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11 Ways to be a Gentleman When in a Relationship

11 Ways to be a Gentleman When in a Relationship

Guys, admit it or not, we ladies love gentlemen. We love all the nice gestures and words you sprinkle upon us as much as we love Mom’s homemade apple pie. Those hand-picked roses from your neighbor’s garden may also do the trick, but does it really?

Without going overboard, you can still be a gentleman and win our hearts. Yes, even the coldest of hearts can melt with simple deeds (notice how I emphasized deeds?) and words (because, yes, words do count, too!).

1. Do as you say.

Oftentimes, relationships break apart due to shattered promises. Gentlemen rarely or even never break their promises (except for really valid reasons). And when I say valid, it’s mainly because of unexpected (as in unexpected and totally emergent) reasons. Life-and-death occurrences count, as compared with laziness or just “not in the mood” excuses.

If you are not in the mood to do something, tell that to your partner and maybe (just maybe) she’ll understand. Yes, we know that you’re also human and have ups and downs with your moods. You just want to stay at home or have an all-boys day out just as we girls do. So please feel free to tell us the REAL reason why you’re not up for a lunch out with us and we’ll do our best to understand you. It’s just a matter of communication.

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2. Say things nicely.

I know it can sound pretty hard for those who aren’t really ‘sweet-talkers.’ But hey, your words can make or break your relationships, dude. There may be times when you can hold off that nasty word, or better yet, don’t say it at all when you know that you’ll offend your significant other.

Of course, you might say that it differs based on personality, but then, will it really be a death sentence for you if you won’t utter those hurtful words? So what if you feel like she’s not as beautiful as the first time you met her? So what if her hair isn’t as flat-out or curled as you want it to be? Would it be better to tell her outright that she’s not beautiful anymore? Think about it, for you just might save your dying relationship.

3. Hold the door for her.

Old-school actions still work; trust me. No matter how much she insists on opening it herself, be alert enough to notice that she also needs you to be there for her (even for the littlest things). And yes, we really appreciate the initiative. Even when it comes to doors.

4. Bring her home after a date.

It may be awkward, most especially if you still don’t have ‘wheels’ to drive her to her house after your date (not to mention an additional expense for you), but what better way to be a gentleman than letting her folks/siblings/guardian (especially if she still lives with them) that you took great care of their princess? Yup, this is a true-blue way to be a gentleman without going overboard!

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5. Have initiative over the little things.

Being gentlemanly is not just about words. Your planning over the little things (specifically for your future dates) counts a lot. Instead of letting her do all the decision-making, why not take the first step to creating a list of places (Note: These need not be expensive spots) to go to. Once you’re done with your list, show it to her and let the two of you plan your itinerary. Aside from showing that you have the intention to take her to a simple yet memorable hangout, you’ll definitely show that you’re really serious about your intentions with her.

6. Seek permission from her parents/siblings/guardian when going out.

Okay, this may apply to those not yet married (also based on various cultural preferences), but I’d like to emphasize on the power of seeking parents’ approval. Some might disagree with this practice, but it still definitely counts as a gentleman’s way of showing respect to them.

Call it corny, but even millennials still need to regard their parents’ opinions over vital matters (especially that of the heart). By doing so, you, the gentleman, are also proving how serious you are about her.

And for the ladies, yes, it’s also a nice practice to (most of the time) let your parents know about your whereabouts. This is not to deprive you of your privacy whatsoever, but most especially if you still live with your parents, you’d be really in good hands knowing that your parents have trust in you and your guy. That’s the best feeling ever.

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7. Be polite (even to strangers).

A gentleman doesn’t easily get annoyed over the simplest of things. Encountered a waiter who spilled orange juice over your newly ironed suit? Would you yell at him right then and there? Uh-oh. Spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R already.

Yes, we ladies also love a calm demeanor, most especially over the little things. Notice how I always emphasize the simple things? It’s because they matter the most. If you can’t be polite to the people around you, how much more respectful will you be with us in the long run?

8. Be especially polite to your mom.

Politeness in the streets is already a huge plus. What more could we ask for when it comes to your mom and your family as a whole? If you are already courteous, polite, and nice to your parents, you’d have an easier time showing your gentleman-ness to your lady love.

Rudeness is not in the vocabulary of a gentleman. Though there may be times when you feel off (mainly due to some unresolved issues in your career, family, etc.), it won’t hurt to smile or say things in a nice way. Your politeness can definitely take you a long way!

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9. Compromise.

Can’t agree over where to go? Don’t want to really go where your lady wants to be? Not a problem, for a gentleman learns to compromise. Even if it may be a “no” for you to go to the KTV, but your girl wants to spend some time belting her lungs out, you might want to accompany her there, too. After all, you love her, right? Even if you don’t want to sing (or if you think you might break the mirrors there), it won’t really hurt going with her. And yes, that’s a gentleman’s way of saying that he’s not just being the love of her life for convenience, he’s saying that he’s in for the long haul.

10. Carry her heavy baggage (literally). 

A gentleman is sensitive enough to know when his lady is having difficulties carrying her things. May it be her shopping bag, some trash bags, cans of milk, and others, if you are a real gentleman, you would offer a hand. Although we have high regard for gender equality now, it won’t hurt if you extend some help to your girl.

11. Offer her a seat.

An old-fashioned act itself, offering your girl a seat (whether at a restaurant, bus, queue, etc.) is a time-tested way to express your concern for her. Not only would you be rekindling the good old days when you were still truly, madly courting her, but it would also make her feel so special that she’ll have a hard time sleeping, reminiscing your gentle nature.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Celine Bernadette Hautea Francisco

Language Specialist/Content Strategist

be a gentleman 11 Ways to be a Gentleman When in a Relationship

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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