Manners Part 1: What I love about Gentlemen

In modern-day America, a Gentleman is a rare find. And ladies – it’s our fault. The feminist mindset has taken over us, even though we often don’t realize it. We have said “I can get it, thankyouverymuch” for so long that those who would be Gentlemen if we would let them are now saying “Alright then, get it yourself!” This post is for  guys, but feel free to comment and back me up on this, girls! Here are some Gentlemanly things that we always appreciate. We love it when you…

1. Open doors for us.

  

Believe it or not, we appreciate this, whether it’s from a brother or a random man who happens to be there at the same time. This small act of courtesy does not go unnappreciated.

2. Pull chairs out for us. Yes, this may seem silly – after all, it isn’t as if we can’t get our own chairs – but it’s a nice, small attention that makes us feel like ladies.

3. Refrain from telling vulgar jokes and/or being crude in our presence. Believe it or not, we don’t appreciate that one joke from that one movie, and we also don’t view it as an accomplishment when you can burp the alphabet. Please, remember your manners.

4. Aren’t rough or violent during games. I like rough-housing as much as the next person, but even if it’s during a game of football girls don’t like to be slammed into or shoved around. Please treat us like ladies – even when we’re goofing off.

5. Give up your seats for us. If we walk into a room and all the seats are taken, it is greatly appreciated when you stand up and offer us your seat. This is definitely one of the ‘bigger’ gentlemanly moves, in my book.

6.Offer to help. This may seem like one of the more ‘well, duh’ things – but it doesn’t get done very often. When we’re tired, busy – or even if we feel fine, chances are we’d LOVE some help. There’s usually something to do and you will be received with a grateful “Yes, as a matter of fact…”

7. Say something nice. Not in a flirty manner, of course – but we go to a lot of trouble to look pretty, and it’s wonderful when somebody notices. A simple “Your hair looks cool” or “I like your outfit” can do wonders in brightening our day. And please, don’t make negative remarks about us – we’re already very hard on ourselves, especially appearance-wise.

8. Respect our personal space. Please don’t make us feel awkward by trying to give full-body hugs or anything like that – chances are, we have standards, and we feel really bad when we have to say something like “Actually, I’m uncomfortable with that.” Personally I’m a side-hug person, and having to ask a person to ‘back off’ would make me very uncomfortable.

9. Include us in your conversation. Yes, I understand you want to talk to the other guys present. But if there is one girl, and several guys, don’t start talking over her. Remember that she’s still there and probably feeling very left out.

10. Be Watchful! Look for things to say and do to show that you’re a true Gentlemen. Protect us. Respect us. Treat us like sisters in Christ, not like other guys or playthings. Treat us like ladies, and I can assure you that I, for one, will treat you like a Gentlemen.

To quote Raquel, the young lady who inspired this post, “Know that girls DO appreciate these acts of chivalry!  There aren’t many TRUE men out there…or so we think.  Prove us wrong.”

Ladies, beware – guys aren’t the only ones getting spoken to! The next post will be for YOU.

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21 thoughts on “Manners Part 1: What I love about Gentlemen

  1. very good. been a while since I’ve commented on something… wow. lol
    but anyhoo, quite good. 🙂 it’s been a while since I’ve read something like this.
    Personal space is something that must be respected, for sure. But some people are ok with some things. Me and my girlfriend and most of her friends are completely comfortable with hugs and such. But yeah, in general, true. 🙂

  2. LOVE this, Mirriam! I DEF do appreciate when a guy does anyone of these gentlemanly things. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on what WE need to be doing to become more of the ladies we were created as.

  3. All these are good reminders for young men out there! On the “chair one”, that is going to depend on setting and even geographical location. In the circles and cultural setting I am in now, I am unable to do that without it appearing overly friendly. In another more formal culture, or even less pagan(Oregon is so pagan we have to import Christian californians ;)) it might indeed work. The “say something nice” would need to be done carefully as well.

  4. Chivalry. As a lady, I love it. It makes me so veryvery happy. ^_^ It’s so honorable and good and heroic.

    Ah-ha! I’m eager to see your next post… I wonder what it shall concern. o_O Methinks it might be Modesty. After all, modesty is the chivalry of ladies.

