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12 Things A Real Gentleman Does Differently

12 Things A Real Gentleman Does Differently

Three-piece suits, pocket squares and fob watches may be coming back into fashion, but that doesn’t mean the guys wearing them can be classified as ‘gentlemen.’ Today we’re going to have a look at the qualities a true gentleman possesses. I’d also like to point out this is just as relevant to women, because essentially being a gentleman means not being an arsehole to people, and there are plenty of girls who can apply this philosophy to their every day lives. So when you’re reading these points, be aware I’m talking to both genders. Also, know you won’t be finding any rubbish about dress sense, wine knowledge or vocabulary here.

1. They’re Respectful…To Everyone

I get really annoyed at the misconception that a gentleman, or an actual guy who is nice, should be respectful to a woman he is interested in. This simply perpetuates the idea that respect is merely a tool to be exchanged for sex. A true gentleman, and gentlewoman for that matter, should be polite and respectful to everyone, regardless of gender. He or she shouldn’t be using it as a means of attraction.

2. They Support Their Partners’ Dreams And Goals

Unless his partner aims to be a crackhead, a gentleman should respect her life ambitions, even if they can be difficult to achieve. In my case, my partner is incredibly supportive of my freelance writing because he is awesome and believes in me. By the same token, I don’t think it’s anyone’s sole responsibility to financially support someone who isn’t bringing anything to the table themselves. Again in my case, my partner does earn more money, but I also work two additional jobs to contribute to the household. That’s my choice, not his. In my opinion, you should never expect someone else to support your goals and dreams if you won’t support your own; financially or emotionally.

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3. They’re Honest And Open

A gentleman is less likely to engage in the oh-so-attractive game playing when it comes to romance. He is open and honest, because when you find the right person, neither of you feel the need to go down the road of calculating how many days after a date you should call, pretend not to actually like them so they’ll like you more, and purposely withdraw affection.

4. They Don’t Abandon Their Partner When Things Get Tough

Relationships aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. Some days they can be incredibly tough, no matter how much you love each other. A gentleman doesn’t run away when things get a little hard; he supports his partner and the relationship itself.

5. They’re Polite – To Everyone

Again, politeness shouldn’t be used as a weapon for pants-dropping. A gentleman should be polite to everyone, with no ulterior motive.

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6. They Keep Doors Open For Everyone

This may be a controversial point, because I know a lot of people hate it when guys open doors for them. But here’s my philosophy on the subject: If I’m about to walk through a door, I always either let the person behind me go first, or keep it open for him or her once I’ve gone through. Perhaps the former is a bit much, but it’s something I’ve always done. I do however think it’s incredibly rude if I’m right behind someone and he or she lets the door close in my face. So in my humble opinion, I think a gentleman should keep a door open for someone behind him, regardless of gender or age. It’s just common courtesy.

7. They Compromise

Gentlemen know compromise is a necessity when it comes to a happy, healthy relationship. Regardless of their own wants or needs (including rules about anything they have in their heads, including this list) they take their partners’ opinions and needs into consideration. Once again, the same goes for us too ladies. No matter who you are, it is not all about you.

8. They’re Feminists

Yeah, you heard me. Feel free to start writing your flame comments now if you like. Despite the fact that it’s 2014, plenty of people (both male and female) are laboring under the misconception that feminism is a dirty word. In addition, they confuse the word ‘feminism’ with ‘misandry.’ A real gentleman is aware feminism is the belief that both men and women deserve to be treated equally, and they will have absolutely no problem with that.

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9. They Help People

Gentlemen go out of their way to help people around them, whether they’re loved ones or someone they haven’t met. I’m not saying they need to devote their entire lives to helping others every second, but random acts of kindness never go astray.

10. They Put Family First

Whether their partner, parents and siblings or even close friends; these people will always come first to a gentleman. They don’t abandon their sick wife to go drinking with their mates, or stay home on Easter because they can’t be bothered seeing the in-laws. Family is everything to them.

11. Their Actions Speak Louder Than Words

A friend said to me recently, a gentleman is “someone whose actions reach further than his own self-interest.” I think that sums it up beautifully.

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12. They Don’t Claim to Be ‘Nice Guys’

Gentlemen, in the truest sense of the word, are not ‘Nice Guys.’ In case you’re unaware, ‘Nice Guys’ are dudes who claim to respect women and to be super nice and yet complain when girls don’t immediately drop their pants for them. Usually this is because the girl in question didn’t react favorably to unsolicited poetry, declarations of love, expensive presents or referring to her as “milady” within the two weeks of meeting. This is usually followed by calling her ‘slut’ or the b-word and whining about being ‘friend zoned’ again. These guys are in no way nice and are certainly not gentlemen; regardless of how many doors they open or dozens of roses they send. They simply cover up their psychological issues and inherent misogyny with a veil of outdated chivalry and fedoras.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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