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12 Things A Real Gentleman Does Differently

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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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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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