Ken’s Top Ten Traits of a Southern Gentleman

Character traits I feel most define the Southern Gentleman are manners, courtesy and respect of others, and personal grooming. A Southern Gentleman has a strong enough self-esteem, that he can naturally put another person’s feelings before his own.

The following ten traits that I have listed are not new. Southern Gentlemen have been incorporating them into their lives for years, they are indeed, part of our Southern Heritage.

  1. A Southern Gentleman never makes himself the center of attention. His goal is to make life easier, not for himself, but for his friends, his acquaintances, and the world at large.
  2. A Southern Gentleman will remain quiet in social settings when someone rouses tempered situations (negative gossip, differences in politics, religion or other sensitive subjects). Temperament will remain intact until he is behind closed doors.
  3. A Southern Gentleman follows proper etiquette in varied situations such as holding an umbrella for an elderly person or a lady. He makes sure the lady does not get wet, even if he does. When he arrives at someone’s residence, he will go to the door and ring the bell; honking is a sign of improper breeding. He always opens the car door for ladies and other guests.
  4. A Southern Gentlemen will stand behind their chair at the table until every lady is seated. If the lady is next to you, a gentleman will assist with her chair. If she needs to leave the table during a meal, he again stands and assist with her chair as well as when she returns. It is not uncommon for a gentleman to stand when any lady leaves or returns to the table. But, a gentleman would never scold another man for not doing so.
  5. A Southern Gentleman knows that manners matter and are considered part of good breeding and education (meaning if you were not taught such things, you educate yourself). Good manners are extended to everybody, regardless of whether you know the person or not. The only race a gentleman acknowledges is the human race.
  6. A Southern Gentleman is no weakling. Manners and politeness are the rule in public. Business, family, relationship, and personal affairs that denotes a gentleman attention are effectively dealt with in private.
  7. A Southern Gentleman is unpretentious. He does not tell others about his good deeds, his wealth, or his out-standing anything. He performs good deeds unconditionally, without expectations of a compliment. However, Ann Landers once wrote: If someone is fishing for a compliment, put something on the hook and move on.
  8. A Southern Gentleman is courteous. He remembers the Golden Rule. and goes out of his way to be helpful and kind to everyone he encounters. He follows the motto of Others first, Yourself last. Inviting others to go before you is the norm (“After you” or “please” with a gesture for the person to step in front you).
  9. A Southern Gentleman knows how to behave in public. Mainly, because the last thing his Mother told each time he left his house as a child was “Behave yourself.” This means “do not be uncouth, rude, brash, loud, coarse, or cause a commotion in public. Only trashy types do such things, usually because they did not have a Mother teaching them how to behave or they were not raised to know better.
  10. A Southern Gentleman is well kept in appearance. He keeps his body and his wardrobe clean. A wardrobe does not have to be from the most expensive tailors, but a gentleman knows how to wear clothes. A gentleman is always appropriately dressed for any event and follows the dress code for each occasion. Even in casual situations, if you wear jeans to someone’s home, a blazer should be worn, giving you a polished look. If you are the only one dressing in this manner, do not fret. Not everyone dresses like a Southern Gentleman; and gentlemen do not feel they need to look like everyone else. Remember, as a Southern Gentleman you are unique.Southern Gentleman

I hope these traits will encourage you to be cognizant of incorporating more Southern uniqueness into your everyday routine. Your companion will greatly appreciate it.

P.S. Ladies, share this with the men in your life!