In many cases, having good manners means channeling (and acting upon) your inner good intentions. It's about having consistently considerate, thoughtful, gracious and charming behavior, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Here are 11 common situations and ways to make a gentlemanly statement in each.

1. The Opportunity: A woman arrives at your table.
The Gentlemanly Response: You pull out her chair for her when she is being seated. When she leaves, rise from your chair, whether completely or just slightly, as a gesture of courtesy.

2. The Opportunity: You drive your fiancée or an elder person home at night.
The Gentlemanly Response: Upon arrival, you walk around the car, open his or her door and assist him or her with getting out of the car.

3. The Opportunity: You walk down the street with your fiancée or another female acquaintance.
The Gentlemanly Response: You walk on the side of the sidewalk that is closest to traffic.

4. The Opportunity: You are being introduced to someone new.
The Gentlemanly Response: You stand up (if seated) when introduced to someone, look them in the eye, smile and extend a firm handshake.

5. The Opportunity: You are making introductions amongst a group.
The Gentlemanly Response: Not only do you speak each person's first and last name distinctly, you introduce the younger person to the older first and next, the man to the woman, as a gesture of deference.

6. The Opportunity: You are passing through a door and there is a woman or an older person behind you.
The Gentlemanly Response: Hold the door open and allow the woman or older person to pass through the door before you.

7. The Opportunity: You are hosting a dinner party.
The Gentlemanly Response: You serve the ladies first at dinner, then the men. The same applies for pouring wine and serving cocktails.

8. The Opportunity: You are using the phone and your guest arrives.
The Gentlemanly Response: Tell the caller that your guest has arrived and quickly and politely end the call.

9. The Opportunity: You are on a plane and the woman or older person ahead of you is about to lift his or her hand luggage to the overhead compartment.
The Gentlemanly Response: Offer to assist and place it in the overhead compartment for him or her.

10. The Opportunity: You are at a restaurant with your fiancée or another female acquaintance and are ordering your meal.
The Gentlemanly Response: Find out what she would like and order on her behalf. For example, “The lady would like to begin with the arugula salad and will follow with the roast chicken.”

11. The Opportunity: You want to gracefully exit a conversation.
The Gentlemanly Response: Exiting a conversation gracefully is just as important as being engaging during a conversation. If a conversation is taking up more of your time than your attention span allows, you can say: "I'm sorry to cut you of, but I see a friend whom I've been trying to get ahold of for some time. Would you mind if I excuse myself?"


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