    -whisper

  5. Yes! A million times, YES!

    I agree with all of these wholeheartedly, especially #8. I hate it when guys think that they can just come up and give you a hug. I know a couple of guys (they’re brothers) who are wonderful gentlemen. They both make sure to ask before hugging you–and even when they do, it’s a short, sweet, air/side hug. I love that they are both considerate enough to ask before approaching me.

    And guys…we really do notice when you act like gentlemen. Another thing that really gains a lady’s admiration is when you stand up for her in a group when one of those less-gentlemanly boys says anything rude or maybe just sarcastic. Real gentlemen are so scarce in today’s world that any young man who puts the effort into being chivalrous really catches our attention–and I don’t mean that in a flirtatious way. It’s just so encouraging to know that gentlemen are not an extinct group. 🙂

    ~Keaghan

  6. Good points, Mirriam.
    I certainly hope I appear to be a gentleman; I still believe in chivalry and other antiquated notions. 🙂

    I am not fond of vulgar behavior or speech, so you don’t have to worry about that from me, nor about hugs or any other invasion of your personal space (currently an impossibility anyway 😉 and I always hold the door open for people who are next to or behind me if possible, even if they’re not a girl. The “pulling the chair out” bit is something I haven’t had any experience with yet since I haven’t had a date or any other chance to do it, I don’t think.
    I will definitely defend a girl’s honor, but at only 5’7″, I doubt I’d be able to intimidate a jerk into proper behavior. :-/
    I try to say nice things to girls sometimes, such as paying a girl a compliment on her hair or choice of clothing, but I’m sure I’m far from “flirty”; as you might know, I often don’t appear to express a lot of emotion, but I’m not always like that…
    I think I do the rest of the things on this list as well, but having a conversation with people who don’t have shared interests, be they guys or girls, can be difficult for me.
    Now I’ve gone and wasted a bunch of perfectly good comment space on your blog…but I’ll keep these things in mind and will try to do them in the event I get o meet you in person.

  7. The door opening thing? Definitely if I have my hands full and I usually do 😉 I work in a book store after all.

    The pulling the chair out for me? No. Sorry ladies but that just doesn’t work for me. Guys you can certainly ask. I won’t be offended, and I’ll give you brownie points but I don’t want you pulling out my chair for me.

    Crudeness in general is to be avoided. Vulgarity period shouldn’t be in any Christian’s mouth. Do we all slip up? Yes. Oh, my yes. I don’t want to hear it coming out of your mouths fellows, when I walk past, but I also don’t want to hear it when you can’t see me and I’m around the corner. And Christ doesn’t want to hear it at all. It’s sin after all.

    Rough or violent in games? I don’t play with guys physically ever, it just isn’t a good idea to have contact types of things. Catch? Frisbee golf? Bowling? Going to the batting cage? Hitting a bucket of golf balls? Bike rides? Oh most definitely! Playing HORSE or PIG with the basketball? Bring it on! But as girls we shouldn’t ever EVER be wrestling or in a contact sport with a guy. Just, no. It’s part of being a mindful Sister to our Brothers in Christ.

    And fellows, I’d much rather see you give up a seat for an mature person than myself. I have legs, I can stand. You can ask, absolutely nothing wrong with that, but don’t make it awkward if I don’t want your seat. It’s enough that you asked. Also Seeing a guy give up his seat to a man or woman crowned with gray is a way to earn points in my book. Especially on places like buses or trains or metro cars where NO ONE will get up for anything.

    Offering to help is always nice.

    Saying something nice. Again, no. Not unless I really know you fellows well. It can come across as too personal and sometimes just plain weird. Refrain from making disparaging comments? Now that would be nice. Just meeting my gaze and nodding or smiling is enough. Acknowledge me as a person and then go back to what it was you were doing. Unless I’m on fire and then HELP.

    Respect our personal space.

