What ‘Being a Gentleman’ Means in the Modern World

Even in these days of technology that permeates our entire existence, we must not lose sight of basic human elements. Being a gentleman is one of those. We talked before about how style is more than just physical appearance, that it’s about your attitude, your actions, and your inner confidence. In the same way, being a gentleman is not about some outdated rules of chivalry or a power struggle of gender roles. It’s an all-encompassing life choice that involves respect for your fellow human beings, and thus demonstrating self-respect in the process.
There are lots of little things you can incorporate in your daily life if you want to embrace the notion of being a gentlemen. Simple gestures like opening doors for anyone who is need of assistance, pulling a chair in or out, or standing up when a lady walks to the dinner table are all good places to start. Showing kindness and respect in the way that you talk to others is a must. Some of the other aspects can be a little more challenging, like being polite in situations where maybe others aren’t giving the same courtesy, or choosing honor over pettiness, but these are all important parts of what being a gentleman is about.

But what about in the online world? We’re all spending more and more time on our connected devices, and can be easy to lose sight of our humanity when we’re behind the protective armor of a screen. So if we want to be true gentlemen, then it’s important to assess how we behave through our social media, texting, emails, and other online interactions. Read your text messages and emails before you hit send, and consider rephrasing a sentence towards the affirmative and gentle, rather than rushed and harsh. Before you post a comment online, think about how it’s likely to be received, and whether you are being as respectful as you could be, especially when you’re disagreeing with someone.

It’s also important to understand both the crossovers and boundaries between online and real-life interactions. Committing to something over text message or email is no less of a promise than it would be face-to-face – as gentlemen, our word is our bond no matter what, and it’s important that we follow through. For actual in-person social situations, we should practice what we preach to our kids: not playing around on our phones while people are speaking to us, and putting phones away entirely when we’re having a meal or sitting at a table with others.

Crossing over from real life into the tech world does not mean we lose sight of what it means to be human; rather this is the best time to be even more so. Being a gentlemen means being more conscious of others, and as a result the receivers will feel the blessings. If we can be empathetic to what others are going through and imagine ourselves in their shoes before we react, we can reconnect to a better world where we can again begin to interact with grace, humility, and style.

Kory Helfman

Dallas Haberdasher

Ken’s Man’s Shop