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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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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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