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Required Reading

20 Rules Every Gentleman Should Live By in 2022

March 30th, 2022

Be a man and embrace some proper etiquette

You want respect. You want to be successful. You want people to listen to you. You want to have a great relationship. You want to be a leader. But do you know where that starts? It starts with you!

In order to get all those things that you want, you need to act the part. And you can do that by following these 20 rules that every modern gentleman should live by.

Before jumping into the 20 rules every man should live by, a few things to note:

  1. These 20 rules are geared not only towards helping you get those things you want, like respect, success, confidence, and influence, but more importantly, they’re geared towards helping you be the best person you can be.
  2. All of these rules are things you can apply to your life no matter what age you are — young, old, or somewhere in between.
  3. Some of these rules are going to be simple with no extra explanation required. But where appropriate, we will get into more detail.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

20 Rules for the Modern Gentleman

A gentleman's rules to live by

Be authentic

The first rule every gentleman should live by is a very important one. And that is to be authentic.

When you’re true to yourself, not only will you trust the judgements and decisions you make, but others will be more likely to trust you as well.

Being authentic means having more integrity and never second guessing if you’re doing the right thing.

When you’re honest with yourself, that gives you more strength and openness to deal with problems quickly and make necessary changes.

When you trust yourself to do what’s right, that increases your overall potential and self-esteem.

And being authentic is far less stressful than trying to be someone you’re not.


Don’t be a troll

Don’t say something to someone on the internet that you wouldn’t say to their face. It’s cowardly. It shows a lack of character. And, really, are you accomplishing anything with your comment?


It’s fine to engage in a discussion. It’s fine to disagree. But if you’re going to do that online, make sure you’re respectful and don’t be a jerk.

Nobody likes people like that–especially those of us with YouTube channels.


Enjoy the moment – put the phone down!

Since we’re on the topic of online behavior, let’s talk about when you’re hanging out with friends or family or out on a date.

Put the phone down and live in the moment.

If you’re constantly looking down at your phone, you’re not engaged, you’re showing disrespect to the people around you, and you’re missing the whole point of being out, which is to make a connection with people and enjoy the moment.

If you’re looking down at your phone, everything else is passing you by.


Pick up some wet wipes for the bathroom.

You’ll thank me later…


Listen more than you talk

When you talk, you’re repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you might learn something new. Like Richard Branson said, nobody ever learned anything by hearing themselves speak.

And while you’re listening, be sure that you’re engaged and really hearing and understanding what the other person is saying, not just waiting to add your two cents.


Good posture

Sit up in your chair. And stand tall. Not only is it better for your health, but it helps you project a more powerful image.

When you slouch, you look unsure of yourself. You look weak. You look kind of sad and depressed. And that is not someone that a stranger – man or woman – would want to talk or listen to.

But when you stand with good posture, you look more confident, you look powerful, and you look like someone people will listen to.


Take care of yourself (and your face)

The next rule to live by is to understand that life is a marathon and not a sprint, especially when it comes to maintaining your health and your body. You’ve got to develop routines and stick to them, because if you don’t it might be too late to reverse any negative effects. Unlike a test, you can’t cram for this stuff.

For example, if you go through life never taking care of your skin – never wearing sunscreen, never moisturizing, never exfoliating – don’t be surprised if you start to look older faster than someone who does. I’ve personally been using Tiege Hanley products for the past year and half and highly recommend them if you’ve struggled to find a simple skincare solution that really works.


Be kind and show respect

How you treat people says a lot about you. And it also affects how people see you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s face to face, on the phone, or online. If you treat people well, if you’re kind, and if you show respect, that reflects well on you, and it also makes a nice deposit in the karma bank.


Dress appropriately

Along the lines of respect, our next rule is to always dress appropriately for the situation or occasion. This is especially important if the dress code is more dressed up. It shows that you respect the people you’re with. And by putting effort into your own appearance, it shows that you care.

Like Tom Ford said, dressing well is a form of good manners.



When it comes to cologne, less is more. Wearing a fragrance is a way to invite people in closer. If you keep it subtle, it’s intriguing and mysterious. But if you wear too much, that’s going to repel people.

Don’t be too much cologne guy.


Assume people like you

Now this rule can be a little more difficult for some people to fully embrace and be comfortable with. If you’re a naturally confident guy, this one might come easier to you. But if you’re shy, this one’s going to take a little bit of effort.

When you go into a social situation, assume people like you. That’s going to throw off some good vibes and people will be more likely to engage with you and to accept you. But if you go into that same situation thinking people don’t like you, that’s going to project a different kind of energy – a negative energy – and put up a wall between you and the people you want to connect with.


Set goals, write them down, refer back often

Set goals for yourself because you need to have something to work towards. And taking the time to think about these goals is an important part of improving ourselves. Write your goals down to hold yourself accountable. And refer back to them often to see your progress or where you’ve still got work to do.


Read as much as you can

Knowledge is power and great minds are always feared by lesser minds.


Always bring a gift to someone’s home

If you’re invited to someone’s home, always bring a gift. The type of gift you bring or the value of that gift is certainly dependent on the type of event. If you’re just going over to hang out and watch some TV, a six pack of beer is probably okay.

For a dinner party, consider bringing a nice bottle of wine. For something like a housewarming party, maybe something a little more special, like a bottle of nice champagne, a really nice whiskey, or maybe even something like a fancy corkscrew.

It’s always a nice touch when you put that extra thought into something. It will always be appreciated.


Acquire and value a small group of friends

When life hits you with something, you need people you can lean on. So it’s more important to have a small, close-knit group of friends who really know you and care about you and that you can trust, rather than tons of acquaintances who you aren’t really that close with.


Open doors for women

It’s not chivalrous. It’s thoughtful. And she’ll appreciate it.


Take chances

I’m not saying to constantly be reckless but sometimes, going a little outside of your comfort zone and taking a risk with something can yield incredible results. You’ll always regret the chances you didn’t take, because even if you fail, no one’s ever said that they’re sorry they tried.


Only worry when it’s truly warranted

It’s okay to worry about things from time to time, but you can’t worry about everything. Pick and choose your battles and rack and stack your priorities to figure out what’s most important to you and what’s worth your time. All that other stuff? Forget about it.


Choose to be happy

There are things you can control and things you can’t, and choosing to be happy is definitely something that you can control. Seriously, it’s up to you. I could say that a glass is half empty, or I could say that it’s half full – it’s my choice. And focusing on the positive, will lead to greater fulfillment, confidence, and success.


There are no rules

Except for laws – you should follow those.

But rules are guidelines, especially when it comes to style. It’s good to know the rules, and I encourage you to know the rules, but ultimately, to develop your own sense of style and your own personality, you take those rules and make them your own.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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Videography by Rob McIver

Video Editing by Ian Johnston


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