Last updated on December 24th, 2023 at 10:37 am
A perfect gentleman exudes discipline, politeness and conducts himself in an agreeable manner to make people around him comfortable.
These are ingrained in his dress sense, language, communication, overall good manners, and quality lifestyle which are consistent over the years.
With the world becoming increasingly impatient and irritable with people growing more hostile than ever and bereft of empathy; becoming a perfect gentleman is a powerful light through the darkness.
Being a gentleman hands one the power to attract the right people, demolishes obstacles, become a silent leader, and puts one in a position of advantage.
It also puts you in good books of humans and nature.
You might like to read the ordinary man vs the polished man.
Who is a true gentleman?
Before describing the gentleman, I want to say a little about the occasional gentleman.
Most gentlemen these days become occasional gentlemen because of what it could achieve for them, not because they are proper gentlemen.
They dress and mimic the gentleman’s attributes for the occasion after which they discard the gentlemanly character.
A gentleman is an emotionally smart man who knows he is not alone in society and so looks out for others, including animals and nature.
He wakes up each day and looks for ways to inject goodness into the world.
He makes his environment and the people around him comfortable the best way he can. He reads the room and understands the best possible attitude to put up.
We have a dedicated post on what differentiates a man from a gentleman.
What you give is what you receive
It might seem like a rule that how you treat the world is how it treats you back.
Treat the society and its inhabitants with a polished character and the genuine intention to please, and it will reward you with the same energy and create a comfortable walkway to your pleasure.
Related: How to Speak Like a Refined Man
This does not however mean there won’t be pockets of obstacles that irritatingly impede your conduct as a perfect gentleman, but with the same grace, you will conquer.
On the contrary, be brutal, brusque, and rude to society, unsettling all the softness with your uncouth and no regard for people, and you will be unfortunate to have society reward you in equal measure, offering you only sharp corners, brick walls, and every unpleasant experience that could be.
The perfect gentleman etiquette still holds sway in society
You will discover that no matter how society has been stripped of etiquette, courtesy and politeness still holds sway.
Etiquette is rude in some places, and soft in others, while it is easily set aside elsewhere.
Your assignment as a gentleman is to know where etiquette and politeness reign supreme in his kingdom, where he only slides with gentle hints, and where it is not needed at all.
Knowing this will let your conduct be driven by your keen observations wherever you find yourself in society.
And you will soon be able to read the room upon entrance into an environment whether softness and perfect gentlemanliness is needed or just “hi” with people you meet.
The ‘gentleman’ term is not only reserved for men
Gentlemanliness is not only for men; women can also exhibit all the characteristics that make fellow human beings and the environment comfortable.
The concept is being empathic and doing what one wishes to be done unto him.
A woman who treats her maids or workers with contempt and disrespect does not deserve the courtesies and respect she desires.
Becoming a perfect gentleman
Gentlemanliness is learned if you are not born into it. You must have someone to look up to in their overall lifestyle to understand and learn how they approach life, especially in their interaction with humanity and nature.
If your father wasn’t a gentleman and so didn’t teach you the core etiquettes of the gentleman, you will find it a little clumsy to know everything there is in becoming a proper gentleman.
However, everyone who is keen to become a true gentleman will succeed if they choose to be committed and beat the stereotyping that comes with it.
Just as mentioned earlier, starting your journey to becoming a true gentleman, you should get rid of the misconceptions surrounding the gentleman’s lifestyle.
You should understand that the gentleman lifestyle is not as parochial as just looking dapper in a nice suit and a pair of glistening shoes.
Here are the first things that precede becoming a perfect gentleman.
Identify your weaknesses and strengths
A true gentleman must be self-aware before becoming a successful gentleman. You must identify your weaknesses and strength, accept them, and not be held down by them.
If your weaknesses could impede your success, you should consider learning how to get rid of them to improve and become better in your everyday life.
As we evolve and age, our preferences change and we must adjust while maintaining our strong character as gentlemen.
Below are the qualities that define a perfect gentleman.
15 Qualities of a perfect gentleman
- Polite manners
- Confidence and averse to arrogance
- Quality taste and style
- A gentleman is knowledgeable
- Has a strong character
- Leads by example
- A gentleman is respectful
- Honours secrets, never tell
- Not aggressive or a bully
- A gentleman does not wear a mask
- Clean language
- Dresses modestly
1. Polite manners
Having polished manners is the foundation for becoming a real gentleman. In fact, it’s through manners that your gentlemanliness shines through.
Making politeness part of your life that is inherent in your every action is the crux of gentlemanliness and the finish of manner.
Examples of good manners
- Hold the doors for people after you
- Open doors for ladies
- Learn good table manners like how to hold cutlery
- Be the first to do good
2. A gentleman is confident and averse to arrogance
A gentleman is grounded in humility and confidence. He understands the difference between being cocky and being confident to inspire. They let their results speak for them.
He does not show off wealth or achievements because he knows it makes people on the lower cadre feel inadequate.
How not to be arrogant
- Don’t brag
- Be humble
- Be receptive
- Listen more
3. Be knowledgeable
A gentleman should constantly improve himself in knowledge as he will always be a leader along life’s journey.
Being knowledgeable in many areas of life will increase your capacity to help, mentor, and be an example for people to emulate.
How to be knowledgeable
- Read books
- Learn skills
- Be intentional in personal development
4. Quality taste and style
A man who has no taste is bland and uninteresting. As a true gentleman, you should have taste and style.
