You’ve probably been told somewhere along the line that nice guys finish last. (More on this misconception in future posts, but it often stems from confusion between niceness and passivity.) The truth is the rewards you can amass from being nice (or not) are mere fractions of those you can earn from being chivalrous. Want to land a date? Be nice. Want that date to clear her calendar midway through her first drink? Be chivalrous.
Acting like a man: a Gents Place guide
Being nice is something you learn in kindergarten—something everyone should subscribe to.
Being chivalrous, on the other hand, is something you learn from good company and maturation—something reserved for the likes of Mr. Bond and Dr. Jones.
Here are a few ways to start:
1. Be kind to wait staff and service people
There’s no better judge of character than how a man treats those under him. One of my colleagues, in fact, has a rule for this: the greater the odds someone earns less than you, the greater the reason to call him sir.
2. Be a source of warmth and comfort (literally)
Is your date cold? Be a gent and offer your jacket. Is it raining outside? Go a little further and pull the car around. (That last bit, like a lot of this advice, isn’t just for dates. Clients don’t like getting wet either.)
3. Show concern
Were the roads a little slick or icy on your way home from dinner? Why not call to make sure your date made it back safely? If she’s stuck, you’ll be her new hero; if she’s fine, you’ll be her hero in waiting.
4. Show courtesy
Ladies first, gents. Be there to hold the door (car doors included), allow your date to order first unless she prefers that you order for the both of you, and offer your seat to standers in distress.
5. Be on time—and call when you can’t be
Another tip just as useful in business as it is in dating: plan ahead to be on time. It matters.
Still, when things come up through fault of your own or otherwise, take a moment to call ahead and let people know your heart is on schedule even if traffic might not be.