10 Qualities That Make You a Fierce Gentleman

What are the qualities of a Fierce Gentleman?

Okay, so you’ve read the Fierce Gentleman Manifesto, and it’s not bad, so far as rhetoric goes.

But what does it mean?

How would you know a Fierce Gentleman walking down the street, and how would you tell him apart from just another Joe Schmoe (excuse me — a Man who has not yet come to the realization that the current global situation was calling him urgently to become a Fierce Gentleman)?

Below is the sure-fire ways to tell if the guy you’re seeing is, in fact, a Fierce Gentleman: the ten characteristics that set the F.G. apart from other blokes.

  1. He takes care of his physical appearance & style. No matter what industry he is in, or what his station in life, the Fierce Gentleman is dressed for success every day. He takes no days off from excellence, and this is reflected in his dress as well as in his attitude. He has cultivated a personal style as a manner of creative self-expression in the world and navigates by his own compass, without waffling in response to “fashion trends.” By itself, this is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a Fierce Gentleman (which we shall abbreviate henceforth as F.G.): plenty of men dress well and take good care of themselves, but not all of them are gentlemen, nor are all of them particularly fierce.
  2. He’s considerate. None of this fake-Alpha machismo crap: He doesn’t cut in line or steal cabs from other people at the end of the night.  To the contrary, he holds doors for people (not just women, although he does hold doors particularly for women), lets others cut in line at the grocery store if they have fewer items than him, and generally goes out of his way to accommodate others and pay them consideration in matters big and small.
  3. He’s chivalrous. His approach to women is an mixture of respect, adoration, and cherishing amusement. He will hold doors for her, doff his hat on her approach, rise if she approaches when he is sitting, take her coat, offer to seat her, push in her chair as she sits. An entire group of F.G.s, seated together when a woman approaches, make for a stirring sight as they all rise simultaneously and offer to take her things or provision her with a seat. Although this may seem old-fashioned and unnecessary at first (and many do say so) women as well as men enjoy it.
  4. He understands that his life is about service to others, not serving himself. This goes beyond being polite and considerate: those are just rules of etiquette and polite society and as such, are meaningless without a deeper conviction. For a F.G., service to others is that underlying conviction. He understands that all ego-gratification plans are scheduled for failure; and, similarly, that his efforts to enrich the lives of all those around him are destined for eventual success. He understands that Nature provides resources to the individual in direct proportion to the scale of the role they have undertaken in the ecosystem; thus, to be about as big an idea as he can possibly manage, he will naturally command resources commensurate with the bigness of his role. You can detect this element in conversation, or by reputation, if the man is very well known and publicly seen to be achieving great things, with great resources (Elon Musk is an example. Sal Khan is another.)
  5. He has done, and is doing, his work. A F.G. works diligently and consistently to improve himself in all ways, and to continually remove the limits on his degrees of freedom in all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, financial, sexual, social, spiritual. In this endeavor he is not ashamed to consult experts, enlist aid, invest time and energy and money, and ask for help. Because of this, a F.G. can almost always be seen to be: athletic or working at some physical pursuit, self-aware and introspective, emotionally mature, mentally sharp, knowledgeable and worldly, calm and imperturbable, in control of his financial situation, present and aware, a competent-to-exceptional lover, with both breadth and depth of friendships and relationships, and with a deeper metaphysical perspective on life, the Universe, and everything. Such Qualities are greatly to be desired in a friend, lover, partner, father, husband, and son, and consequently. . .
  6. He is in demand. If you need something done, ask a busy person to do it.” A F.G. is notable by the pace and volume of his output and throughput and does not seem perturbed or winded by what others would consider a blistering pace. This ability to conscientiously and thoroughly execute makes F.G.s highly desirable in any business, even in government bureaucracies, and more precious than gold in new businesses startup where the workload is inhuman and the labor must be born with a maximum of charisma. The F.G. does not become conceited about this ability, however, and will smilingly offer to help others if they are becoming swamped, even if his plate already seems full. Despite all this. . .
  7. He has backbone. Despite being accommodating, considerate, helpful and fundamentally of service, the Fierce Gentleman is the farthest thing possible from a doormat. Because of his intimately awareness of his own limits and his constant striving to live and playing at his edge, he knows what he can and cannot do, and has no qualms about saying “No” or laughing off unreasonable requests or onerous expectations. Because he has done and is doing his “work,” he knows his own weak areas and trigger points, and is very careful to avoid them altogether or navigate around them. Because he knows what he is about in life, he follows his own strong compass with integrity, and categorically refuses to be pulled off-mission by this or that influence or request. A Fierce Gentleman is so consistent and trustable in this regard that a person may set their own compass by his.
  8. He has access to, and follows, his inner wisdom. He may call it God or the Divine Mind Within or insight or intuition or any other name, but the Fierce Gentleman has cultivated it, has regular access to it, and minds what it tells him. He also realizes that within him is an inexhaustible fountain of creativity, and therefore he has laid aside all fear of ever “running out of ideas.” (This may be particularly evident of he is involved in the arts or other creative pursuits.)
  9. He follows his own passions, wherever they may lead. Living in an age of near-perfect access to information and know-how, the Fierce Gentleman takes time to pursue his passions ardently and in a way that expresses his innate creativity. Because of this, he is often a fount of knowledge on an obscure topic you may have never heard of, or have a special skill or talent refined over years of practice that may or may not be valuable or desirable as the world defines such things (and little does he care for the world’s approval!) Or he may have dabbled in a variety of diverse areas, jack of all trades and master of none. A true F.G. may well oscillate through periods of intense focus on a single idea or business or purpose, forsaking all hobbies and passions in the meantime, and it is natural and proper that he should do this: he will return to his passion(s) when a cycle of rest and relaxation follows his next great triumph or achievement.
  10. He is a fierce warrior. Why call him a Fierce Gentleman? So far, his qualities seem to involve a great deal of service, gentleness, and consideration for others. How can such a one be called fierce? Isn’t this word to be reserved for menacing & dangerous wild animals, the violently intense, the threatening and the savage? Well, while all those descriptors could apply to a Fierce Gentleman whose loved ones have come under threat or attack and who realizes that he is the sole line of defense in the preservation of their persons, the word fierce also and equally means: “resolute or strenuously active” “of exceptional quality, exhibiting boldness or chutzpah” and “very, excellent.” These are the meanings we apply when we say a man is a Fierce Gentleman. Although he has principally banished violence from his life, this man is nevertheless a warrior, confronting the biggest and baddest dragons that plague the modern world, brooking no cowardice, shrinking from no challenge, stepping through his own fear and staying brave “5 minutes longer” than the ordinary man, as Emerson said. You will be able to tell this from your dealings with this man. You will be able to feel his strength, unafraid, in each moment. It is impossible to fake.