    Please yes. Oh my please yes. A thousand times yes. I don’t like hugging, not even my close family hugs me much. Like Mirriam I’m a side-hugger if at all. Only my really close girl pals will maliciously smile at me and really give me a squeeze while I’m yelping “NO TOUCHING NO TOUCHING”

    Include us in the conversation

    Again, no. I mean if I know you fellows we are automatically going to be interacting and talking but if you don’t know me, don’t talk to me. I’m not going to be standing around long anyway if I don’t know you or feel out of place and really I’m not going to be by myself around a cluster of guys anyway (unless I started out with you, or made a wrong turn and then fire doors closed and we’re trapped together and then we’ve more important things to worry about than talking idly)

    Be watchful.

    Yes, please. But not stalker creepy watchful. If we are in the country and walking, walk between me and traffic or between me and the curb if there is one. If we are in the city then you switch sides and walk between me and the buildings so I don’t get grabbed and pulled into the alley. Walk me to my car. Wait for me to start the engine and drive away (girls the best thing to do is to follow him back to his car and make certain HE gets in safely while you are protected in your running vehicle)

  8. I strongly second #’s 3 and 9. Pulling out chairs…I would feel a bit uncomfortable if a guy did that for me. However, giving up one’s chair is quite right, and not just for ladies but for elderly people as well. 🙂 I like guys opening the door for ladies, too, just so long as he doesn’t stand *dramatically* to the side (happened to me once…I don’t think he realized it, but it seemed a bit awkward).

    On the other hand, it’s better than just hitting the automatic door opener; as someone once put it, that’s “Chivalry Is Lazy”, lol. 😉

  9. Yes, I do agree with most of them…though I have to say Michelle has some valid points. Especially with the ‘pulling out the chair’ business. I know it was back in grade school, but I’ve had guys (and girls) pull chairs out from under me as I was trying to sit, resulting in a broken tailbone so I’m really wary of people being around my chair and usually won’t sit down if someone has their hands on it.

    I think the only one I truly don’t really appreciate most of the time, (I guess it depends on if I know the guy and his intent or not) it when guys hold doors for me.

    I don’t mind it if I’ve got my hands full, mind you, but if I’ve got it, I’ve got it.
    And I feel like some guys (or older men…ick times a milliongazillion) seem to hold open the door and do the “after you” thing just to look at a girls backside when she walks.

    *shrugs* Something to consider.

  10. I say, Mirriam,
    Letting your fellow females comment on this post has resulted in a good bit of confusion on my part; “pull out chairs for us”, “no, don’t pull out chairs for us”; “open doors for us”, “don’t open doors for us”; “say something nice”, “don’t say something nice” (although I don’t think I usually compliment girls I don’t know…); “include us in your conversation”, “don’t talk to me if I don’t know you” (although how would I get to know you then?)

    I am now fairly puzzled as to what kind of actions would be appreciated from a “gentleman”; as for pulling out a chair for a girl, I don’t think I’ve done it before, but with it or other things such as opening a door, asking, ” Would you like me to…[insert action here]?” seems rather odd to me…

    – The confused one

    • It’s a matter of preference. Some girls will appreciate you doing [insert action here], others might tell you off for it (lousy feminists).

      The best solution (in my opinion) comes from “The Cosby Show.” (Don’t laugh; one can learn a lot from that show!) Cliff and Elvin talked about how Sondra would get upset when Elvin wanted to carry her luggage for her, but she complained when he didn’t open the door for her. Or something like that I don’t remember exactly. Anyway, Elvin wants to know: should he do those type of things for her, or not? Cliff’s solution is for Elvin to try to do things for Sondra (like open the door, carry the luggage, etc) but if she says “I can handle it” or whatever then he should back off and let her do it herself.

      Did that make a little sense? If you’re just getting to know her, try to do these sorts of things and see how she reacts. If she doesn’t like[insert action here], then don’t. If she likes [insert action here], then do.

      And again, every girl is different.

  11. Michelle,

    I agreed with absolutely everything you said. 🙂 That was fantastic. 😄 I wish more people had your viewpoint.

