Dos & Don'ts

5min Knigge

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Countless blog entries, books and even whole websites are devoted to the topic of how a man should behave in the modern world. Many rules actually make a lot of sense, many others are deprecated by now. Rules like “no brown after six” were introduced by the British nobleness and are unknown to the wider public while others like “holding the door open for others” are very well known but no one actually knows why we follow them (the man enters a building before the lady to check for any potential danger and holds the door open for her from the inside. When exiting a building  he holds the door open for her from the inside and lets her get out first in case something were to be thrown after the couple).

For this reason we summarized the most important rules that are useful in your everyday life and grouped the according to the corresponding over all topic.

Greeting
The first impression lasts and it already starts with greeting someone. To greet someone means to acknowledge their existence and to respect them. A simple and strong handshake can go a long way in showing your counterpart that you respect them and at the same time shows your presence. Everyone who is trying to inflict pain using their handshake is definitely doing something wrong, everyone who has a limp handshake is doing everything wrong and leaves his counterpart with the impression of a weak person that can’t be taken seriously. Both extremes are no-goes for a gentleman.
When introducing yourself to someone you state your name. Whether it’s your first or your last name depends on the relationship you have to the person you’re introducing yourself to. If you’re in company you always introduce them as well (unless you know their already familiar), be it your wife, your friend or your maid.

Table manners
We all learned how to use a fork and a knife when we were kids, but what do you do at a restaurant when having the cutlery for a seven-course menu in front of you? You always start from the outside and move inwards. The napkin is put onto your lap, hands remain on the table and your mobile phone is put on mute. In urgent cases it’s ok to take a call but to do so you leave the table if not the room. Also, if your expecting an urgent call you might want to mention it before dinner. And in any case you take a call you excuse yourself.
An oldie but goodie: When a lady leaves or joins your table a true gentleman stand up as a sign of respect.

When with a lady
Obviously when with a lady you try to be on your best behaviour. It is well known that ladies prefer to be in the presence of classy men with good manners – also known as gentlemen.
A gentleman hold the door open for her, helps her in and out of her coat and is generally courteous. Not to do or be any of those things under the cover of emancipation is just an excuse for bad manners. A gentleman walks beside a lady, not in front of her, and he will always make sure to keep her from danger (e.g. by walking on the road side of a sidewalk).
Most importantly: A gentleman does not kiss and tell. Discretion is a top priority and no gentleman would ever tell stories that might offend her honour.

Some simple rules to remember
A gentleman is always punctual.
A gentleman is always well-groomed.
A gentleman always treats others with respect.
A gentleman adapts himself to the situation.
A gentleman is a man who puts more into the world than he takes out of it.

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