It became two thirty at night and I cannot sleep. I was laying down in bed, under my sheet and blanket, thinking what I have been doing so far here and there, in this time and back in that time. At least, am I being a better person each day? I am studying, yes. I am on the half way through to finish my two masters, so just another half way to run. Maybe this gradual process doesn’t really satisfy me, since I am more like a productivity persuit personality (well, it is debateable). Under the blanket, I got thinking that if I have become a bit better each day, I should not be thinking about it and just be satisfied of my current life style. I do, frankly, but I couldn’t help myself but searching some social rules to live by as a gentle and benevolent man. Those are the rules I found in web (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Etiquette” by Cecil B. Hartley) and quoted to follow:
1. The height of incivility is paying more attention to your watch, pipe, or a notebook than to your interlocutor in the course of conversation. Even if you are bored and tired, make no sign of it.
2. Never interrupt a speaker. Sometimes, even a demand for a specification may sound impolite. It is even worse if you terminate someone else’s sentences before they do so or hasten a person to finish speech using any other method. Don’t cut another person’s speech short, even if you already know the story that is being told.
3. Don’t try to prove your point by raising your tone of voice, insolent behaviour, or put-downs. Endeavor to always be gallant and modest, free of any dictatorial attitude.
4. Never, unless you are asked to do so, talk about your own business and profession. Essay to devote little attention to yourself.
5. An intelligent educated gentleman usually is discreet. Even if he feels superior to other people in the company, he would never attempt to show his supremacy. He would not try to discuss topics that other people are incompetent to converse on. Everything said by a gentleman is always marked by courtliness and respect to other people’s feelings and opinions.
6. It is no less important to be a profound listener than to be a good speaker. Ability to listen is proper to a man from a good society. This skill makes a person an agreeable conversation partner.
7. Never listen to a conversation that is not supposed to be heard. If you are too close to a location where the conversation is taking place, serve the decencies and change your position.
8. To the extent possible, contrive to be brief and to the point. Avoid long digressions and irrelevant comments.
9. By submitting flattery, you submit to stupidity and self-conceit.
10. Even if you are sure that your opponent is completely wrong, hold a peaceful discussion, and deliver your opinion without getting personal. seeing your interlocutor rigid in his beliefs should be a signal for you to change the subject neatly. this would allow your interlocutor to save the face, while you would avoid getting angry and frustrated.
11. It is always good to have strong political beliefs. However, do not show them off whenever possible. Under no circumstances should you force other people to agree with you. Listen courteously to those opinions do not agree with yours, and keep your temper. Let your interlocutor believe that you are a bad politician, but do not give him a reason to question that fact that you are a gentleman.
12. Do not compare your friends to each other. Always speak of their strong points and never try to make one of them look more respectable by making another look inferior.
13. Keep out of conversation topics that may upset those who do not partake in your discussion. Never do gentleman slender or listen to other people slender.
14. Even the company of a witty man can become tiresome if he is always trying to take up all of the attention.
15. Avoid using set phrase and quotations. They sometimes make a very piquant addition to converstion, but when they become a constant habit, they are exceedingly tedious, and in bad taste.
16. Avoid pedantry; it is not a mark of intelligence, but of stupidity.
17. Speak your native language correctly; however, avoid excessive formal correctness of phrases.
18. Never make remarks of other people’s mistakes in speech. It is a sign of an ill-bred to notice other people’s faults by word or look.
19. If you are professional or a scientific man, avoid using technical terms. This would be a sign of bad taste, because many will not understand you. However, if you accidentally used such a word or phrase, do not explain its meaning. No one will thank you for pointing out their ignorance.
20. Do not play the role of buffoon in society. soon, you will be known as the “funny” man at the party. This role is unacceptable for a real gentleman. Make sure that your interlocutors are laughing with you, not at you.
21. Avoid boasting. It is in very bad taste to speak of your money, connections, and other resources. It is no less ill-bred to be proud of your connections with distinguished people. To be constantly saying “my friend governor N” or “my close friend, the president of Y” is pompous and abominable.
22. Do not try to develop an excessively profound and sophisticated image by insolently neglecting cheerful talk, jokes, and amusement. Try to act according to the rules of society you are in, if it does not contradict other rules of gentleman.
23. It is rude, ill-mannered, and foolish to constantly use quotes, terms, and expressions when speaking in a foreign language.
24. If you feel that you are getting angry in the course of a conversation, either change the subject or cease talking. Being hot with rage, you may utter words that you would never use in the cold light of a day. There is a high chance of you regretting those words later.
25. “Never talk of ropes to a man whose father was hanged” is vulgar but popular proverb. Avoid subjects that may be too personal, and stay out of family matters. Avoid seeing the skeleton in other people’s closets, but if you are entrusted with a secret, regard it as a sacred confidence, and never share your knowledge with a third party.
26. Even though travelling promotes the march of the mind and broadens horizons, you should not be constantly saying, “When I was in Paris” or “They never wear those in Italy”, etc.
27. Avoid gossip. It is repulsive in a woman, but in a man it is utterly ignoble.