Owen & Fred understand that when someone thinks of a Guide to Gentlemanhood, they might think steps on how to tie a tie or how to shine your shoes. These are good tips, we cover some of them. But there's more to being a gentleman than how you look. It is a lifestyle as much as it is a moral responsibility and personality. One of the single best qualities of a gentleman is trustworthiness. This is held by showing integrity when situations approach and always being honest within yourself and communicating your beliefs clearly. Today, we'd like to give you a short guide on how to better treat yourself and others with honest intentions.
Let's face it, men aren't always the most honest people. This isn't to say we lie and cheat, but that we are often afraid to admit our weaknesses. We are apprehensive to dissolve our masculinity. Rather than admitting a mistake or showing a softer side to ourselves we mask it with toughness and dishonest answers. This is not a way to lead a gentlemen's life. Part of being a gentlemen is knowing when you have been defeated or unsure of a situation. Staying open and honest will not only help accomplish whatever goal is at hand but earn people's respect when they are not fooled by your incompetence.
Honesty is also a part of strong integrity. If you believe in something, a group of individuals that walk all over those beliefs should not be welcome. An honest man will vocalize this by staying true to his inner beliefs. When knowing what you believe in and staying honest to yourself, you will achieve personal greatness.
Here are Five Steps to Approaching Honesty
1. Know Your Beliefs
The best way to stay true to yourself and others is to know exactly what you believe in. These don't have to be long essays of man's moral responsibility. However, every man should know and understand his core beliefs. Some find religion to help define those ideals, however, it is best to list your own to stay true to. Try opening a new document or grabbing some pen and paper. Take time to think of situations that you thought others, or yourself, were treated unfairly. Why did this displease you? What was the core moral issue and how was it disrupted? Discover what you cannot accept, as well, what makes a person good. For example, here are three beliefs I've written in a notebook that I can refer back to if ever needed and help establish reasons for honesty.
1. Happiness is the product of your own decisions and creation.
2. Simplicity is virtuous.
3. Lack of confidence destroys opportunity.
Every few months I open a new page of a notebook and write down several beliefs I have been conflicted by. Once I've stated certain beliefs, I have a blueprint on what I should be honest about. If someone were to tell me they hate their job and they're unhappy because their boss ignores them, I would tell them it's nobody's fault but their own. Their decisions create their happiness, not the decisions of their boss. If they disagreed with me, so be it. They know where I stand and know what advice they can receive from me. I cannot, and will not, agree with them for their sake. It would only hurt them and go against my own beliefs thus destroying my integrity.
2. Don't Be Afraid
Judgement is one of the biggest signs of weakness. When someone judges you for your actions it means they have not taken the same amount of time to consider their own beliefs. Those who judge without critical, thought-out opposition are not worth fearing. They cannot uphold the same honesty and respect that you deliver. Do not be afraid of judgement. Do not be afraid to speak your mind. It is admirable to give your honest opinion and stand up for what you believe in. When you are not afraid, you will find that most people don't have a solid standing on their core beliefs and starve for someone to help lead them. You in turn become stronger.
Furthermore, do not deny a feeling because you think it's unmanly. Being straight forward with how you feel comes off stronger and more secure than a man that hides. There is no shame in feeling disrespected or upset. Don't be afraid to voice those feelings. If you do feel a certain way from a direct result of how someone else may have treated you, communicate your feelings so you can guarantee that same situation will not continue.
3. Admit Your Weakness
Honesty is not always telling someone what you think is right. Often it is admitting when you know you're wrong. It is delivering a statement someone can rely on to better understand a situation. Don't refuse help when you know you need it. Be honest with yourself and admit what you can't do. When you clearly state what your weaknesses are and what you are incapable of doing, you can then set a goal to become better at whatever it is that needs to be done. Often it means finding someone that can help you finish what needs completion. The sooner you admit your weakness, the quicker it becomes a strength.
4. Listen to Constructive Criticism
Judgement is not worth hearing but constructive criticisms are worth more than gold. The difference is in what the person is telling you. With judgement, someone tells you you're wrong without supportive reason. Constructive criticism repeats your statement and offers ways of improving or better articulating what you believe. Constructive criticism is essential to grow as a gentleman. The more you receive, the better you can construct your beliefs to be better understood and trusted. When listening to constructive criticism you are telling the other person that you respect their opinion, trust their honesty, and, in turn, they can trust you.
5. Say it Simply
When wanting to be honest with someone and tell them how you feel, do not beat around the bush. Give them exactly what you think as simply as you can. If you feel disrespected, you need not say anything more then, "I feel disrespected." It is up to the other person to investigate why. If you think someone is acting strangely, simply ask, "Why are you acting strange?" It's very easy. Get to the point and say it simply. By saying things simply you are guaranteeing you will not be misinterpreted and others will understand you.
The more honest you are with yourself, the more honest you become with others. Hopefully these five steps can help you earn the trust and respect you deserve from the people around you. To be a true gentleman you must work hard at leading the most honest life possible. If in doubt, there is no shame in holding back an opinion until you've filly analyzed your decision. Just never let fear of rejection stand in your way.