Masculinity is both an art and a skill. Although a small fraction of men are born genetically blessed with testosterone, there are those who need to hone it as an art; and since it can be learned, it can also be considered as a skill.
The distinguishing factor between a boy, an ordinary man, and a real man who is masculine and mature can be defined by the habits and the actions he has taken to become what he is. In fact, most men want to be masculine. Why not? It signifies dominance, sex appeal, strength, character, sexual vigor, and the traditional notion of power. Any man would want to possess these qualities to live life to the fullest.
Some men naturally seem to be born with the right genes, right attitudes, and the right families to train them into perfect human beings. That may be true for a few but actions and awareness are always going to be there to help you perfect yourself. And when an action becomes a habit, it brings more fruitful and more visible results. Repetition is the key to achieve it.
Here are the habits of gentlemen that make them real men:
Open the door for her.
Women do not need to be treated like babies but simple gestures like opening the door exemplify good breeding and show that you have a nurturing nature, which is present in real men. It also means that you have respect for women, and it is no wonder that this small thing can impress a woman in its own simple way. Since most women are feminine, this gesture shows that you are caring, and are able to protect them.
Let us face it, in today’s society, feminism sometimes tend to make women overly strong people, which is good because they need that. But then again, this does not discount the fact that a well-bred man is highly impressive and only the ones capable of caring and protection are the stronger ones.
Try to open the door for a female and you will thank yourself for this simple act. Women will remember you as that well-mannered guy and you will notice that they will seem more comfortable or pleasant around you just because of this simple gesture.
Never use profane words to address people.
Being profane may seem like a usual thing in this modern world. Rare are the men who avoid using profane words. If you use it in a context of a joke, make sure you have known a person for quite some time. Do not use slang and profane words to people you have just met even if it is funny. You will lose that manly elegance of real men if you bombard a person with slang words.
During the time of Shakespeare, men use poems and lovely words to address people. Even when they are angry, they express words in ways that are more artistic than hurtful. Why is that? And why is that so different today? But one thing is for certain, we remember Shakespeare’s words more than any profane person. People love good words, good things, and pleasantries. So take note that if you intend to be remembered, count the people who have been famous for their profanity rather than their strong, kind, and sensible words. You will definitely know which ones to follow.
Be gentle and calm.
A common misconception among men is that men are harsh just because they are strong. Abusing or treating a woman with disrespect signifies only insecurity, poor breeding, low self-control, and no respect for yourself and to the person. Gentlemen are not gentle because of the absence of strength. Real strength actually lies in being calm and in knowing how to control the forces and uncontrollables around you. Violence, disrespect, ill-words, and harshness are easy to do since they do not require self-control.
It is in being calm and gentle that real strength and masculinity lies. You will also notice that the more calm and collected and the more gentle you are, the more you will be respected. It is hard to imagine a constantly screaming man to be respected by most of his peers the whole time. No matter how big your muscles are, if you are stress reactive, constantly screaming, angry and vile, it will be difficult for people to deem you as a respectable man.
Mind your nonverbals.
Nonverbals are the aspects of communication that let you read between the lines when talking to a person. The interesting about this is that nonverbal not only become distinguishing factors of success and good communication, they are also manifestations of masculinity.
A study by Amy Cuddy of Harvard University mentions how nonverbal not only affect the way people perceive us, it also affects how alpha, dominant, and inherently confident a person is, and the testosterone levels in the body. In the study they conducted, they divided a group of people in two groups.
The first group were told to make non-power poses wherein they had to feel small, hug themselves, slouch and look powerless. The second group were told to do power poses, the same ones that powerful people display on a regular basis, standing tall, putting their hands on their waist with their arms akimbo, or doing the pose of the Vitruvian man. They did it for at least 2 minutes. These people were then sent to job interviews in front of HR people who were trained to look intimidating.
The result was that the group who had low power poses, had a significant decrease in testosterone, and the group that displayed high power poses performed well during the interview, were very confident, and had a high increase in testosterone in their saliva samples and bloodstream. So we do know that what we eat, take, and drink affect our bodies but this also tells us that when we prime our bodies into alpha dominance, the mind also follows.
Small acts of chivalry.
Old-fashioned acts can go a long way in making a boy become a real man. Masculinity can be very much enhanced by acts of chivalry like what was mentioned earlier such as opening the door for a woman, and pushing the chair for a woman.
This can also be helping an elderly cross the street and simple things that boil down to being a good person, in general. It is very evident in literature that men dress better, act better, and seemed to be more civilized than before. Why do they seem to be more ideal than necessary? They did not have to do outrageous things.