  12. Maximillian,

    I can completely understand your confusion. We females can become quite contradictory, no? 🙂 I’ll just say this: Part of what a gentleman would do depends on the situation.

    If you don’t know a girl well, or you’ve seen her flirting with you, etc, then clearly it would prove a bit awkward to give her a compliment on her appearance. Personally, I know it makes me smile when a young man (or any man) opens the door for me (usually for me, my mom, and my two sisters…), offers to let me go ahead of him in a line, or just makes a genuine effort to be a gentleman.

    Situations differ, but I would venture to say that even if some girls–or even most girls–don’t like a man or boy opening the door for them, they will (generally) recognize the thought behind the action and know that you’re trying to treat them like a lady.

    It sounds cliche, but to me, that is what counts. If I know you’re treating me like a lady, it’ll make it much easier for me to treat you like a gentleman.

    I hope I haven’t just confused you more. 🙂

    ~Keaghan

  13. Maximillian;

    Sorry for the confusion! Unfortunately there’s no clear cut way to be a gentleman on some of these issues like their used to be. For one thing, in the 1800s and into 1900s women wore corsets that restricted movement and made it hard to breathe Remember Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl how Elizabeth fainted and fell? Well the drops weren’t that serious as hers was, but women used to faint an awful lot because of those dratted things. Now that we aren’t squeezing our innards to death we don’t have as much trouble getting doors or sitting down. We also don’t have the huge bustles out behind in our dresses making negotiating chairs soo much easier. so the chair thing is kinda a moote point. It’s a gallant thing to offer, certainly. Most waiters in posh restaurants pull the chairs out and seat the women to this day. I find it a little odd but at least there I know it’s just how things are done.

    An easy way to avoid all the confusion is also one that is going to cost you.

    Ask.

    Ask “May I get the door for you?”
    Ask “May I get your chair for you?”
    Ask “Would you like my seat?”
    Ask “May I take your coat for you?”
    Ask “How may I help you?”

    Asking is hard. Asking opens you up to rejection. Asking means some women sadly are going to mock you. Ask anyway. Ask because as an ambassador for Christ it is what He would have you do, and you never know how He will use your gallantry in a world where crassness and crudeness are the society norm.

    And know too Maximillian, I’m here cheering you and every other young fellow on as you step out into your roll of Gallant. But more importantly, the Man from Galilee is cheering you on, too.

    • Everlastingscribe,
      Thank you very much for the advice; asking if a girl would like me to do any of those things might feel strange at first, but I can see how it makes a lot of sense.

      I’m afraid I haven’t watched any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but I do know what a corset is (as well as a few other ridiculous fashions, such as bustle dresses and laughably long, pointed shoes, and super-tight pantaloons for men that needed to be jumped into to be worn), and I see what you mean about modern things such as pulling out chairs not holding the same significance it used to because of that, but since it’s still associated with being a gentleman and many of you girls appreciate it, I’ll try to remember to ask aout things like that if given the opportunity.

  14. I love it when my fiancé does that stuff for me though I give him big hugs not side hugs. If it is a really good guy friend I don’t mind big hugs but that is only guys I’m close to. Any guy that I’m not that close to I would only do a side hug. I love for my chair to be pulled out for me. The first time a stranger did that for me we were at this really nice restaurant and the waiter pulled out my chair when I went to sit down I was so surprised that a stranger would do that and when I went to take off my coat because I forgot to take it off he helped me take it off. I felt so respected. I love when guys hold the door open for me and yes I hold the door open for others just because it is a nice thing to do. I think all of what Mirriam said is pretty much true. I like to be involved in conversations but I’m shy so if I was with a group of guys one of them would have to try to involve me in the conversation and I would join in and be very grateful for him involving me. That is one thing I love about my fiancé is that he is a gentleman.

  15. I agree with Everlastingscribe about the asking thing. That is always a good way of not offending or making woman uncomfortable when you are not sure if someone would like you to do one of those things.

  16. These are excellent posts; these simple things guys and girls can do for each other are looked on as dusty and out of touch by the world. All the more reason I do them and hope others do them. Keep up the good writing.

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