Here ye, here ye, gentlemen of all sorts: The term ‘gentlemen’ originates as a term used for English nobility. In modern times, it’s used to describe a man of good character and noble qualities. While the former was a title bequeathed at birth, the latter is one that is earned through behavior. Earning the title gentleman is as easy as following the directions we were taught when we were little — simple things your mother told you to do to be a good person.
A simple way to brighten your own day, and those around you, is to perform common and simple kindnesses. These kindnesses will undoubtedly make you feel good and certainly have a positive impact on the recipient. And don’t worry, it won’t take away from your tough guy persona.
Believe it or not a simple greeting goes a long way with most people. A simple “hello” or “good morning” done with a smile and eye contact will put people at ease, including everyone from the waitress serving your meal to the convenience store clerk to the CEO of your company. A strong posture with a friendly greeting gives everyone the impression that you are confident, friendly, and ready to work. Also, work on your handshake: A good greeting and handshake (especially when meeting someone for the first time) says a lot about a man.
If you are sitting and being introduced to someone, stand up and shake hands. Have a simple go to introduction for yourself. Learning how to greet people with friendly confidence is easy, and neglecting it will only make you miss the perfect opportunity to make a good first impression. If you come off as shy or inattentive right off the bat, it could cost you a job interview, a girlfriend during a first date, or even good service on a night out. And also, greet everyone the same, whether they are a janitor or a CEO. And don’t greet them like a glad-handed politician — be genuine.
2. Common Manners
Three simple phrases that make every mother happy: “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.” Two simple phrases that will make every father proud: “yes sir (or ma’am)” and “no sir (or ma’am).” The first set express gratitude and belay expectations. The second set convey respect and attention. These should be ingrained into your vocabulary. There is no reason to not say “please” and “thank you.” Remember, nobody has to do anything for you. Be grateful for whatever service they are providing.
You’ll be surprised how much better your service will be if you show gratitude and common courtesy. Some people feel that saying “yes sir” puts them in a subservient position. I feel the opposite. It conveys respect to whomever I am saying it too, but it will be your tone and posture that convey your comfort. Say these phrases to everyone regardless of their position. Simple politeness will make you personable, and may even give you extra considerations for that competitive promotion or reinforce that first impression with your future mother in law.
3. Render simple assistance
Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to the people around you and help whenever possible. It won’t cost you anything. Glance behind you every time you open a door to see if you can hold it for someone. Help someone lift something they are struggling with, carry their groceries, or bring in your elderly neighbor’s trash cans. There is always someone that can use a hand. If your body is able, use small labors as kindnesses to your neighbors. It doesn’t cost money and pays off in good karma.
4. Pay it forward, with interest
We’ve all received some help at one point in our life. Maybe someone bought you a meal or helped you move into your first apartment. Even if you can’t repay that person specifically, pay it forward to someone else. It’s usually simple things that have the biggest impact. If you can afford it, buy a poor college student lunch, or purchase some supplies for a struggling family with kids going back to school. Take a young golf enthusiast out to play a round. If they try to refuse, tell them it’s not charity. Tell them you owe it to someone else and that they should pay it forward, with interest, some time down the road when they are in a position to do so.
Following these four easy tips will not only bring you a great feeling of self worth, but it just might help you land your next job, impress that girl you’ve been talking to, or make a great first impression. And lets face it, if everyone acted this way it might just make our society pleasant again. It’s the “gentlemanly” thing to do.
More from Health & Fitness Cheat Sheet:
- Be Happy: 5 Steps to Living Your Happiest Life
- Life is Short: 5 Rules to Live By Every Day
- Get Organized: 6 Ways to Declutter Your Life
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