We here at Mr. Cavaliere firmly believe that style goes far beyond your outfit choices. Great personal style is all about the way you carry yourself and the impressions you leave on others. In short, this is what it means to me to be a gentleman in the twenty-first century.
Over the years, the term “gentleman” or to “be gentlemanly” has gone down a strange path. In my opinion, the terminology has taken on a somewhat negative connotation. Whether it’s been men dressing as if they’re from a different era, or a way to rebel against modern ideas, this version of the gentleman needs to be put to rest in 2017.
However, in a world where genuine social interactions are at an all-time low and men would rather swipe right on their phones than have a real conversation – can things like manners, charisma, and proper etiquette still exist? Well, I want to think they still can.
For this reason, I wanted the first article of 2017 to speak to a couple of ideals of the modern gentleman. Being a gentleman, like being a good person, takes self-discipline, respect, and practice. As well, by no means do I think I am the perfect gentleman and I have caught myself failing to live by these high standards. With that being said, I feel that having a reference is a good place to start.
Keep your phone in your pocket
A true gentleman never pulls out his phone to interact with someone who isn’t in the room. Whether it’s at dinner with friends or a conversation with a family member, your cell phone should never distract you from real life engagement. Our society is addicted to screens and it’s affecting our psychology – the science is out there to prove it, folks. So next time you’re grabbing drinks with the guys, keep your phone in your pocket and actually just live in the moment.
There’s never a good time to talk politics or religion
One subject that’s on everyone’s minds and lips right now is American politics. As tempting as it may be to throw in your two cents about the future leader of the free world, I must advise you to refrain. Next time you feel the urge to talk about either politics or religion, remember that omitting it from conversation does not mean that you lack the knowledge of its existence. You merely care more about the interaction with the person whom you’re chatting with, regardless of their opinion on the subject.
When bringing a guest to a party or event, remember that it’s your job to introduce them to people to allow them to feel comfortable. First things first, start with the host of the gathering as he/she is welcoming a stranger into their home/venue on your behalf. One good rule of thumb is to talk briefly before with your guest to confirm on how they would like to be introduced.
Give them a call
In a society that is infatuated with the DM, picking up a phone and pressing call has never had a more personal impact. Actually chatting with someone over the phone not only shows you care about whatever it is you’re talking about, but it also says that you care what they have to say. The emotional connection of a phone call is something a text will never take over.
It’s time to get rid of the fist bump. Unless you just scored a goal in hockey and are skating past the bench, a hand shake is always the best way to greet, thank, or congratulate someone. It’s as simple as it sounds; a good squeeze, a shake up and down once and let go. Just remember, eye contact is as important as the handshake itself!
Pay for your date
Whether it’s a love interest or a person you want to do business with, always pick up the tab. Never invite someone out and allow them to cover the cheque. If they insist on paying for themselves and will not allow you to pay for them, then split the bill.
We as westerners are famous for being over everything before it begins. Nobody wants to hear about how tired you are and how you just want to go home. Save your energy and either suck it up or don’t go in the first place. Remember, negative energy begets more negative energy.
Always make a point of saying goodbye to people when you leave friends, family, etc. The simple gesture of thanking them for their hospitality is always a great way to leave a lasting impression and the person who receives it will be more likely to invite you out again. Irish goodbyes aren’t fair to the people that have invited you in the first place.
Remember people’s names
I am often guilty of this one! When meeting someone new, try to remember their name. One easy trick that I have been testing out is to repeat their name once I hear it. For example “It’s nice to meet you, Josh.” This way, when someone else comes into the conversation you can introduce them with confidence.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
As humans, we love to categorize things in our minds. Every time we meet someone new, we make a judgment almost automatically. Do I see this person as someone that I want to interact with? We ask questions immediately like, “What do you do?” to see if this person can be of value to us. This methodology is the exact problem with our society. Next time you meet someone, ask them what brings them to that place instead. If the topic of work comes up in conversation, then feel free to oblige at that point.
Keep your grooming regiment consistent
People are attracted to others who are clean and sharp. Schedule an appointment with your barber every two to three weeks and keep your neck beard trimmed – I can assure you that no matter where you go, you will always look the part.
Have some manners online
Online trolls should be a thing of the past. I find it exhausting how hateful people can be when you give them a keyboard and a screen to hide behind. Remember that everything you say on the internet is not private. Every time you write a mean comment, your name and reputation is on the line. Also keep in mind that when you write hateful comments, it can unfairly affect the people you’re talking about. My advice is to conduct yourself in a manner that your family would be proud of. Disagreements are natural and are encouraged, but slander and hate is not.
Don’t be afraid to follow up
With ghosting becoming a widely accepted form of ending a relationship, following up on emails and text messages mean something now more than ever. It’s time to stop ignoring messages and time to start taking responsibility. Deal with whatever it is head on, so you can move on to the next thing without the baggage.
At the end of the day, I don’t agree that the term “gentleman” should be seen as negative. Putting your best self forward should never be looked down upon in the twenty-first century.
What are your thoughts about being a gentleman in 2017? Leave me a comment below or interact with me on either Twitter or Instagram. Let’s start this year off on the right foot!