The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A man with Style is not coarse. . .

The attire might be antiquated in this illustration, but the notion of polite and polished behavior is certainly not.

Regardless of how much (or how little) money, education, opportunity, or position a man might enjoy, there is absolutely no excuse for boorish, crass behavior anywhere or at anytime.  Sadly, all you need to do in 2014 is step out of your front door, and you'll notice this kind of thing everywhere.  At work, in the office, on the street, on public transport, and in stores and restaurants.  It certainly seems like more people are coarse and even gross in their behavior and interactions than aren't these days. 

While I hardly advocate a return to the stilted, court tradition and behavior of past centuries, or the attitudes of the pre-women's lib or civil rights era for that matter (before anyone misconstrues what I am saying), basic good manners and common decency are an absolute must.  Now more than ever perhaps.  And as I have mentioned here before, average guys who want to kick up their everyday style several notches would do well to remember this point and work on their manners in the broadest sense. 

Even if Mom and Dad did not, for some strange reason, stress polite behavior during your childhood and adolescence, that is no excuse to continue behaving like a cretin or philistine as an adult in public or private life.  You aren't a college-boy living away from home for the fist time with a bunch of stinky roommates anymore.  So, if you have even an ounce of self-recognition here, and realize that you might need some work in the area of manners and decorum, for the love of God, visit your local bookstore or  Find and purchase at least one book on etiquette.  I am particularly fond of the various titles by Peter Post, which contain a wealth of information on how we should behave with each other, and why it is necessary to do so. 

Whichever title(s) you end up buying, read, digest, and reflect on the material presented.  Revisit it as needed after a few weeks. . .  and later on.  Most importantly, internalize what you read and practice polite behavior in all areas of life, day in and day out.  And here's a secret about all of that presumed "artificiality" of manners that so many guys moan and groan about.  When you practice the social graces all of the time, they become a habit, which is the point.  You become practiced and comfortable with the idea of etiquette, making you a much more pleasant person with whom to live, work, dine, and interact.  Dare I say it?  You'll soon come across as someone with considerable polish, grooming, and sophistication. . .   regardless of the clothes you wear.  Just try it and see.  

Best of all, people around you will appreciate your efforts even if the matter never comes up in conversation.  Trust me.  People do notice, and nobody likes an uncouth boor for long.  But if you're one of those guys -- and there are many unfortunately -- who still don't see the point what I'm writing about here, and somehow interpret your lack of urbanity as an exercise of your imagined "right" to be who you really and truly are. . .   Well, just do the rest of polite society a favor.  Crawl back under your rock and stay there.  Please. 

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Mark Hollingsworth said...

Well said. Bravo! When being instructed in the 'art of the gentleman' during my time at the Royal Air Force Academy (Cranwell College) the senior officer advised us the most important trait a gentleman can demonstrate is "to know when to be silent".

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Than you for your comment, Mark. Sadly we have no institutions in the U.S. that provide any guidance on this kind of thing for the vast bulk of the population. Goodness knows, the public school system drops the ball here too although we have managed to find a small Episcopal/Anglican affiliated preschool for our son where some instruction on/reinforcement of manners and decorum is provided. What a shame that sort of training isn't more widely available for more children. They need it.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.