You may not have a 401K, but you have something more important – the skills to fake it until you make it. Well, at least- you will after you read our Gentlemen’s Guide To Looking Like You Have Your Shit Together. Call them life hacks, call them words of wisdom – whatever you call them, just try them out. You may just find yourself with prouder parents, a slew of envious mates, and a little extra attention from the fairer sex. Hopefully.
Let’s get to the tips!
Keep your bathroom tidy, and free of personal care products. Keep your countertop free of clutter. Store your personal items in a cabinet, out-of-sight. Make sure your loo is always stocked with soap, toilet paper, and the waste bin is never overflowing. You never know when someone will be using your restroom, so make a habit of keeping it in good shape.
Master a few good meals, and keep your pantry stocked. You may have to cook for someone at some point in your life, and it shouldn’t just be macaroni and cheese.
Have cohesive furniture. Aunt Milly’s ratty old coffee table just won’t do. Your pad should reflect your personality, but people shouldn’t trip over it when they walk through. Hodge podge is okay when you are starting out, but as soon as you can afford it, make that trip to Ikea and the minor upgrade to adult furniture.
Have alcohol on-hand. You always want to be able to offer your guests a drink, so be prepared with a few essentials. If you have friends that drink wine, keep a bottle chilled in the fridge. Keep a stock of the standard liquors, and basic mixers; soda water, orange juice, cola. If you drink beer, have beer.
Keep it simple – and tidy. Put things away when you are done with them. Keep the clutter to a minimum. Have coasters. Keep laundry under control, and out-of-sight.
Add personality. Own books. Display them neatly. Have photos of friends and family. Display them neatly. Have art. Display it neatly.
Be punctual. Disregard the punctuality of others. If lunch is an hour, take an hour. If the day starts at 9 and everyone shows up at 9:15, start at 9.
Prepare a lunch. Save the Wendy’s for casual Fridays. Make bringing a prepared, well balanced lunch a habit. It will bring more positive things than just nourishment; It will impress people.
Follow up. Be on top of not only your role’s duties, but also your professional relationships at the job. If Susan had a baby shower on Sunday, ask her how it went on Monday. If Bill’s mom just had a biopsy, ask how she is doing the following week.
Ask thoughtful questions. In meetings and conversations with peers and superiors, always ask a well-informed question. It will show not only that you are paying close attention, but also that you are interested and eager. (However, be polite with your questions. Don’t interject, wait for a natural break in the dialog.)
Do not over-indulge at social gatherings. There will at some point be a social event, and there will be alcohol there. Do not over-indulge. Hold a beer if you need a prop to avoid being the participant in someone’s mixology practice, but do not drink. Social events are a great opportunity to build relationships with your coworkers – but they are also a hotbed for negative gossip. Don’t participate in it, and don’t give anyone anything to talk about. Stick to coffee.
Be discreet with negativity. Air your grievances through the appropriate chain-of-command. Do not start, or participate in negative talk or gossip. Do not be negative in public forums, like office meetings.
Share credit. If something you’ve worked on gets a positive reaction, thank and mentions those who supported you and helped out.
Bring treats. Bagels, donuts, what have you. Treat your co-workers on occasion.
Check-in on your friends. The older we get, the busier our lives – and the harder it is to make plans consistently. You can go weeks and months without catching up with the people closest to you. Don’t let those relationships fade. Every so often, reach out to your friends via text, Facebook, what-have-you. Ask them how work is going, about something big in their life, or just share with them something you saw that reminded you of them.
Practice fairness. There should be a natural order to your friendships. Try to meet in the middle, or alternate. If the last time you saw a friend they came to you, next time – suggest a restaurant or activity near them. If they brought a case of beer last time for you to share, you bring it this time. If they suggest ordering a pizza, insist you pay your share of the bill.
Be a respectful driver. Always yield to pedestrians. Use your signal when changing lanes. Allow people to merge. Keep calm if someone behaves inappropriately on the road. Never rush. Make these a habit, and they will come naturally when others ride with you. Nothing can show true character better than how someone behaves on the road.
Don’t comment anonymously on the internet. Don’t do it. If you can’t attach your name to it, it’s not something a gentleman would say.
Hold the door for people. Women, men, the elderly – it doesn’t matter. If someone is walking in or out behind you, at the very least hold the door open behind you. (Extra gentlemanly points if you pull the door open and hold it for the person behind you pass through first.)
Listen more than you talk. Ask others about themselves, and listen to what they have to say. When answering questions asked of you, keep it brief, and never speak negatively.
Have good hygiene. This is important for all of the categories in this article. Always be mindful of your personal appearance. Keep your nails trimmed, your teeth brushed, your hair styled however you prefer – and maintain a constant standard. Always wear fresh clothes. Throw out anything ratty or well past their prime.
Phone Etiquette. Put your phone away when you are with others. Don’t check the time frequently, and apologise and offer a good reason when you do sneak a glance or two. (Waiting on a call from your mother, is one of them.)
Show up with coffee. Everyone enjoys a good cup of coffee, and an unexpected treat. Buy enough for everyone at the gathering, and get them all black with cream/sugar on the side if you don’t know everyone’s preferences.
Dating and Relationships
Make the plans. Don’t always go with the flow. Make suggestions for new restaurants and activities for you to discover together, and share restaurants/activities you already enjoy.
Be honest. Especially in establishing a new relationship. You are both gauging for compatibility in the early stages, so do not stack the deck. It will hinder you in the long road. Be honest about your interests, your hobbies, and your beliefs.
Be fair in arguments. Every relationship has disagreements. Do not be quick to anger. Hear your spouse’s points and articulate how the situation made you feel. Don’t be resentful or vindictive. The goal of an argument is for each person to share his/her perception of events, how it made them feel, and how to prevent those negative reactions and feelings from happening again. Work to find the solution, and your partner will leave the argument feeling supported and heard.
Be spontaneous. Every relationships loves a little surprise. Whether it’s an impromptu Chinese take-out and Netflix bingeing, concert tickets, or a bouquet of flowers – do something surprising and thoughtful.
Keep your jealousy to a minimum. Do not be possessive. Do not speak ill of others. Establish boundaries with your spouse, and practice trust.
Be vulnerable. Share your thoughts, feelings and fears. Your romantic partner should get a glimpse of you that others don’t.
What are your tips for both behaving like a bonafide, grown up, Gentleman?