With all this excitement revolving around No-Shave-November, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the fact that a beard does not a man make. Nor does the fact that you can grow facial hair mean that you should. If you are a lowly freshman still on the closing end of puberty with less hair than a moldy apple, please do us all a favor and keep the fuzz trimmed. If not, and you can do things like this man:
then go for it. So beyond the facial hair, I wanted to give you my advice as a married man with 7 steps on how to be a proper gentleman.
1. Dress for success.
There is nothing more attractive to the ladies and society than a man who knows how to clean up and dress right. I’m not saying you have to wear gucci suits every day, but know how to match your shoes to your belt, your socks to your slacks, your tie to your jacket, and your personality to smooth. If you wear gym shorts, sweat pants, t-shirts, etc. to school every day, please don’t expect people to look your way.
2. Learn how to give a compliment.
Believe it or not, this world exists and moves on without your Kanye-esque center of focus on the self. Also, compliments should not, nor do they have to be geared toward flirting. A fine rule of charisma is that a person of sincerity will be taken more seriously. These should be given out regularly and consistently. If you do not find something worth complimenting, don’t fake it. Everyone has something good worth noticing, so tell them when you notice it.
3. Napoleon had it right, girls only want boyfriends with great skills.
I don’t care how good you are, Halo sniper is not a skill. Neither is the fact that you wield a plus-three broad sword somewhere. I’m talking good, hardy skills that help your manliness. Learn to wield an axe or chainsaw as a lumberjack, maybe gain some mechanical or plumbing skills, or learn how to box. Make it something useful, something that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Learning how to dance properly or speak in public will help you represent yourself well at parties and social events.
4. Always be courteous.
This kind of goes back to the whole complimenting thing. Learn to put others before yourself in most situations. People like to talk about themselves, so let them. Be nice about it, it’s their life. Be polite in referring to other people, show your manners in all situations and people will take notice. They will respect you for it.
5. Be chivalrous.
In case you don’t know what this means because it’s mostly dead, here you go. Chivalry:
the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms. In modern usage, it means opening the door for all ladies, not just the ones you want to impress. You don’t have to put your coat on a puddle, but you can help them over it. Offer to get the car when it’s cold, help someone who is in distress, offer your coat even if it means you freeze, kiss her hand or cheek instead of her lips on the first date, plan ahead so you’re not left saying “I don’t know” when she asks what you’re doing that night, and a plethora of other things that men forget to do on a minute by minute basis.
6. Be educated.
No one likes someone who talks not good. You’re already doing yourself a favor by going to University, but it’s about time you kick all those “like”s and “um”s out of your vocabulary. Articulate your words and it will take you far.
7. Take care of yourself.
Being a gentleman doesn’t mean you have to be a big, muscular macho guy. It also doesn’t mean you have to be skinny like Joseph Gordon Leavitt. It just means you need to exercise and take care of yourself. Don’t eat ice cream for breakfast and nachos for dinner. Run a little and lift a little. If you don’t want to dedicate yourself to a gym membership, do some pushups and pullups. That’s how Batman fixed his broken back if you remember. You’ll feel better and you’ll look better if you take a bit of time to trim that physique.
There you go, those are my seven steps. Now go out there and match that manly beard with some gentlemanliness.
Shawn Domgaard is a Masters student in the Professional Communication program from Gusher, UT. He graduated with his BA in Comm Studies and Strategic Communication with a minor in Creative Writing in 2013 from SUU. He is married to the beautiful Rachel Renae Domgaard, an Elementary Ed major from Parowan, UT. He enjoys myriad things with an eclectic interest.