149 Inspiring (And Hopeful!) Quotes About What Makes A Great Man
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  • Post published:26/06/2021
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If you ask society what makes a man, you’ll get a mixture of being aggressive, loud, violent, and dominant. But what it truly means to be a good man is unique to each individual.

For some, it means asking for help when you need it or being the little spoon. What makes a man a man is being comfortable with yourself and not being afraid to show the world exactly who you are. Being a man is treating others right.

The problem is, in this wonderful new modern world we live in, well, it can not only be hard to find a man like that, but it can be even harder for men to understand what real manhood means.

Luckily, there are “good man” quotes about manhood to live by that can remind you of what really matters when it comes to the meaning of manliness.

That being said, here are good man proverbs, good man sayings, and encouraging short inspirational quotes for men to help you tell if your man is a great man or needs to become a better man as well as quotes about men and manhood they can look to for motivation and affirmation that they’re on the right track.

1. “You spend time with your family? Good. Because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” — Don Vito Corleone, “The Godfather”

2.“A real man won’t date the most beautiful girl in the world — he’ll date the girl that makes his world beautiful.”

3. “The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.” — Elbert Hubbard

4. “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”

5. “A good boyfriend loves his girl with all heart. He isn’t afraid to point to his girl in front of his friends and say: That’s my baby.”

6. “A real man can’t stand seeing his woman hurt. He’s careful with his decisions and actions, so he never has to be responsible for her pain.”

7. “Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.” — Chuck Norris

8. “The first step to be a good man is this: You must deeply feel the burden of the stones some else [is] carrying.” — Mehmet Murat Ildan

8. “A good boyfriend can’t fix all of your problems, but he can promise you that you won’t have to face them alone.”

9. “A good man will want you to shine. He wants you to be your amazing self. A good man loves to show off his happy, intelligent, amazing, powerful woman.” — Anastasia Netri

11. “A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.” — President John F. Kennedy

12. “One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

13. “Real men stay faithful. They don’t have time to look for another woman because they’re too busy looking for new ways to love their own.”

14. “A good man would prefer to be defeated than to defeat injustice by evil means.” — Sallust

15. “Being a good husband is like being a good stand-up comic: you need ten years before you can even call yourself a beginner.” — Jerry Seinfeld

16. “A gentleman will open doors, pull out chairs, and carry things. Not because she’s helpless or unable, but because he wants to show her that she is valuable and worthy of respect.” — Charles J. Orlando

17. “The real power of a man is in the size of the smile of the woman sitting next to him.” 

18. “The mark of a real man, is a man who can allow himself to fall deeply in love with a woman.” — C. JoyBell C.

19. “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” — Thomas Paine

20. “A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself… But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman’s resentment like tenderness.” — Elisabeth Elliot

21. “A real man only lies to his woman when he’s surprising her.”

22. “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.” — Brandon Sanderson

23. “A real man never stops trying to show a girl how much she means to him, even after he’s got her.”

24. “So, being a good man is not an exam or a qualification, it changes, and it incorporates being a good friend, a good father, a good employee, a good boss, a good neighbor, and a good citizen.” — A.A. Gill 

25. “We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.” — William James 

26. “The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.” — John Dewey 

27. “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” — Samuel Johnson 

28. “Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable.” — Seneca the Younger

29. “It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risks everything.” — Plutarch 

30. “Trying to learn to be a good man is like learning to play tennis against a wall. You are only a good man — a competent, capable, interesting and lovable man — when you’re doing it for, or with, other people.” — A.A. Gill 

31. “I think a gentleman is someone who holds the comfort of other people above their own. The instinct to do that is inside every good man, I believe. The rules about opening doors and buying dinner and all of that other ‘gentleman’ stuff is a chess game, especially these days.” — Anna Kendrick 

32. “It is the task of a good man to help those in misfortune.” — Sophocles

33. “Being a ‘good man’ is something you do, not something you are.” — Luvvie Ajayi

35. “It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.” — Henri-Frederic Amiel 

36. “A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.” — Gautama Buddha

37. “A strong man doesn’t have to be dominant toward a woman. He doesn’t match his strength against a woman weak with love for him. He matches it against the world.” — Marilyn Monroe 

38. “There is nothing noble being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” — Ernest Hemingway

39. “You have to be a man before you can be a gentleman.” — John Wayne

40. “It is his nature, not his standing, that makes the good man.” — Publilius Syrus

41. “A good man does not spy around for the black spots in others, but presses unswervingly on towards his mark.” — Marcus Aurelius 

42. “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” — Bob Marley

43. “A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” — Confucius

44. “A good man is kinder to his enemy than bad men are to their friends.” — Joseph Hall 

45. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.” — Albert Einstein 

46. “You can’t measure manhood with a tape line around his biceps.” — Billy Sunday

47. “It makes a big difference when men respect women. There are a lot of men who don’t, so that’s the main quality that would make a good man a great man.” — Stephanie Sigman 

48. “Great men do not play stage tricks with the doctrines of life and death: only little men do that.” — John Ruskin, in “Sesame and Lillies”

49. “In the face of inhumanity, a good man reacts, but a great one acts.” — James Rollins 

50. “A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he gives to others.” — Robert Green Ingersoll

51. “If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.” — James Dean 

52. “I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.” — John Ruskin

53. “A great man is always willing to be little.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

54. “It takes a great man to give sound advice tactfully, but a greater man to accept it graciously.” — Logan Pearsall Smith 

55. “It takes a great man to be a good listener.” — Calvin Coolidge

56. “Good men have the fewest fears. He has but one great fear who fears to do wrong; he has a thousand who has overcome it.” — Christian Nestell Bovee

57. “There is no better proof of a man’s being truly good than his desiring to be constantly under the observation of good men.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

58. “The man who is deserving the name is the one whose thoughts and exertions are for others rather than for himself.” — Walter Scott 

59. “He who stops being better stops being good.” — Oliver Cromwell

60. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius 

61. “Nice guys may appear to finish last, but usually they are running a different race.” — Ken Blanchard  

62. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. 