It could be in dressing, food, cars, or wristwatches. Just have good taste for the good things in this life. However, you have to do this according to what you can afford.
How to have quality taste and style
- Enjoy yourself in a classy restaurant
- Gift yourself a nice suit
- Choose quality friends that grow you
Being self-aware is knowing yourself. You are the only one who can tell yourself the truth. This is the first step to working on yourself for any change you desire.
Know what triggers your emotions – anger, sadness, joy, etc. Having competence in understanding your emotions (emotional intelligence) would give you control over them.
See our dedicated post on self-consciousness.
6. Having a strong character
Strong character is a trait an intending perfect gentleman should develop down the journey. Not just for the sake of being a gentleman, but for overall benefit in life.
A strong character would help you succeed in relationships, career, and other areas of life.
7. A gentleman leads by example
A gentleman leads by example to inspire his followers. This is a demonstration of excellence and instills the confidence needed for your subordinates to follow. You model the behaviours you need to instill and let them mirror them.
How to develop a strong character
- Be accountable
- Be intentional
- Control your emotions
- Think through before taking action
8. A gentleman is respectful
Respect is the watchword of the perfect gentleman and guides him in all his conduct with humans and nature.
He respects people’s spaces and understands when he can’t have his way. He does not foist his opinion or preference on others, nor use cunning to have his way.
9. A gentleman honours secrets, and never tells
A real gentleman does not gossip or expose privileged information when he falls out with people.
There are people who begin to expose secrets they know about people when they have an argument.
This is in no way the way of a gentleman. In fact, it’s a strong sign of weakness and fragile masculinity, below the dignity of a perfect gentleman.
Betrayal is not in the books of the proper gentleman. He never slanders or spreads scandalous rumours about others. He protects his integrity and those of others around him.
Perfect control of his emotions is a skill the true gentleman has perfected. He does not get triggered by what people say or their actions toward him.
Getting angry means acting or responding in ways that give the traducers more power to intensify their attack, either physical or verbal.
This is a good control technique he uses to disarm traducers emotionally and physically.
He believes that words are words and should not have the capacity to pierce into someone’s soul to trigger him to act in ways unbecoming of a perfect gentleman.
11. A gentleman is honest even if he has to lose
Honesty is one of the virtues of gentlemanliness that cannot go out of fashion. In a world where dishonesty is dominant, being honest is a feat.
Honesty can always be a trait that sets a gentleman apart from the crowd. It involves protecting the truth, not lying or intentionally misdirecting people away from the truth.
12. A gentleman is not aggressive
The true gentleman is not given to aggression. He does not lose his temper to lash out at people because he can.
He believes in dialogue and employs it to settle issues than hurting people physically or mentally out of anger.
We all as humans have the right to be angry, but we shouldn’t let it spill over and make us act in ways that are unbecoming of a gentleman.
13. A perfect gentleman does not wear a mask
Once a gentleman is always a gentleman. Be sure to stick to the rules in your most casual and exciting moments, when you should have no need for etiquette, so you can be recognized as a gentleman by every character, word, or look.
He does not be a gentleman at the workplace and is a bully at home. His character is consistent wherever he finds himself.
14. Keeps the language clean
Gentlemen don’t use foul language like those who have no regard for themselves and others.
A true gentleman restricts his tongue from speaking rudely or using swear words. At all times, he makes each encounter memorable for the next person.
When stakes are high and every other person is losing their temper and resorting to personal attack and aggression, he remains calm and instead falls back to a higher standard of principle no matter how much he is triggered.
15. Dresses modestly
A true gentleman is deliberate about his dressing. Though dressing nicely does not make a gentleman so to say, it sure identifies him as one and would inform people’s treatment of him.
I remember always being called ‘sir’ by the majority of people when I am well-dressed. People respect the fact that you are different from the crowd and treat you with courtesy.
Frequently asked questions about the perfect gentleman
What makes a perfect gentleman?
The true gentleman grooms himself properly – his beard, hair, and nails and practices good hygiene. He understands the power of a good appearance and sharp dressing – they open doors to new opportunities.
He is a good listener and does not speak condescendingly to those below him.
What makes a true gentleman?
A true gentleman is impeccable in character and has a high standard of principle that guides him.
He is considerate and strives to make people around him comfortable in the best way he can.
What are the habits of a gentleman?
A gentleman never gossips, he’s not scandalous. He protects his integrity and that of others. He is prompt to meetings and he is honest even if he loses.
A perfect gentleman is an easygoing person who has got empathy, love, and goodwill for humanity and the environment.
Embedded in his character and attitude is the desire to make things easy for everyone. This is evidenced in the way he avoids chaos and conflict.
A person whose father is a gentleman will find it easy to be a gentleman. However, gentlemanliness can be learned with commitment and making it a lifestyle.
- Seven Things That Defines A True Gentleman
- Characteristics Of The Gentleman According to Confucius
- How to become the perfect gentleman in ten steps
- 20 Things That Make A Man A Gentleman
Pious Clements is the insightful voice behind "The Conducts of Life" blog, where he writes about life ethics, self-development, life mastery, and the dynamics of people and society.
With a profound understanding of human behaviuor and societal dynamics, Pious offers thought-provoking perspectives on ethical living and personal growth.
Through engaging narratives and astute observations, he inspires readers to navigate life's complexities with wisdom and integrity, encouraging a deeper understanding of the human experience and our place within society.