A respectable man is one who not only respects himself, but is respected by the world he lives in. The more you can live as a man whom others actually want to be around, the more respectable you will become. There are no fancy tricks or shortcuts to become a better man, but these 20 things remind you of how you can be a more respected individual, right now.

1. The Way You Dress

I recently read an article on the importance of male dress code and dating. The women in the article stated that it is a turn off to go out with a man who thinks dressing up is putting on a collared shirt. You don’t have to wear the latest fashion trends or expensive clothes, but look presentable, go the extra mile, show you care, and take pride in what you wear.

2. Your Physical Health

You don’t need to be a bodybuilder or marathon runner. A little exercise can go a long way and it’s important to show that you care about your body. If you don’t exercise at all, start by taking a 20-minute walk. Then perhaps join a gym, fitness class or local softball team. Good health also includes going to the doctor, dentist, and eye professional.

3. Your Diet

Like fitness, you don’t have to follow the latest trend or fad, but do your best to eat well. Mostly eat what makes your body feel good — probably more protein than carbs, coupled with fruits and vegetables. Try to eat less junk. Maybe try something new or learn how to cook a new meal. Invite your friends over and offer to cook them dinner. I love trying new ethnic foods and the diverse flavors they offer.

4. Your Reading Habits

If all you do is play video games and watch TV at night, please pick up a book. Reading fuels your imagination. You don’t have to brag about what you read, but it can be a great way to add value in conversations. Read about topics you love — it shows you have other interests and keeps your mind active. Plus, it’s a good way to wind down at night.

5. Your Awareness of the World

Nobody likes a political snob, or a complete ignoramus. You don’t need to watch the news every night, because most of it is garbage anyway! For some, a comedy news show is all it takes to keep up with current events. It is important to have a basic knowledge of what’s happening in the world, but choose the best way to get the important stuff.

6. Your Passion and Interests

There are some people who live what I call the “extreme life,” which they often describe as “sick,” “gnarly,” or “stoked.” Life is an adventure but we don’t all need to live on the edge (or even appear to be). Simply be passionate about something and be proud of it. Learn something new that you never took the time to learn. Maybe it’s a new language or a new skill.

7. How You Treat a Woman

This ranges from opening doors for women, to speaking highly of women, to never putting women down. Also, make ladies feel special in whatever way that may be. This also means being affectionate towards your girlfriend or spouse and showing her how much you love her because, as men, we often forget to actually communicate how we feel about her. Also, tell your mom you love her!

8. You Take Risks

I say this with caution. Don’t let your testosterone get the best of you and do more than you can handle. Take smart risks. If we never took any risks, we wouldn’t learn how to adapt to situations and accept defeat. It’s okay to fail when you take risks — look at it as a lesson, rather than detrimental to your ego.

9. You Practice Sound Money Management

A specific dollar amount of money doesn’t matter. What’s important here is actually living within your means — not flashing money around — and understanding the basics of finance. Educate yourself on money and treat it with respect. Be honest with your financial situation and find ways you can make money work for you.

10. You Mind Your Manners

Be polite and be authentic. Remember what your mom told you? Actually say thank you and chew with your mouth closed. Don’t be a bully. Don’t yell at others. Don’t be aggressive. Live the Golden Rule by treating other people the way you want to be treated. This doesn’t mean you are a pushover, but it means that you treat others with dignity and respect.

11. Your Real World Experience

In other words, practice what you preach. Get yourself out there and try new things. Are you just reading about advice or are you actually living that advice? It doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed at everything you try. The point is to experience the world and share that experience with others.

12. You Get Out and Travel

Get out there and travel somewhere new! It can be a small road trip or can be a trip around the world. When you travel, it gets you out of your comfort zone and you learn something new, every time. Plan your travel around things that really interest you. Again, you don’t have to go extreme. There are tons of ways to travel and it’s a great way to break out of your routine. Plus, it makes for a great story!

13. You Express Gratitude

A respectable man is grateful for what he has in life. For some, spirituality or religion is the path they take. If that’s not you, simply express what you are grateful for each and every day. Try to come up with new things you are grateful for and challenge yourself to let other people know how important they are to you.

14. You Practice Volunteerism

This is a broad definition. Simply put, I define it as giving your time without expectation of anything in return. Give some of your time to help a friend in need. Offer to teach someone something for free. It’s not always about money. Do something nice for a stranger or sign up to volunteer for an event. An added bonus to is that you actually do get something in return — it gives you a sense of purpose and it makes you feel good.

15. You Are Capable of Love

This includes yourself. Be capable of loving yourself just the way you are. When you can love yourself first, you can love others more readily. Be open to expressing love to others. Give someone a hug (even if it’s a man hug). Embrace others and act from a place of love, not from a place of fear or hate.

16. Your Humor

A respectable man can laugh at himself and laugh with others. Make people laugh, but not at somebody’s own expense. I love to crack jokes to lighten up the mood or make someone feel better about themselves. You can also redirect the humor back to yourself to break the ice in conversations. Women love when you can make them laugh and for some it comes easy, for others it takes practice.

17. You Can Negotiate

You don’t have to be a sleazy salesman or an experienced attorney. It’s important to be prepared to get what you want and to know when you are being taken advantage of. The best way to do this is to educate yourself before you need to negotiate. It’s also important to respect the other person involved. Also, think of negotiating as an important skill in any relationship. When you see the other person’s side, it makes it easier to satisfy everyone’s needs.

18. You Smile

They say that a good smile is the window to someone’s soul. Smiling is contagious and people love to see a good smile. That being said, make sure you are taking care of your teeth. The other day I saw this UV teeth whitening product that nobody needs to buy! Just take care of your mouth and go to the dentist regularly, because nobody wants bad breath.

19. Your Ego

It’s often easy for us men to feel threatened by others or have to somehow prove our manliness to the world. We can be respectable, confident men, without always having to be loud, right, and/or pushy. Actually, a bigger ego represents bigger insecurities that others can often see right through.

20. You Think Critically

Yes, it’s important to be able to problem solve. When you workout your brain to solve real-life, complex problems, it’s easier to come up with better ideas when future problems arise. Some use Lumosity and others challenge themselves to come up with new business ideas. It’s important to make your brain ‘sweat.’ Sometimes you might gain a new perspective that can add massive value to an otherwise improbable situation.

The key to these lessons is practicing them every day. There is not one method that is better than the other, but just do more of what works for you. In fact, there are many ways in which we can subtly become a more respected member of society, without acting like someone we’re not. I encourage you to practice more of what works in learning how to become a more respectable man.

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