63. “No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

64. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be a value.” — Albert Einstein

65. “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.” — George Bernard Shaw 

66. “As a general rule, it pays to be confident, helpful and nice.” — Colin Wright

67. “Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.” — Henri Bergson

68. “Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.” — Benjamin Disraeli 

69. “Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him.” — John Locke  

70. “Don’t hide your scars, they make you who you are.” — Frank Sinatra

71. “Courtesy is a much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” — Theodore Roosevelt

72. “Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” — Ralph Marston 

73. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” — Napoleon Hill

74. “I walk slowly, but never backward.” — Abraham Lincoln 

75. “All successes begin with self-discipline. It starts with you.” — Dwayne Johnson

76. “Manners matter. Good looks are a bonus. Humor is a must.”

77. “A man is only as good as his words are.” — Frank Sinatra 

78. “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” — Albert Einstein

79. “There is one rule, above all others, for being a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet.” — Robert Jordan

80. “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” — William Shakespeare

81. “Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

82. “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” — Winston Churchill

83. “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” — Steve Jobs

84. “A woman simply is, but a man must become.”— Camille Paglia

85. “The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”— Leonardo da Vinci

86. “Men do not fail; they give up trying.” —Elihu Root

87. “Stronger by weakness, wiser men become.” —Edmund Waller

88. “The true index of a man’s character is the health of his wife.”— Cyril Connolly

89. “Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.”— Mahatma Gandhi

90. “Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.” —Napoleon Bonaparte

91. “The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

92. “The first rule of business is: Do other men for they would do you.” —Charles Dickens

93. “For tis not in mere death that men die most.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning

94. “First find the man in yourself if you will inspire manliness in others.” —Amos Bronson Alcott

95. “The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.” —Confucius

96. “One must judge men not by their opinions, but by what their opinions have made of them.” —Georg C. Lichtenberg

97. “Men, who are rogues individually, are in the mass very honorable people.” —Montesquieu

98. “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” —Confucius

99. “All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.” —Walter Scott

100. “Men are born to succeed, not to fail.” —Henry David Thoreau

101. “Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone.” —Charles de Gaulle

102. “Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald

103. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve.”—Michael Jordan

104. “The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too” Vincent Van Gogh

105. “Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.” —Francois de La Rochefoucauld

106. “Evil prospers when good men do nothing.”— John Philpot Curran

107. “A man is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men.” —Patrick Kavanagh

108. “Leadership consists of picking good men and helping them do their best.” —Chester W. Nimitz

109. “The natural desire of good men is knowledge.” —Leonardo da Vinci

110. “There are good men out there. There are guys who have their priorities straight, who take care of their kids, who respect their mothers.”— Pepa

111. “Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

112. “If a man’s mind becomes pure, his surroundings will also become pure.” —Buddha

113. “The way of a superior man is three-fold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.” —Confucius

114. “To be a man requires that you accept everything life has to give you, beginning with your name.” —Burl Ives

115. “A good man’s prayers will from the deepest dungeon climb heaven’s height, and bring a blessing down.” —Joanna Baillie

116. “Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.” —Patrick Henry

117. “There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’ If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble.” —Sam Keen

118. “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.” —John Wayne

119. “A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” —John F. Kennedy

120. “If unwilling to rise in the morning, say to thyself, ‘I awake to do the work of a man.’” —Marcus Aurelius

121. “A man should be able to hear, and to bear, the worst that could be said of him.” —Saul Bellow

122. “It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything.” —Plutarch

123. “It is not the situation which makes the man, but the man who makes the situation.” —Frederick William Robertson

124. “If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.” —Abraham Lincoln

125. “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

126. “Though in the order of nature angels rank above men, yet, by scale of justice, good men are of greater value than bad angels.” —Saint Augustine

127. “Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.” —Arthur Schopenhauer

128. “A man may conquer a million men in battle but one who conquers himself is, indeed, the greatest of conquerors.” —Buddha

129. “Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.” —Benjamin Disraeli

130. “Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable.” —Seneca the Younger

131.  “The heart of a good man is the sanctuary of God in this world.” —Suzanne Curchod

132. “You have to have a bunch of dimensions of yourself. You have to be able to adapt in this world. You can’t be a nice guy living in a world of savages.” —Mike Tyson

133. “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” —Theodore Roosevelt

134. “There are a lot of good men out there who just need a little direction and leadership in order for them to offer what they have to young men and boys.” —John Eldredge

135. “Good men are the stars, the planets of the ages wherein they live, and illustrate the times.” —Ben Jonson

136. “When evil men destroy, good men must build and bind.” —Anas Aremeyaw Anas

137. “Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.”— Kin Hubbard

138. “Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow.” —Chief Joseph

139. “Honor is simply the morality of superior men.” —H. L. Mencken

140. “Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.” —Charles Spurgeon

141. “Culture makes all men gentle.”— Menander

142. “It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.” —Emil Zatopek

143. “Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so.”— Charles de Gaulle

144. “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

145. “Men must know their limitations.”— Clint Eastwood

146. “The less men think, the more they talk.”— Montesquieu

147. “Either men will learn to live like brothers, or they will die like beasts.”— Max Lerner

148. “Neutral men are the devil’s allies.” —Edwin Hubbel Chapin

149. “A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.” —Lana Turner

Estee Kahn is a writer and amateur photographer who writes all about love — dating, relationships, friendships, yourself, and family. Follow her on Instagram.

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