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Are you a 'Poyo' or a Gentleman? A checklist

There are no wrong answers. But there are some very right ones...

By The Gentleman

Published on: 15 February 2021

Updated: 18 April 2024

Photo: Ismail Farid

We all know a 'Poyo' when we see one — of course we do. It’s in his vibes, his demeanor, and his outlook in life. He walks into the black-tie events  — like he’s owning the place.  

But by the time the 'poyo's up close and personal with you, it’s already too late. And if the man in question satisfies three or more of these criteria, you know just how far to run, and in which direction. 

(We have also included a checklist of the attributes of the modern gentleman. Tick off twenty five or above, and you’re probably on the right track. Probably.)


  1. Revealed the price of his shoes, tuxedo, or watch without being asked

  2. Want to be known as "Mr. Know All"

  3. Created a fake email and attacked people by sending hatred emails

  4. Pretend he can influence all of his followers on Instagram by writing on his photo caption such as "I want everyone to do things like what I did..."   

  5. Must win at all cost

  6. Want to be seen as the socialites

  7. Overtly showing his success or wealth 

  8. Pretend to be smart on Instagram with his 'philosophical captions'

  9. Love to associate himself with the status symbols (designer labels, watches, cars, big houses)

  10. Segregated people based on T20, M40, and B40

  11. Refer to himself as a gentleman

  12. Believes that 'he made it' if he is featured in a glossy high-society magazine

  13. Name-dropping     

  14. Thinking that success is measured by money or popularity

  15. Dress to get noticed

  16. Worry about gaining or losing in everything 

  17. Talk more rather than listen

  18. Obsessed with celebrities

  19. Ibiza

  20. New Gucci loafers

  21. Judged people based on their number of Instagram followers

  22. Love to show how successful he became

  23. Self-effacing TikTok videos which always somehow feature his abs

  24. Owns more than one Rolex

  25. Never offer to pay during date or friend's gathering

  26. Wearing white socks at work

  27. Matching tie & pocket square

  28. Hate the culture of excellence - education, manners, institution, peoples

  29. Serve only himself

  30. Put down on people publicly   

  31. Versace underwear       

  32. Boastful on his honorific (purchased) Title

  33. Take credit of other people's work

  34. Peacock

  35. AWOL after RSVP                                                           

The Gentleman

  1. Admire his father and his grandfather

  2. Consistently keep himself fit       

  3. Identified a role-model, and eventually be a role-model to others

  4. Realized that his time on earth is limited

  5. Royal warrants

  6. Exercise his intellect by reading history

  7. Would never seriously refer to himself as a gentleman

  8. Committed to develop his bloodline to be a much better version than himself

  9. Not worries about personal fame and gain, but worries about the entire world

  10. Harvard Kennedy School 

  11. Find value in something according to its history and its story        

  12. Putting others first

  13. Praise his friends publicly       

  14. Admit that he is not perfect

  15. Value the mistakes of the past

  16. Has said “I don’t know” within the past calendar year

  17. Helping the helpless

  18. Know how to tie a tie

  19. Believe success is measured by legacy and how he touched the lives of people

  20. Noblesse Oblige

  21. Dress to honor the host

  22. Half-canvas suit made from natural fabrics (wool, cashmere)

  23. An excellent listener, let the people do 80% of the talking       

  24. Continually strives to improve oneself

  25. Goodyear-welted construction shoes

  26. Taking full responsibility of everything

  27. Never slap his partner / wife

  28. Understand the burden of being a man

  29. Does not follow fashion 

  30. Sharp and clean style, no room for too many effects

  31. Open the car door for her

  32. Nice sheets

  33. Eton college

  34. Serve all, but love only one

  35. Obsessed with continuous improvements (learning, benchmarking, refinement)

  36. Realizes that more is achieved through failure than through success    

  37. Treat her spouse / partner like a princess

  38. Committed to nation-building

  39. Respect and defend his heritage

  40. Reluctant to lead      

  41. Nonchalant

  42. Eye-contact

So You Think You've Spotted a Poyo? Run!

This lighthearted exploration has hopefully shed some light on the key differences between a "Poyo" and a true gentleman. Remember, it's not about having every single item on either list checked off. However, if you find yourself surrounded by an overwhelming number of "Poyo" traits, it might be time to politely excuse yourself and head for the nearest exit.

The good news? Genuine gentlemen exist! They may not be shouting about their accomplishments from the rooftops, but their actions speak volumes. They prioritize kindness, respect, and leaving a positive impact on the world. So ditch the "Poyos" and seek out the company of those who truly embody the spirit of a gentleman.

Now, go forth and spread a little more "Noblesse Oblige" (nobility obligates) in the world!

3 Reasons You Should Never Call Yourself a Gentleman
The Lost Art of Modesty
Why Wealth Can't Buy Class, Good Taste, or Manner

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