Being a man comes with many expectations and responsibilities—it means leading by example, showing strength in times of adversity and protecting those you care about. But some specific unwritten rules shape the way people perceive masculinity: etiquette, traditions, behaviours and attitudes. Whether it’s knowing how to tie a bowtie for formal occasions or understanding when it’s time to take action instead of staying quiet, these essential lessons will help guide you through life as an aware and responsible modern man.
1. Never Roast a Friend to Impress a Girl
One user shared, “One must never, EVER roast a friend to try and impress a girl.”
Another user replied, “Yes. Roasting is only for showing affection.”
One Redditor replied, “I learned this too late. Jason, I’m sorry I clowned on you in front of Anna when we were 16.”
2. Clean the Toilets
One user posted, “If you see a skid in the toilet you have to pee it off.”
One user replied, “That’s just good manners.”
Another user added, “What about us loggers, hardworking men who like to stand up after they’ve taken a poo and turn around and cut their poo in half with their urine … South Park.”
3. Sticks Make Cool Swords
“No matter your age. A stick is a cool sword,” one user shared.
One user replied, “Unless it’s forked, then it’s a gun. EDIT: OK, when I said forked, I didn’t mean it looks like an actual fork. I meant it has a single offshoot branch. I’ve never once looked at a branch shaped something like the letter “Y” and thought, hey, a trident! Now, if it looked like a peace sign without the circle, sure.”
4. Talk Smack but Have Their Back
One user shared, “Be a smart -rse to your friends to their faces, relentlessly and without pause. If they’re not there, have their back, and never smack talk ’em.”
One user added, “I must disagree. I’ve sent many texts and made many calls saying, ‘Hey, Dave, I called you a f- … a- b- for not coming out last night. I didn’t want to be rude and talk behind your back.'”
5. Click the Tongs Before Use
Another Redditor commented, “Always click the tongs before use.”
One user added, “and test the drill twice.”
One commenter shared, “And twirl the scissors on your trigger finger before putting them quickly and elegantly into your (imaginary) holster like an old-timer gunslinger.”
6. Return the Head Nod
“You will return the head nod,” shared one user.
Another user replied, “I do this all the time just to see. Not a single person has ever not done it back. Edit: the amount of people unable to read a sentence is genuinely incredible (not in a mean way, in a psychological way)
“Yes—I have never had a person NOT RETURN the nod. It is mostly toward men that I see have a cool piece of apparel, sometimes toward women for the same reason. I only nodded down.”
7. Wash Your Hands After Cutting Chilis
One user added to the thread, “Wash your hands at least three times between cutting [chilis] and touching them down there.”
Another user replied, “Cut [chilis], touch my d- three times, wash my hands, get it, it makes sense, I wouldn’t want to get d- all over everything.”
8. Be Nice to Moms
One Redditor commented, “Be nice to [everyone’s mother].”
One user replied, “X1000. My friends all practiced this method with my parents.
“My one friend hates peanut butter. I Hate it. Came over one morning to pick me up for school, and my mom had made no-bakes. I gave him a cookie right in front of Mom, and he ate it in one bite. His face was classic; she was none the wiser of the situation. Didn’t say a word until we got outside from earshot, ‘You mother f-.'”
9. Don’t Let Inner the Little Boy Die
“Don’t ever let the boy inside of the man die. If the boy dies, there will be nothing left,” one user shared.
Another user replied, “My son is like a spitting image of me. Whenever I look at him, I see what I should have been at his age. I understand that I inadvertently project a lot of my childhood trauma into him, which I’m working through, but I’ve vowed to die before I let anyone destroy his heart in the ways that destroyed mine. I’m going to relive childhood vicariously through his happiness and protect him at all costs.”
10. Don’t Watch the Next Guy Peeing
One user shared, “You will stare into your own urinal bowl and your own urinal bowl only. Throughout the process of urination, you can only look directly forward.”
Another user added, “Never compliment a man’s watch while at the urinal. If you do speak, it is into the wall in front of you.”
11. Keep an Eye on Your Guy Friends
One Redditor posted, “Keep an eye on your male friends. Especially ones that may be lonely. It’s important to check in with them to make sure they are ok. There’s usually a wall to get through—but you need to try.
“I’ve learned this over the years. You truly don’t know who’s suffering until you dig a little. Lots of men don’t have support systems or don’t seek it out due to a stigma around male mental health.
“I’m lucky. I haven’t lost any close friends to suicide, but there were times when someone said something off, and I dug (carefully—I don’t want to patronize), and it turned out they were hurting a lot more than I realized.
“I also make sure to tell my friends I love them when I leave. I’m not afraid of hugs. I don’t give a flying f- if it’s feminine to show love to your bros. It feels good.”
12. Leave One Urinal Between You
One user shared, “Leave one urinal between you and the other guy.”
The other stated, “This is universal. However, I’ve had many strange encounters: being in an empty toilet of urinals, doing my thing, and then I hear footsteps. The dude decided to use the one next to me and not the 20+ empty ones. He also decided to stare. I wanted to punch him, tbh.”
13. Walk Slowly, Grab Your Back
A Redditor also commented, “After a certain age, you should walk slowly with one hand, grabbing the other behind your back.
“It is also acceptable to stand in this position while observing something and make general remarks about the situation you’re observing.
“‘That doesn’t look good … ‘
“‘You know what they need to do … ‘”
One user replied, “In some countries, they’re usually found around construction sites in random groups. They neither know each other nor construction work but can talk about it for hours as if pros.”
14. Take in All the Groceries at Once
“Death before taking more than one trip to bring in all the grocery bags from the car,” posted one Redditor.
Another user commented, “Mama didn’t raise no two-trip b-.”
Another user added, “One of the moments when I knew I married the right girl was when I was about to give up and make two trips. She looked me dead in the eye and said ‘Dig deep, we got this, we’re not two trip b–s.’ Don’t know if I’ve ever been more in love than in that moment. Maybe the wedding. … maybe.”
15. Offer to Help Move Heavy Furniture
One user shared, “An unwritten rule of being a man: Always offer to help move heavy furniture, even if you secretly hope they say no.”
Another user replied, “And only take beer as payment.”
16. Respect the Forklift-Certified Man
One Redditor posted, “Always respect the forklift-certified man.”
One user commented, “As a certified forklift driver, gainfully employed as such: Thank you … We so rarely get mentioned.”
17. Don’t Speak Ill of Your S/O to a Friend
“Unspoken rule of not speaking ill of the SO of a friend. All trash talk should ensue once the breakup is confirmed,” one user shared.
One user replied, “Always hated that stuck-up b–.”
Another user added, “And then they get back together, and you live with the giant elephant in the room.”
18. When You Tie Knots, Slap It and Say, “That’ll Hold.”
One user shared, “If you ever tie anything down to a trailer, you must slap it and say ‘That’ll hold.’ Same for the roof if the car is hanging out the back.”
One user commented, “‘You’re goin nowhereeee!!’ In the voice of Randy Savage. Just me?! … Ok.”
19. Help Those Who Need It but Can’t Ask
One user posted, “Help those who need it but can’t ask. Use your emotional radar without anyone knowing you have one.”
Another user shared, “I call this listening with your eyes and heart, not your ears and mouth.”
20. Strength Is for Helping Others
“If you are strong, don’t hold that strength over other people, but rather use it as a tool to help others,” one user shared.
Another user commented, “Not a very easy task to do. As of now, I am like people from different times.”
One user replied, “That’s like Uncle Ben’s levels of wisdom!”
What do you think of the rules by men written above? Share your thoughts below!
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