “Please” and “thank you” are expressions of chivalry.
- Man of your word. Actions speak louder than words. This is about doing what you say you are going to do.
- Confidentiality. Several times, we are entrusted with important, personal information. Here, silence speaks louder than words.
- Responsibility. Every day comes with a series of duties a man should take care of.
- Intellect. Knowledgeable men are admired for their broad and diverse awareness.
There is much more to be said about how to be a real gentleman. The larger idea is that your attitude, your actions, your manners will, collectively, lead you to be recognized as you should.
Any Man Can Be a Gentleman
Rightfully so! But there is no shortcut to it. You must want to become a gentleman, first; and this means you will have to work hard to get there.
Now, what’s so great about this is that you will only feel better about yourself as you progress. If you put into practice what it takes to be a gentleman, every day, people will definitely start seeing an improved version of yourself. This will always give you more than enough reason to keep striving. However, let’s not forget that one of the key elements to being a genuine gentleman is staying humble. You are not aiming to become a gentleman just so you can later boast about it.
What’s more, it should be noted that this must not be seen as a trip with a final destination in mind. After all, becoming a gentleman signifies a way of living. In any case, the bar should be set higher, wanting to become a better gentleman.
Any man is capable of engaging into a conversation with another person in a polite way, from start to finish. At any given moment, if the situation becomes stressful, gentlemen will recognize that there is always a way to take care of it in a civilized manner, and will act accordingly.
The understanding of having to follow a group of ethics already turns you towards the right direction.
Dress to Express
We learned that there was a time when men were called gentlemen solely judged by their costumes. Nowadays, a well-dressed man is called a gentleman for the right reasons.
Social and financial statuses no longer dictate who can and cannot be a gentleman. Dressing well is still part of what makes a man a gentleman, but in a totally different way. A well-dressed gentleman, now, uses clothes as a way of self-expression. The conscious choice of apparel sets one apart from the other. It is through style that a modern day gentleman chooses how to expose his identity and show his personality, his own sense of style.
Clothing does not define a gentleman’s personality, rather he defines his own personality through them.
Why It Matters
Being called a gentleman is an honor, and it takes dedication and will to earn it.
You become a distinguished, respected man amongst both men and women. You set an example for others and even become an inspiration for many, old and young alike.
You make friends with ease, spread your charisma around and influence people.
It is a gentleman’s responsibility to set an example for those who want to become one, as well as for those who already are.