What are the characteristics of a true gentleman? A gentleman is a man of good and courteous conduct. This is a definition that dates back to the 1600s, but it’s still true today as it was in the 17th century.
But, society has transformed in many regards since the 1600s. Being a gentleman today is not just about pulling chairs and holding doors; it’s also about seeing others as your equals.
A gentleman believes everyone deserves equal access to opportunities, and he can be sensitive because his self-worth isn’t hinged on machismo.
Here are the defining traits of a true gentleman:
1. Respects Everyone
A gentleman respects everyone. He treats everyone – whether it’s his mother, sister or daughter or any other woman in their lives – with humanity and respect.
He also respects fellow men, children and the elderly. Besides, he respects everyone’s personal space and privacy.
2. Remarkable Morals
Values and morals are the real driving forces of a gentleman. He has clear values and upholds them in whatever circumstance. All his interactions with others are based on his solid moral values.
Being polite and considerate to everyone is a key marker of a real gentleman. He can have a conversation with anyone regardless of their gender and age.
Gentlemen talk politely and calmly. They don’t raise their voice when trying to make a point. And they never use condescending tone, vocabulary, or remarks when conversing with others.
4. Being Courteous
As a gentleman, courtesy is essential. Being courteous doesn’t take much effort. All you need to do is be polite and considerate to everyone. Gentlemen always use magic words – Please’, Sorry’, Excuse Me’, Thank You’ and so on.
5. Perfect Patience
One of the most admirable traits of gentlemen is their patience. As a gentleman, you never lose your patience. Whether it’s with your girlfriend, in a restaurant, at work, or in public, you demonstrate perfect patience.
A gentleman never pushes their partner to get physical without their approval. He’s aware of other’s limitations, and he’s patient about it.
6. Manly Manners
Manly manners make a real gentleman. A true gentleman takes initiative during emergencies. People look up to him when there is trouble.
He also leaves a positive and lasting impression on others, thanks to their manners and charisma. A gentleman is confident, maintains eye contact and has a firm handshake.
Whether he’s meeting your family or your boss, he will present himself with dignity.
Self-awareness is the bedrock of being a real gentleman. You should know who you are, and cultivate a positive self-image hinged on self-acceptance.
A gentleman’s confidence is based on the clarity of his values, wants, and convictions. He is candid about himself with himself as well as with others.
8. Considerate to Those Who Serve Under Him
A real gentleman is never rude to waiters, bartenders, retail workers, etc. He’s respectful and polite to everyone, and never says anything that can be humiliating to anyone, especially those serving under him. He never makes anyone feel inferior.
A gentleman not only listens to what you have to say, but he also tries to digest it and ensures you feel heard.
A gentleman never tries to fix others’ emotions or problems; instead, he actively listens and empathizes. He shows genuine interest in other people’s feelings and perspectives and tries to understand why they place importance on certain issues.
A gentleman works with others in a bid to create a better world.
A gentleman surrounds himself with people who expose him to different ideas and opinions, even if this means he sometimes has to be wrong.
A true gentleman knows that his opinion is just one out of many and so he’s curious to learn about what others think, and how they view the world.
12. Communicates Calmly
A gentleman is aware of his emotions and knows how to channel them in a wholesome manner. He doesn’t say things that might escalate conflict because furthering a conflict inevitably leads to negative behavior.
And so as a gentleman, you need to keep calm during arguments and help your partner do the same by empathizing.
13. Anticipates Your Needs
Leadership is a defining quality of a gentleman. A real gentleman anticipates situations and just leads instead of waiting to be asked.
For instance, a gentleman knows when their partner needs a little help, even before they say anything.
A gentleman generously shares his time, resources and wisdom. He strives to help others. He leads by example, and his dedication to interpersonal kindness helps cultivate a positive home life and workplace culture thus increases performance, engagement, and commitment.
A gentleman strives to be positive. His positive attitude and his unfailing encouragement attract others to him and keep the spirits up even in tough situations.
16. Lifelong Learner
A gentleman remains teachable and enthusiastically takes on new challenges. His intellectual curiosity drives him to continually improve himself and his skills through spending time with mentors, reading, ongoing education, and coaching.
He switches off his phone and TV to create time for this vital investment. He’s mentally sharp, emotionally mature, informed, and actively seeks help when he identifies a knowledge gap.
A gentleman understands that we all bring something to the table, and so he treats everyone with respect. Whether he’s dealing with the janitor or the CEO, he considers how his words and behavior impacts others.
He treats both his male and female colleagues with the same level of respect. No other leadership quality has a bigger impact on employee engagement and commitment than civility; this is based on a study of over 20,000 employees across the world.
Civility is that defining quality of great leadership, and it offers excellent dividends.
A gentleman is competent and can navigate both professional and social settings with proficiency and confidence. He is aware of the etiquette guidelines that apply in various situations and uses his social acumen to maneuver shifting norms.
19. Hard Worker
A strong work ethic is another key quality of a gentleman. He strives to be the best every day and takes pride in his work. He’s a team player, self-disciplined, dedicated, reliable and humble. He’s led and leads well. Colleagues appreciate having him on the team.
20. He is Punctual
A true gentleman always shows up at the right time. He never keeps his woman, his friends, or his colleagues waiting.
He respects other people’s time and so in his planning, he accounts for unseen things like last-minute commitments, traffic, etc.
21. Proper Hygiene
A gentleman maintains proper hygiene. If you aren’t clean, it doesn’t matter how charming you are and how flattering your clothes are, you still come off poorly. Basic Hygiene includes:
● Regular showers
● Proper use of deodorants and cologne
● Trimmed nails
● Clean hands
● Trimmed nose hair
● Properly shaved or trimmed beard and mustache
22. Sharp Appearance
A gentleman understands the power of appearance; he knows that how he carries himself, grooms, and dresses can be a barrier or a bridge to success. Your image impacts how you’re perceived.
So a gentleman is always keen on his appearance. His sharp appearance shows respect for his environment and himself. He regularly audits his image and keeps his appearance up-to-date based on his goals.
23. Causes Comfort
A gentleman is a source of comfort for everyone. For instance, his gestures to the women in his life include:
● He offers his seat
● He helps with the coat
● Opens and holds doors
● Offers his jacket when it’s cold
● Pulls out the chairs
● Opens the car door
Hence, everyone around him feels comfortable. And, the acts aren’t a show of masculinity; instead, he makes these gestures to show that he genuinely cares.
24. Good Listener
A gentleman is a focused listener and well-spoken. He’s a good conversationalist and thus makes others feel engaged, understood, and inspired. He manages his body language and tone to maximize connection.
Besides, a gentleman understands that hearing is a passive process, but real listening is a purposeful mental process that takes effort. So he endeavors to really listen to others while also tactfully communicating his perspectives.
25. Commanding Presence
A gentleman knows his worth. He’s aware of his competence. His commanding personal presence and body language mark him as someone useful and reliable.
He walks with purpose, stands upright, and offers a firm handshake.
26. Person of Integrity
A gentle makes the right decisions and does the right things, not because someone is watching, but because he’s watching. He holds himself accountable, he keeps his word, and he’s not swayed by popular opinion and peer pressure.
He’s the same man at home, at work, and in his community.
Many characteristics define a gentleman; however, no one is perfect. But, if you make earnest effort to communicate, listen, anticipate the needs of those around you, and if you strive to make positive contributions to society, then you have the attributes of a true gentleman.