Looking good is good business; but despite how handsome and dapper a man looks, his true worth can only be measured by the way he conducts himself. While his sartorial choices offer clues about the kind of man that he is, it does not direct his speech, his reflexes or how much control he has over emotions (and life in general).
Sure, in a culture of TGIF casual, social media ubiquity and using curse words with mixed company, it can be tempting to boycott good manners and forget to be dashing and elegant. Nevertheless, what shall it profit a man to have a perfectly on-point wardrobe but still exhibit bad behaviour?
Here are 7 etiquette rules every self-respecting Nigerian man should know and practice:
Do Not Touch People or their Property without Express Permission
It is unacceptable to touch another person without their permission, especially when you are not related. Even when it is something as simple as holding someone’s hand, helping someone to get in or out of a car, or to cross the street, you have to seek their consent. It is what is expected of a gentleman.
This also applies to other people’s belongings. Do not go digging in someone’s bag or scrolling through someone’s phone without asking for their permission.
Put Your Phone Away When You Have Company
Put your phone away when you are out on a date or meeting. You can either switch it off or put it on silent. A phone call can disrupt or even ruin your conversation. It also disturbs others around.
Being on your phone when your attention is required is disrespectful. Sure, it is easy to assume that the world is different and everyone understands how important it is to stay connected to your phone, but that is not enough reason not to keep your phone out of sight.
Greet People Around You, Accordingly
Greeting, especially in our culture, is a bit of a big deal. Whoever you are — a chief, CEO of a company, a professor, or an elderly woman, when you enter a room you should be the first person to greet the other people there. Do not wait for them to come to you and offer their greeting.
Again, if you are with someone and the person stops to greet someone you don’t know, ensure you also greet them. It would be rude to just stand on the side and ignore him/her.
Avoid Vulgar Humour
Vulgar humour could work when you are having game night with your bros, but not you when you are in social situations; it would portray any man as insensitive. Some people would even consider such jokes offensive. Even if it is a date and you are desperate to get a few laughs from the lady, opt for something witty, rather than the whip out your dick jokes.
Know (and stick to) Your Alcohol Limit
Men generally love alcohol. While consuming alcohol on its own is not bad, consuming it in excess is not acceptable. When you drink alcohol past your limit, you lose control of yourself and usually chivalry flies through the window. Getting sloppy in public is not a good look on any man, especially when he is on a date or a business outing.
In addition, never order a drink named for a sexual position. It may seem like a cheeky thing to do, but it is more of crass.
Stay as private as you can
A gentleman should always keep his business private. No matter the circumstance, never share sensitive information or secrets with others that are not directly affected. This does not imply that you become taciturn and uptight. Use your discretion. Sharing too many secrets or giving too much of your opinion or unsolicited advice can lead to trouble and is not in good form.
If You Say ‘I invite you,’ be prepared to pay
If you specifically invite someone to join you for a meal, even when it is not a date, you must pay for their food as you have actively invited them. You cannot ask them to split the cheque or pay for their own meal. However, when you or someone says “Let’s go to a restaurant,’ you go Dutch. Everyone pays for their meal, but if it one person offers to take the entire bill, the others may agree.
Can you think of any other etiquette rules which every self-respecting Nigerian man should know and adopt?