There you have ten ways to discern a Fierce Gentleman. If even a few of them are present, he is surely on the path towards becoming a full-fledged F.G., and you ought to point him to this blog, that he may  more actively cultivate himself along this path.

If all ten are present, then you are lucky indeed to have made his acquaintance. Treat him well, for he will certainly treat you well, regardless of who you are.

The effects of having a Fierce Gentleman join an organization or group are of particular interest. Most commonly his presence will serve to sharpen the ambition (and improve the behavior) of men who witness his conduct. His treatment of the women in particular can cause initial confusion, and sometimes brings derision, until others see the results that come from a man treating a woman as a cherished, unique equal from a position of self-respect and without supplication.

In this way, the 11th characteristic of the F.G. may be that he inspires others to live better, by his mere presence. This inspirational / aspirational aspect of the F.G. is part of what makes them so powerful in a world so bereft of role models.

Now that you’ve read the overview and the practical markers of the Fierce Gentleman, go deeper down the rabbit hole of how to cultivate these qualities in yourself, by reading How One Becomes a Fierce Gentleman.


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Also published on Medium.

145 Comments 10 Qualities That Make You a Fierce Gentleman

  1. Dick

    Interesting that in this day and age, anyone needs to be told this. That being said, I have seen over the years the lack of courtesy that pervades society. People walking in with out holding the door for the person behind them, and women actually showing contempt for a man who shows her courtesy.

    Of course, not everyone behaves this way, but growing up in the era, I have, there is a highly noticeable difference

  2. princevinco

    This is a classic write-up. I wish to add that one of quality that Makes You a Fierce Gentleman is that he is confident in himself and never compare himself to other men. He is equally firm in his marriage and is successful in his family life.

  3. Zano

    Nicely done. Who could think Fierce could be paired with Gentleman. Needed some inspiration this afternoon, and each point caused reflection and thoughts about the future.
    Thank you

  4. FredH

    I agree with your bullet points here, but I will also add that a gentleman always looks into a a woman’s eyes, not anywhere around. It’s what you talk that makes him interested.
    Also, a gentleman has table manners, hangs a woman’s coat and says thank you whenever necessary!

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  6. Parris

    Great post on the indicative traits of a Fierce Gentleman. Keep in mind, that being a gentleman comes from having a good heart. Men who perform the following acts without a true sense of dignity and obligation, will become pretentious and arrogant snobs in society. We have too many of them. “Actions speak louder than words, but the intentions determine what should be heard.”

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  9. methode gagner argent internet

    Il me semble que cette explication est de loin la plus pertinente et je vous remercie
    de m’avoir poussé la réflexion pour la découvrir

  10. Vick

    This is beyond outstanding article. It goes deep into FG core and explodes a supernova. Its perfection in article execution shows the writer is FG to core, and well well developed.

