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10 Things You Can Do Today To Be A Gentleman

10 Things You Can Do Today To Be A Gentleman

Some guys never grow-up. Don’t be one of them! If you want to become a confident man who is capable of catching a female’s attention, check out these ten ways to be a gentleman.

1. Take a trip.

You can’t expect to have much of a perspective about the world if you confine yourself to the limits of your hometown. Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive; you could hop in your car and start driving without a destination in mind, explore a nearby town you’ve never heard of, split the cost of a beach trip with a group of friends, or take your partner on a discounted tropical cruise during an off-season.

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2. Adopt a pet.

If you ever feel lonely, please don’t fret, because I’m about to share the best cure for loneliness ever: pets! As a single guy who lives by himself, I am thankful for my dog (a beagle named Dixie), who serves as a cute little shadow that follows me around and makes me feel needed. Being a pet owner will teach you to be more caring and compassionate. That said, don’t even think about adopting an animal unless you’re 100 percent willing to take care of it. As an added bonus, dogs are scientifically proven to be lady magnets. Don’t believe me? Take Fido to the park during peak hours to test that theory.

3. Read a book.

While there isn’t anything “wrong’ with playing video games, you definitely don’t want to spend all of your time in front of a television screen. No woman (or man) will be impressed by how quickly you made it to the final boss battle, so you might want to read an interesting book or thought-provoking article that arms you with knowledge that could prove useful if you ever find yourself having an engaging conversation with a person you are attracted to and would like to invite to dinner.

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4. Find a hobby.

Life can get pretty boring in a hurry if your days consist of waking up, going to work, watching TV, sleeping, and eating some food in between. Do your friends often compliment your sense of humor? Combine your funniest jokes that seem to elicit the best reactions in a stand-up routine and perform it at an open mic night. Do you have a knack for giving speeches or presentations? Audition for a community theater play, take an acting class, or join a local toastmaster’s club. You could even learn something new like a foreign language, instrument, or technical skill like carpentry.

5. Throw a party.

I’m not suggesting you should hang flyers everywhere, especially if you’re a college student who could end up with a bunch of strangers showing up and making a mess. Instead, choose five or 10 of your closest friends, ask them to all bring a single dish or bottle of wine (coordinate this together so you don’t all end up bringing the same thing), and have a fun time together. If it’s a hit, you could make this a recurring occasion where a different person hosts the event every week or month.

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6. Learn to cook.

If you’re a grown adult, there is no excuse to be completely clueless in the kitchen. Having to rely on prepackaged foods and restaurants isn’t only bad for your health and expensive for your wallet, but also something a child would do. Get started with something basic like chicken tacos or a ham and cheese omelet. Keep practicing with a single dish, adjusting your recipe every time until you’re finally pleased with the result (when you think it might impress a female). Repeat this process consistently, moving up to more difficult recipes as time goes on, and you’ll be a master chef before you know it.

7. Keep a journal.

There is nothing “weak” or “sissy” about confronting your feelings. Letting the things that trouble you build up inside will only make them harder to deal with later, so it’s best to find an emotional outlet that allows you to express yourself without a filter. Reflecting about your struggles in a journal (or blog if you’re feeling brave) will help you better understand your personality, get over your struggles, and figure out what you hope to accomplish in the future.

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8. Meet new friends.

The best way to feel happy and positive? Simple. Surround yourself with happy and positive people. The impact of our social setting on our quality of life cannot be overstated. If you spend all of your time hanging out with people who judge you and complain about everything, don’t you think it might hard to stay positive yourself? This concept might sound too simple to be true, but the hard part is having enough courage to walk away from a friendship that isn’t worth having.

9. Pursue your passion.

It’s wonderful to have someone to love and share your life with, but it’s also insane to expect any person to be your single source of happiness. People who put all of their emotional stock into a relationship often end up with a broken heart that takes a long time to heal, because they foolishly invested all of their time and energy into that person (and as you know, not many relationships last forever). Besides, there aren’t many people that would appreciate having so much pressure placed on them — they would probably feel a lot better if you had an interest outside of your relationship — so it’s in your best interest to find something else to care about.

10. Stand for something.

I encourage you to live according to a set of ethics or principles that guide you in business and relationships. Those principles shouldn’t be governed by gender roles, societal standards, what your parents expect of you, or anything like that. Instead, they should be based on the lessons you have learned during this adventure called life. Don’t get too attached to whatever you decide, because you will evolve as you learn and grow and change your mind, but you should nonetheless follow a personal code that helps you act confidently and decisively when faced with difficult decisions.

If you’d like to help the men in your life be a gentleman, pass this article along by clicking the share button.

Featured photo credit: Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother/QuoteKo via quoteko.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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