It is my thought that every man should strive to be a gentleman. Many people in modern society believe that traditions of gentlemanhood have changed over the years, for instance holding the door for a woman, by some, is considered to be demeaning to the fairer sex. While I can certainly understand this thought process, I still feel that good manners and modern etiquette have nothing to do with sex and gender, and being polite and courteous never goes out of style. Here are some traditional rules of etiquette, appended for the modern gentleman:
Opening the door for a woman: When approaching a traditional door it is only polite to hold the door open for a lady and let her pass ahead of you. This is an action that I have never received a negative reaction for. As for the gender neutral point, I often do this for my fellow male also. The frustrating part is when a lady, or gentlemen, accepts the gesture by walking through the door and does not have the manners to offer a thank you! As for the modern revolving door etiquette actually requires a gentlemen to go first to take the burden of pushing the door from the lady (not a commonly known fact).
Holding the door open: If you are exiting, you should hold the door for anyone coming after, regardless of sex, within reason. If several people are exiting, hold the door until there is a break in the tide; you are not a doorman, after all.
Pulling out chairs: It is considered polite to pull out the chair for your companion, especially if you enter a room first. If you are the host, it is polite to pull out a chair regardless of sex. Whistle I agree with this I must say this is one of the traditional forms of etiquette that is changing.
Offering your seat: It is always proper to offer the easiest, and best seat in the room to a handicapped or elderly person. In this day and age it doesn’t hurt to offer your seat to a lady, however, this practice is widely looked upon as sexist. In the context of public transport I tend to always stand to avoid any confusion or portraying you are unwilling to give up your set.
Thank you notes: The delivery of thank you notes has changed drastically over the years from written notes, to emails, to a lack of gratitude entirely. A nice thank you note on monogrammed stationary will always be well-received. If you cannot send a physical note, apologizing for that in your thank you email is the next best thing. I try to send hand written notes whenever I can. Receiving such a personal touch is always accepted with great appreciation. Personally I discovered Cartier stationary a number of years ago and I have been sending their cards ever since. Whilst it is not the cheapest option the impact is worth every cent!