    1. Andrew

      Thank you for the kind words Vick! I’m still on the path of living up to the FG archetype, like all of us…thanks for stopping by & commenting.

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  14. Jack Gerber

    I have read many blogs, comments and posts over the years but never have I encountered anything with the depth and stunning magnificence of Fierce Gentleman. It lays out a life plan for those with the wisdom and courage to undertake it. There are some areas where I unquestionably fall short but just knowing what they are is the first step to tackling them. I just wanted to say thank you.

  15. Bernice McDonald

    This is the man I married – second time around! Amazing, amazing gentleman who brings out my heart, guards and protects it, loves and cares for me wildly, completely, passionately. He inspires me to be my best. Never thought I would find anyone like this.

    But I am a Fierce Lady (as I commented on the Traits of a Fierce Lady article) and I dated a lot of men after my divorce who didn’t know how to handle that because they were not sure of themselves and had allowed someone else to beat them down.

    Now, after finding my Fierce Gentleman who is truly my Knight in Shining Armor and there to watch my back, my desire is to bring this out in every man who has ever been told he is not enough! It’s there, this Fierce Gentleman, inside of every man. It’s inherent – he just needs the courage and confidence to allow that part of him to live itself out in him.

    Love this whole concept! Would love to partner with you in presenting this to the world because men and women need this SOOOO much!

    Thank you!

  16. Kathleen

    Dear Andrew and other Fierce Gentlemen & Ladies: I think I may have just found a fierce gentleman, perhaps for the first time in my life. I simply wanted to thank you for capturing so many of his qualities in a single place. I am also going to continue to do my best to be a Fierce Lady (which, by the way is largely the same thing as being a Fierce Gentleman.)
    Here’s to a Fierce 2014 and beyond for us all.

  17. Intellectualfem

    Great words. I found it difficult to continuously capture the essence of the post because abbreviating F.G. was a major distraction. I think in this texting age, we get so carried away with the need to shorten our thoughts and messages that it starts to unconsciously flow through every single aspect of our lives. Writing an eloquent article such as this does not warrant the use of abbreviation as it took away the essence of the written word.

    Otherwise, all due respect well written post and yes, I am a young lady who appreciates a man in a suit, one who pulls my chair, opens doors for me and let’s me cut in line (with a smile of course) if I have fewer items than him; that’s just the tip of the iceberg and yes, I am a feminist :-)

    1. Andrew

      Hey Intellectualfem, thanks for the compliments, and thanks for the good feedback. I’ll definitely consider it in future writings.

      P.S. As you can probably tell, I am also a feminist ;)

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  21. Matthew Sylvester

    I don’t understand why people are saying this is classist. My grandfather was a coal miner and then worked on the railways. No matter what he wore when working, he always wore a suit when at home.

    He bought his first house when he was in his sixties, having lived in council houses all his life. A working class man, who wore suits, a trilby and never complained about the Jungle sores he got in Burma. He was a true gent, from one of the poorest parts of Yorkshire. I think that people who are claiming this is classist are actually being classist in that they think the working class/blue collar can’t be part of this.

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  25. J

    Sorry, but this strikes me as a load of style over substance crap. What has looking like you’ve stepped out of a Tom Ford ad – see nauseating picture – got to do with being a gentleman?

      1. Craig Mc

        In matters of taste, there can be no disputes. <==

        Actually that is a cop out, for example people of poor taste speaking on taste, would for example be suffering from the low end of Dunning Kruger.

        Secondly if AFG looks like a hipster then it should be burnt with fire. Because one should never be a hipster. A form of disingenuous social identity, would undermine the very essence of what you are trying to achieve with this concept.

        Now for the rest, I agree with this treatise on many levels, as one learns even in basic deportment :

        A chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man.
        A man of good social position, esp. one of wealth and leisure.


        (n.) A man of calm demeanor, strong preserve, intellectual thinking, polite yet meaningful speak and a good upbringing. A fighter for the cause of right with words, not guns.

        if you prefer.

        I feel the problem here is Image choices that people are responding towards.

        A skimmed through a few place, one is an image of Kanye West a supreme douchelord of the highest order, the image of the hipster above is another example of poor imagery.

        I think you may end up getting reactions from those who put about as much effort into the reading as was with the exceptionally poor image choices.

        1. Andrew

          Craig, you are right – I made a mistake. My images choices were poorly thought-out. I spent a lot of time formulating these ideas, but very little time choosing appropriate images.

          I am in the process of refining the image choices. . . please share additional feedback if you feel they are appropriate or inappropriate, and thanks for commenting.

