“A gentleman is not defined by the content of his wallet or the cut of his suit. He is defined by his manners and the content of his character.”
Good manners never go out of style.
Each era has its trends and characteristics, but politeness is valued in every society, no matter the time. They can often mean the difference between success and failure in life.
This points out the importance of etiquette, a set of important guidelines that control the way a responsible individual should behave in society.
A well-mannered person treats all people with respect, and his relationships with superiors, parents, fellow workers, friends, and partners are based on trust, loyalty, kindness, courtesy, and responsibility.
The word “etiquette” comes from the French word “estique,” meaning to attach or stick. The noun “etiquette” refers to the requirements of behaviors according to the conventions of society.
The story goes that when King Louis XIV’s gardener at Versailles found that noblemen were trampling his flowers to death by walking through the garden, he put up signs, or ‘etiquets’, to warn them to stay away from the grass.
Yet, they didn’t obey his signs, so eventually, the king himself had to insist that nobody was to go beyond the boundaries set by the gardener’s signs.
Over time, the meaning of the word evolved to include different codes of conduct, until we eventually arrived what we define as etiquette today. The short definition at Merriam-Webster.com is “the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave.”
The foundation of proper etiquette is gracious and polite behavior in social, professional, and family situations.
A man with good manners leaves a mark wherever he goes, he knows how to behave in every situation, and leaves an everlasting impression.
Therefore, here are some important rules every gentleman should follow:
- Greet everyone when entering a room, regardless of your social status.
- Greet people back when they greet you, even if you don’t know them.
- Always arrive on time
- Pull out a lady’s chair for her
- When going towards your seat in the theatre or at the cinema, face the people you pass on your way.
- Leave the bottom button of the suit jacket unbuttoned
- Never talk or laugh loudly and do not stare at people.
- Thank people for helping you.
- Men should carry a lady’s coat to the cloakroom, but not her purse.
- When you’re out with friends, family or a partner, stop checking the phone for new calls, messages, or notifications from social media, as it is extremely rude and means you are bored and not interested in what the other has to say
- Don’t ask someone out if you plan to spend the rest of the evening texting.
- Well-mannered men respect all women.
- When on a date, answer the phone only when it is urgent.
- If your apology has been accepted, never repeat the same mistake again.
- You should keep the following things to yourself: age, honor, affairs, religion, wealth, medical problems, family problems, and disgrace.