CEOs were not present back then but simple acts of chivalry were indeed practiced and young boys were trained by virtue or example and education. Have you ever came across that saying that a “Well-dressed man looks more impressive than a shirtless man displaying his abs?” That may not be true for all but it is for the majority. Men should realize that by showing you are civilized through simple acts of chivalry are sure ways to show profound masculinity.
Being fit and healthy.
Real men become masculine by taking care of their health. They ooze sex appeal and have healthy bodies that did not happen by accident. Exercising and taking healthy food make this possible.
Taking supplements that boost testosterone such as Tongkat Ali or Eurycoma longifolia also help enhance masculinity and enhance the sex drive that comes with being extremely masculine. We did mention that men who look well-dressed are impressive but let us not discount that being fit and healthy are also fool-proof.
Do you ever notice that the men who attract more women are the ones who not only look civilized but are also fit and healthy? And by fit and healthy, we do not mean Arnold Schwarzenegger extremely buff type of fit and healthy. That is okay and really good for you if you have that physique but generally, being fit, having a lean frame, clear skin, bilateral symmetrical features, and a deep voice signal healthiness, which signals attractiveness to a woman’s brain.
Have a stable career.
Real men are ambitious in their careers. They enjoy every progress that they bring upon whatever they tackle, be it a house, a project, a relationship, a career, or a job. Real men progress with a touch of integrity. Ethically dealing with your career will give you a peaceful life.
Being competitive is also a trait of real men but they are assertive in being the best without compromising their integrity. A hint of this could also bring us back to gestures and nonverbal. You will notice that men with more stable careers and finances have a better disposition and have more confident nonverbal.
We would like to point out that gestures of confidence, especially when they are genuine, are extremely attractive, and deemed to make a man look more masculine.
Have a firm handshake.
Most men want to be labelled as successful or masculine but they have such flabby handshakes that could seem like a weakling.
Assess your handshake. There is no need to squeeze the other person’s hand and remove it from his or her arm. Try to shake a hand of someone successful and you will notice the difference. They have such firm handshakes that you would need to follow because it is a habit of successful people and masculine men.
This also signifies dominance, prevalent among both alpha males and females. If you have been to the high corporate ladders, try shaking the hands of the company’s CEO or superior, you will notice such a firm handshake. This is because handshakes are an expression of a man’s or any person’s character. It expresses dominance, education, being civilized, and a man’s ability to be a leader. So if being a masculine man or on top of your career is something that you need to do, look at every aspect of what the leading successful people are doing. Copy them. You will realize soon enough that their handshake is among those that you extremely need to copy.
Real men value family.
The family is where you began and it is a garden you must always cultivate. Pay a visit to your mom or your grandparents if you’ve been away from them. Attend your children’s events and show them how supportive you are. They will one day look at you as a role model for themselves or for the person’s they will marry. A real masculine man values his responsibility to his family.
Your family should come first - before your career and even before yourself. This responsibility becomes even bigger if you have children. Make sure to spend time with your family, even if you're already working very hard. They'll return your love. Take your children to visit their grandparents. Spend an occasional weekend at the beach. Attend your children's sports games and school plays. The time you spend fostering love in your family is the time you'll remember most fondly in your old age.
Mind your tongue.
A person’s words can have a huge impact on a man’s reputation or his masculinity. Real men should not talk bad about others behind their backs. Gossip is an ill thing to do and any well-bred person should stay away from gossiping. It makes a man look less manly and less educated when he cannot stop gossiping about anyone.
Language and words are subtle things. Just like nonverbals, they word together with your gestures, with the way you carry out yourself in order to create the version of a real man. So choose your words carefully because like swords, they can cut or carve you and carve your career and relationships.
Put others first.
This might be a little bit extra but let’s face it. We acknowledge people of value in this society because of their selfless ability to put others first. They lend a helping hand to those who need it. They can help the old woman to cross the street. They make good decisions for the society. They value women and respect them. They work hard and do their best. When you are rushing to that door and a man holds it open for you or lets you go in first with a good countenance, that says a lot about his attitude.
The habits of real men can be followed slowly and gradually. Constantly applying it forms the habit and it becomes a natural mechanism where you become a gentleman without deliberately thinking about it. But that has to start with knowing your habits.
Assess yourself. Are you doing some of it? Are you neglecting most of it? Step by step, you can form the habit and become a more improved version of yourself.