  26. Reighnor

    Okay, I must say to the persons that have a problem with this article that in my personal opinion and I am hoping Andrew agrees with me that this is for people that desire to act and dress like what you would consider to be a gentleman from the time when the general term was first established. I do not believe it has anything to do with being sexist, or summing up men in a box but that it is the overall qualities that were originally used to identify what people defined as a “gentleman”. I also do believe that a person does not have to be a “gentleman” to have these qualities but just a good natured person but even so I am sure that at some point they would be tagged a “gentleman” either way. Plus this is a choice to be this way just as anything else is.

    1. Morgan Fuller

      I agree with Katie!! I love this article. I don’t feel like I’m a biased opinion based on the fact that I am a women, but I think that this article describes not the type of man you see in movies or on the red carpet but the type of gentleman that is classy through and through. I’d love to hear the counterpart for women on this article!

  27. Bryan

    Totally agree with #1. Those who don’t. TRY IT. It will change your stars almost single handily. A suit & tie, worn consistently, generates great respect. Faster than anything I know, it conveys that you are about excellence as a your standard. I don’t want to hear it about business casual and kakis, or no tie with a jacket, and at my work in my industry this and that. You will be promoted, listened to, confided in to an almost irrational degree in a suit. If you MUST wear a uniform (Doctor Scrubs, Police Uniform, Factory Worker), you SHOW UP early in a suit, then change into your uniform. At the end of your shift, you leave the office in a suit. And let them see you do it. Quit dressing like the other workers. Dress like the boss of your company, and you will soon be.

    At first you’ll be tested constantly: “Why do you wear a suit?” If you don’t have a narrative, you run the risk they’ll think of one for you: “he’s pretentious.” So be prepared to define your narrative yourself at first. Simply say, “I wear a suit as a sign of my respect for my {Insert HERE: Customers, Patients, CoWorkers, Students }.

    Seriously, guys, so often you only have a few minutes to win the trust of an account manager, a patient, a date, a customer. Wearing a suit and a tie is your ace in the hole.

    1. Andrew

      Bravo Brian, Thanks for this contribution. You neatly summed up why dressing better sets you apart.

      For those for whom suit-and-tie would be out of place — such as those working in construction, for example — you can still find a way to be a cut above in appearance. This is the reason painters show up in clean paint overalls to all jobs, for example.

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  30. Stewart Lawrence

    This is pretty good, overall, but it’s more of a woman’s fantasy wish-list. Well-groomed, considerate, chivalrous as the top 3 reads like a personals ISO ad. Many charming rogues would fit that bill.

    I think the author is really fleshing out the classic male “archetype” — call it the “Hero.” Yes, it’s powerful, and it’s inspirational, but it’s an idealization, too.

    One could do the same for women — construct the Ideal Feminine, perhaps the Female Warrior-Priestess archetype, or some other variation. And many women would probably cry foul for being burdened thusly.

  31. KatB

    A F.G. understands balance and being someone who brings about a positive ambiance in his presence…a smile or sense of humor that brings about warmth and openness among a group of people, a charisma that engages others to open up in a warm conversational embrace, the listening skill of someone who understands how to be sincerely intrigued to learn about others. (Seriously…being with someone who is serious 24/7 is as fun as it sounds.)

  32. Julia Jones

    What a lovely description of me! And I am a straight, successful woman. How silly to make this about men only; 95% of this applies to women too. No, I do not stand when women come to the table, but I do make sure they are comfortable. It’s called being a considerate human being. And much of the advice extends to how to be successful, as well as kind. Something all human beings should aim for. You are purposefully leaving out 51% of the population. How rude.

  33. rick

    I’ll solve the “classist” debate right now…in this world there are white collar people and blue collar people and people who are both (men and women). Some like there own kind and others cross over…a man is a man, not the clothes he wears…blue collar women know this when the clothes come off ;)

    The men who physically built the free world by the strength of their back, the sweat of there brow and for the love of their families would, in general, not appreciate the idea of the “Fierce Gentleman”, “Fierce” being a re-defined qualitative adjective almost exclusively embraced and used by 2013 woman and homosexual men. “F.G.” is a feminine idea, something for men to aspire to in their eyes. Their eyes.

    A man should be what he always has been, he should be smart, he should be strong, he should be kind and loving, he should be protective, he should be trusting, and above all he should be tough, because the world will continue to try and make him less and less of a man everyday, and it’s in a real man’s nature to keep calm & press forward like all those before him. Heterosexual women who can’t see these 7 qualities and the like as the real stuff of men will go get an “F.G.” instead.

  34. Jennifer Major

    This is an epic article. I have a 10 year old son and he is a Fierce Gentlemen. One day my son and I were standing in a long line at the post office and he noticed a stressed out woman at the back of the line, he then asked me if she could take our place in the front. Parents should have a mission to encourage their boys in being Fierce Gentlemen.

  35. Alisa

    This is horrible. You are putting men into a box and saying this is what they should be. You are not leaving any room for incredible men who don’t fit most of this. Shame on you for being so shallow. This is the most sexist article I have ever read.


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