Allow the Gentleman Within
The book “Return of the Gentlemen: Creating Nurturing Connections by Embracing the Authentic You” by Dr Dain Heer is a quick and easy read with an incredible amount of ideas and insights. In this short summary, I want to touch on the points that were most interesting to me. That being said, I do not intend this to be a complete summary of the book, rather the main ideas for me.
Dr Dain Heer starts the book discussing definitions. He asks the reader to disregard the lexical definition and rather define what a gentleman is himself. That could be the first step for living more aligned with yourself because you disregard many of the limiting beliefs that society holds about how we are supposed to behave.
However, life is constantly changing and living with that change and adapting to it – rather than existing it – is a great skill. Maybe then, it is better to not have any definition at all or be flexible with the definitions that we use to describe us to fit whoever we are in the moment.
2. Honour Yourself
The first step to empowerment is accepting yourself. The author approaches this in a very similar way by describing that we should all not just accept but even honour who we are at the moment. Honour your intellect, honour your body for what it is, what it has brought to you, and for being a necessary part of you.
3. No Judgement
With honouring ourselves comes also the idea of non-judgement. Judgement of any kind always creates separation from the thing we judge. We want to connect, not separate, from ourselves (and others!) and that’s why we want to give up on judgement.
One of the tools he describes is seeing beliefs simply as “points of view” and he suggests using the phrase “Interesting point of view!” when judgement arises. I have found even a superficial understanding of Spiral Dynamics very helpful in accepting more and judging less.
4. Sex and Enjoyment
For any type of engagement in something sexual, Dr Dain Heer, reminds us that we want to be aware of what we are feeling, accept ourselves and our feelings and, ultimately, enjoy ourselves when having sex! Embracing the first two points really creates a much stronger enjoyment.
5. No Competition
What we men want and need is true and deep friendships, also with other men. Stop seeing other men as competition, be it in a context of women, being the leader, business or anything else, is a first necessary step for this. We want to have each other’s’ backs, support each other and converse deeply with each other.
6. Acknowledge Mistakes
Gentlemen, according to Dr Dain Heer, are grounded and authentic. They realise when they did something wrong and make up for it at the earliest possible moment. That means, firstly acknowledging it yourself and accepting that you did something that you didn’t understand well or misjudged and, secondly, bringing it up to the other person or people, take responsibility and ask how you can make up for it.
According to the author, being intimate requires five ingredients: honour, trust allowance, vulnerability, and gratitude.
8. Role Model
The best way to influencing others is to be a role model. Be real, be authentic, be yourself. Accept yourself, honour yourself, understand yourself. Seek deep conversations and talk about your journey.
I read this book as preparation of my own journey as well as Emerging Men, a men’s group that I lead. In Emerging Men, we talk about topics we men don’t usually talk about. We hold space for each other, support each other, and challenge each other to grow. If you are interested in joining, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org