Warning: personal anecdote ahead but stay with me Gents.
Last week on my commute, something happened that I would like to address. My train had pulled in, the doors opened and I started to walk off behind a woman with a pram. Out of no where, she was shoved back as a man forced his way past and through the doors in front of us and walked off, in no great hurry, down the platform. Looking a little stunned, another man bent down at the front of the pram and helped the woman lift it off the train.
Besides my initial thought of how rude the first man had been, what struck me most was how different these men were in appearance. The first man, suited and booted with perfect hair and a clean shaven face, was a stark contrast to the second man in his jeans and washed out t-shirt.
I thought to myself 'just because you're in a suit it certainly doesn't make you a Gentleman'.
When you Google 'Gentleman', the first thing that appears (besides a German musician) are images of smartly dressed men. Usually accompanied with some kind of swanky mode of transport or an attractive woman. Now I'm just going to say it outright here and now... These things do not maketh a Gentleman!
To us, dressing well is only part of the deal. Being a Gentleman isn't just about your looks but about your lifestyle too! Together, the two work in perfect harmony.
Now, we could just list the traits of a true gentleman here and now and be done. But then you can be left wondering how you can apply these traits in the real world?
Well, in our 'Gntlman's Handbook' Series, we're going to tell you not only the values of a true Gentleman but how you can apply these values to any situation.
Up first, How To Be A Gentleman On The Commute.
Is Considerate -
Don't barge, even if you're in a hurry.
Possibly one of my biggest pet peeves. You should never push past anyone. Man, woman or child. Young or old. No one. If you are late, by all means, pick up the pace when you have room but as soon as you get to a crowd of people, slow down. Need to get somewhere urgently? Place your hand gently on their shoulder and squeeze past while apologising and saying “pardon me” profusely.
Knows His Manners -
Give up your seat.
The oldest courtesy there is (potentially...don't quote me on that). I've noticed more and more people, both men and women, giving up their seats recently and it's great to see. As a general rule, you should at least offer your seat to the elderly, the disabled or pregnant women. You can leave it up to them as to whether they accept or not but should they decline simply out of politeness then insist they take your seat.
Is Discreet And Unobtrusive -
No loud conversations or bad language.
No one cares about what Sandra said last night in the bedroom and cursing every other word doesn't make you sound cool, just uneducated. Save the phone conversations for when you get home and if you're travelling with a friend keep your voices to the appropriate decibel level. You're on public transport and not at a heavy metal concert. Do you really want your dirty laundry to be aired on twitter's #heardonthetrain?