The Ultimate Guide To Being A Decent Guy

The Ultimate Guide To Being A Decent Guy ©iStock/PeopleImages

I’m of the belief that decent guys are hard to find. It’s not because I don’t think guys are capable of it, but I think people in general fall short when it comes to being decent. I’m not saying that I’m Miss Manners over here, but what I am saying is that there are basic things that a decent guy should be able to do, say, or be in order to be considered decent. Wanna be a decent guy? Here’s your guide:

  1. He listens and listens well. You know how some people don’t really listen, but rather just wait for their turn to talk? A decent guy doesn’t do that. A decent guy actively listens with both interest and empathy.
  2. He knows how to have a conversation. In keeping with the listening component of being decent, a decent guy knows how to have a conversation. He knows not to interrupt, to see things from both sides, and knows a dialogue isn’t all about one person.
  3. He respects space and boundaries. Whether it’s the boundaries of the person he’s dating or a stranger on the subway, a decent guy knows when to back off. He knows that people have different comfort zones and respects personal space, and he never ceases to honor that.
  4. He is attentive and aware. A decent guy picks up on things. He’s aware of his surroundings and can see beyond the present situation. He acknowledges those around him in a caring and loving way, and shows his friends and family how important and loved they are.
  5. He makes those around him feel safe. A decent guy doesn’t rub people the wrong way. He doesn’t make people feel apprehensive or suspicious. Instead, he makes people feel safe and welcome, no matter who they are or what they bring to the table.
  6. He’s open-minded and accepting. There’s nothing more decent than accepting those who are different from you. A decent guy does just that. He accepts without reservation or hesitance.
  7. He offers a piece of himself to his loved ones. When you care about someone, you expose a vein or two. You’re actively involved and don’t half-ass the relationship; that’s how you know it means something to you. And in having relationships in such a way, you offer up a piece of yourself to that a person. A decent guy goes into both friendships and romantic relationships ready to share a piece of himself.
  8. He has convictions and stands by them. A decent guy has opinions and doesn’t waver in them. He believes in right and wrong, and can’t bet tempted into doing what’s wrong. In other words, a decent guy doesn’t cheat. 
  9. He isn’t afraid to cry or show emotion. Although we live in a world where guys are “supposed” to be stoic and emotionless, a decent guy knows otherwise. He realizes there’s nothing wrong in being human, showing emotion, or even crying when, well, whenever.
  10. He’s always himself. A decent guy doesn’t put on airs. He doesn’t change who he is or what he believes to fit a mood, his surroundings, or a group of people. He knows who he is and he’s always that exact person.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.