How to become a decent human being

I’m going to cover a few topics I found reading the book Fifty Things Every young gentleman should know by John Bridges and Brian Curtis. I’d like to say, that most of these tips are manners and etiquette and many of the ladies watching could benefit from this book also. Now this article is going to be a bit different, as I’m going to offer many tips instead of just explaining big ideas.

The first is saying please. Now we probably all take saying please for granted. The young gentleman says please whenever he is asking someone for something, whether that is an item, a favor or even advice. Not only is it a polite but also removes the possibility of sounding rude or sarcastic, when you’re asking for something also never think that just because someone is doing their job they don’t deserve appreciation of any kind. Just because hotel maids are paid to clean your room, it doesn’t hurt to ask them please to do something or especially thank them, which is our next tip.

As a gentleman in today’s world, you are bound to receive all kinds of compliments. The best way you can accept a compliment is to say thank you. You don’t need to go on and on thanking them for thanking you. Certainly don’t brush them off either. If you recently got a haircut and someone compliments it don’t say “the Mrs. made me get it” or “yeah, but they miss a spot on the back”. Simply look them straight in the eyes and thank them.

Another way of thanking someone is by writing them a handwritten letter. These are grossly underestimated in today’s electronic world. My grandmother still has conversations with me through snail mail and I think it’s pretty cool. I applied and received a job at a local company a few months ago and I wrote the C.E.O. a handwritten letter thanking him for the job opportunity. I did this because I read the advice out of one of the books I’ve been reading and I wanted to try it out. A couple days later he walks in, shakes my hand in search expressing his gratitude. He starts talking about the last time he received a letter like this and we had a pretty cool conversation. This was a great networking opportunity for me that not very many other people who received the job would have. You should always write letters on special note cards and not on the old crinkly notebook paper. Find something you appreciate of someone and write them a note at least once a week. Actually for anyone who buys you a meal or gives you a good time. It means a lot and is more impressionable and lasts longer than any e-mail.

Now let’s talk about excusing yourself. Gentlemen know to step out of a room when they have to pass gas. Also when you’re excusing yourself from a crowd you can try to alternate between excuse me and pardon me to avoid awkward repetitive words and when you’re calling someone, don’t yell things like “hey you”. Instead say excuse me when trying to get someone’s attention.

Learn the cultural and regional ways to address different people’s titles. Ma’am, Sir and Madam can go a long way, if the person is not used to it. When you’re introducing two people, always try to introduce the younger person to the older person instead of saying “Hey John, this is my dad” say “Hey dad, this is my friend John” and if you can add something interesting to make the introduction memorable and exciting.

Also when you’re shaking hands always allow the older person or a lady to stick their hand out first and when you’re sitting always stand up to shake someone’s hand. This is simply a respect statement. If for some reason you can’t shake hands right now explain why. For example you might have grease on your fingers from fixing a motorcycle. Never make a comment about someone’s handshake unless they bring it up first. Don’t comment on their overly strong or overly weak shake hands. This could come off rude.

When a gentleman receives a gift he enjoys it. He kindly thanks the giver and never says statements such as “Oh, you shouldn’t have”. The same goes for any gift a gentleman doesn’t like. They respectfully thank the giver, as a gentleman knows that a gift from the heart is way more valuable than one from the wallet. The book says to never compare gifts as it can hurt feelings and cause bitterness between people.

When a gentlemen is winning a game they never flaunt their victory and when they are losing they don’t bitch about it. A gentleman always thanks the opposing side at the end of the game. Another thing I could relate to in this book is that a gentleman doesn’t give up halfway through a game, even when it is completely obvious who the winner is, always give one hundred percent.

One thing that all Gentlemen are known for is their appearance. Keep your nails trimmed and your hair cut fashionably, learn how to iron clothes, if you don’t already know and learn a couple of different ways to tie a tie. Also do not feel ashamed, if you aren’t good at choosing clothes. Simply ask someone else for their opinion or you can head over to the sub Reddit r/malefashionadvice for tips and tricks on dressing well.

It is perfectly fine to compliment the other gender. Even if they’re in a relationship. Especially, if the person they’re complimenting is doing a great job at something. A gentleman will jump to hold the door open for anyone, especially if it’s a car door. And he always has the seat down, always.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about movie theaters. When you visit a movie theater it is to enjoy the movie. A gentleman is always thinking of others and must think ahead when they’re watching a movie. Make sure to avoid drinking lots of liquids or spicy food before a movie to avoid constant bathroom breaks. If you’re sick and have a terrible cough consider postponing the move or sit by the door to leave quicker and also a gentleman make sure to arrive early and turns off his phone.

Most of these tips are common sense, but nevertheless I know many people who do not stick to these simple rules. I hope you enjoyed this article and became a little bit of a better person.

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