Chivalry never goes out of style, so moms take note! In fact, it is perhaps more vital than ever to teach these skills to today’s young men. With technology making it easy to text an invitation to dinner rather than picking up the phone or emailing a thank you note in favor of mailing a handwritten one, good old-fashioned manners have been slowly slipping by the wayside, much to our detriment. To combat this downward spiral, here are 10 ways to instill the importance of chivalrous behavior and turn these impressionable boys into true gentlemen.
Look the Part — First impressions mean everything and there is no better way to communicate confidence than through a young man’s overall presentation. Good posture gives the appearance of looking taller and stronger and being well-groomed displays respect for oneself. The challenge is to strike a healthy balance between caring about such things as personal hygiene and wardrobe selection without appearing too perfectly put together or looking like you made too much of an effort.
Hold the Door Open — In today’s world, young men are dealing with the delicate dance of knowing how to treat a lady without making her feel helpless. There are many ways in which he may demonstrate this behavior from opening a door for a woman, to helping carry heavy packages or assisting with putting on a coat. The understanding is that each of these gestures is made with the sole purpose of aiding the comfort level of his companion.
Walk Curbside — A gentleman makes sure his companion’s safety is attended to before his own. Walking on the curbside of the pavement is a practical measure to avoid any accidental missteps and also to protect a lady’s clothing from soiling due to mud or water erupting from drivers passing by.
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Pull Out a Chair — The dining experience is crucial to the dating process as it allows the gentlemen plenty of opportunity to display chivalrous behavior. A true gentleman should let the maître’d escort his companion to the table first while he follows behind. Once at the table, he offers to seat his companion by pulling out the chair with two hands and gently pushing the lady in.
Stand for All Introductions — To show respect for others, a gentleman stands for all introductions as well as goodbyes. At a restaurant, he would stand each time his companion rises out of her chair to leave the table or returns to the table. In the workplace, he would stand to greet co-workers and clients.
Wait for a Lady to Extend Her Hand — The handshake is the most universal gesture for greeting another person. A gentleman always waits for a lady to initiate the handshake because he should never presume that the lady wishes to make any kind of physical contact.
Pay for A Meal — Whether inviting a companion to dinner or attending a dinner as a guest, a gentleman always pays and money is never a consideration. He is equally gracious and polite whether speaking to the wait staff at the restaurant or his invited guest. He is invested in the overall experience rather than scrutinizing each detail of the check with a fine tooth comb.
Make Polite Conversation — A gentleman easily makes pleasant conversation. He is cultured and well-versed to speak on a number of subjects. He shows interest in his companion by asking questions and being a good listener. He maintains excellent eye contact throughout their conversation making his companion feel like they are the only person in the room.
Show Consideration — A gentleman exhibits consideration for others by (a) using the words “please” and “thank you” liberally, (b) being respectful to women (c) being punctual and arriving on time to engagements, (d) refraining from texting, taking or making phone calls while in the company of others, (e) holding a door or elevator open for someone immediately behind them and (g) picking up and returning anything that another person has dropped.
Be a Natural — The gentleman displays the type of social confidence that is able to put others at ease while feeling completely comfortable with himself. He maintains a positive attitude and exudes a natural sense of calm and control. What makes him a natural is that he possesses a special magnetism that makes him at once exciting to be around and yet safe.