18 Traits of a True Gentleman

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By Darryl Henderson

The finer details of being a gentleman have changed somewhat over the years as society has become less conservative. However, a small selection of core principles have never changed, like the following 18 gentlemanly traits!

Hard Work

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True gentlemen know that everything in life has to be earned, whether it be their home, possessions, or the respect of others. They are likely blessed with a drive and desire to constantly better themselves, unafraid to put in the hours required for self-improvement. That’s highly respectable!

Always Confident, Never Arrogant

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There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance that a gentleman will never step across. They will hold themselves with class and elegance, knowing their self-value without ever believing they are better or worth more than anyone else. Sadly, the younger generation today is drifting away from this core value.


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As History.com points out, chivalry has been declared dead for almost as long as the term has existed, changing definitions to suit the standards of the times. Its modern meaning suggests that it refers to unselfish, kind, and polite behavior by men toward women, something that comes as standard to a gentleman.

Lending a Helping Hand

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If a gentleman sees someone else in need, they will not hesitate to lend a helping hand, whether it be in assistance of an old lady, young child, or fellow gentleman. Most importantly, they will not expect anything in return for their gesture of goodwill, which will always be unconditional.

Well Dressed

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One of the main traits commonly associated with being a gentleman is always looking 100%, from being well-groomed to always dressing well. This doesn’t necessarily mean a gentleman will always be seen donning a crisp suit, but they will always ensure that they look clean and presentable. 

Knowing How to Dance

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Gentlemen know how to dance, not in a clumsy, ‘latter stages of a wedding’ sort of way, but in a sophisticated style passed down through the generations. They never miss a step in a slow dance and have the confidence to make the floor their own. It’s an authentic style that is impossible to fake!


With Allure’s statistics suggesting that 84% of people are trying to be less judgmental, we could witness a lot more people becoming gentlemen in the near future. A true gentleman will never judge a person by their appearance, instead assessing them carefully based on the content of their personality.

Open Minded

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Gentlemen are always willing to learn and won’t close their minds if someone holds a different opinion from them. They will be willing to listen, understand, and process what the other person has to say while also sharing their own opinions in a controlled, gentle manner. Everyone needs a friend like that.

No Gossip

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A gentleman won’t partake in the spreading of rumors or gossiping about others behind their back. They understand that the words they say can have a detrimental impact on the well-being of others, so they’ll never be swayed by peer pressure or a gang mentality, no matter how juicy the gossip is.

Always Tells the Truth

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You can always count on a gentleman to be telling the truth when they speak. They won’t make any promises they can’t keep, nor will they exaggerate things to make themselves look better. Telling the truth is a major aspect of the integrity that gentlemen pride themselves on, so don’t take this for granted!

Opening the Door for Others

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A gentleman, or anyone with a shred of decency, will always hold the door open for someone walking behind them in a corridor. They will even delay the departure of an elevator to allow another person to get in, unlike 30% of Americans, according to a YouGov survey.

Good Handshakes

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It’s relatively easy to tell if someone is a gentleman based on first impressions alone, including their body language. For example, they will always greet you properly, with a firm handshake and a look in the eye. This is a huge sign that a person is confident and in control of a social situation!

Offering Their Coat

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If a gentleman notices that a woman is cold and without a jacket, he will not hesitate to sacrifice his personal discomfort for the benefit of hers, handing over his coat. This gesture represents the unselfishness associated with gentlemen, along with his resilience in times of discomfort.

Knowledge of Basic Cookery

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They may not cook to Michelin star level, but having the knowledge to cook at least a handful of meals is imperative to a gentleman. It’s a skill that will endear you to people and allow you to look after yourself by cooking healthy, homemade meals, and the ladies will undeniably be impressed!

Walking Women Home

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Gentlemen never allow women to walk home unaccompanied, always ensuring they get home to their front door safely. The charity End Violence Against Women suggests that one in two women have felt unsafe walking home in the dark, so gentlemen do everything they can to prevent this.

Doesn’t Insist on Paying the Bill

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In the past, it was always expected that the man would pay the bill should he dine with a woman. However, times have changed, with financial equality becoming a mainstream point of view. For this reason, a modern gentleman won’t insist on paying at all costs, accepting if their dining partner wishes to pay.

Good Communication

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Not only will a gentleman be able to speak articulately, forming well-crafted sentences on a whim, but he will also be a good listener. He understands that conversations go two ways and are not functional if they involve one person ripping through a monologue, always giving his conversation partner room to speak.


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Last but not least, integrity is key to becoming a gentleman. Gentlemen are not the type to break promises, and they won’t let peer pressure change their minds. Gentlemen are always aware that they are their own individuals, never changing their personality or morals depending on the social situation they are in. Now that is an authentic man!

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