20 things every man should be able to do

The practical points that prove your manliness.

Peter Iantorno July 9, 2014

1. Navigate

Ditch your satnav; the dying art of reading a map is one that we think all men should possess. Better still, ditch the map too and just rely on your natural instincts to get you from A to B. (Just make sure you've got plenty of time to get wherever you're going!)


2. Use simple tools

We're not saying every man needs to be a DIY expert able to wield heavy power tools with consummate ease, but if a shelf needs to be put up in your apartment, there's really no excuse for you not to do it yourself.


3. Tie a tie properly

There's nothing worse than a man with a scruffy-looking tie. It's the kind of telltale sign that he's still not learnt to look after himself after being mollycoddled through childhood by an over-affectionate mother.


4. Drive a manual

Automatics may well be much more sensible on our Middle Eastern roads, but there's a certain pleasure to be derived from driving a proper row-your-own car.


5. Break up a fight

Fighting isn't big and it isn't clever, but some people are small and stupid and choose to settle their differences with aggression. A real man has the authority to step in and split those two thugs up before someone gets hurt.


6. Change a tyre

A vital life skill. Do you really want to be faced with the prospect of sitting around on the hard shoulder helplessly waiting for someone to show up and change your tyre for you?


7. Dance

You're not just going to sit on the side of the dance floor all night while everyone else is having fun are you? We're not expecting a flawless paso doble, but for heaven's sake get up there and give it some effort.


8. shuffle cards

There always has to be one guy who ruins the flow of the card game because he can't shuffle. Don't let that be you. And while we're on the subject, don't try to be flashy with special shuffling tricks - just shuffle the deck and get on with the game.


9. Throw and catch effortlessly

No matter what he says, a man who can't throw and catch properly can't be comfortable with that fact. If you're that man, all you need is a tennis ball and a wall to sort out the issue.


10. Tell a joke

It's all about the timing. A man should be able to maintain interest and create suspense through the body of the joke, then deliver a funny punchline at the opportune moment.


11. Change a nappy

It's a nasty job, but someone's got to do it. Our advice is take a good deep breath before you start.


12. Speak in public

Whether it's a best man speech or a eulogy, public speaking is a vital skill in a man's armoury. Confidence and self-awareness are key to delivering a speech in front of a crowd.


13. Barbecue

Barbecuing isn't manly because of any primal mumbo jumbo. It's actually incredibly complex to cook a chicken breast to perfection while not burning the beef burgers, keeping an eye on the lamb chops and kicking a football around with the kids while you're at it. Anyone who can perfect it has our respect.


14. Negotiate

You do know that pretty much all prices are up for negotiation don't you? Don't be that sucker who buys the car for double what it's worth just because he's too embarrassed to negotiate with the salesman.


15. Cut down a tree

Again, this isn't some sort of neanderthal pursuit to prove one's masculinity. Chopping a tree down safely requires planning and precision to make sure it doesn't come down on your car.


16. Shake hands

The value of a decent handshake can't be underestimated. It's important to toe the line between limp-wristed and professional arm wrestler - get too close to either and you're going to give the wrong impression.


17. Host

The ability to be a good host is extremely important. This means keeping your fridge well stocked in case of any impromptu gatherings as well as being socially aware enough to invite round only people who you know will get on with one another.


18. Fish

We're not talking about sitting by a riverbank for the day dangling a rod into the water and throwing back any tiddlers you do manage to catch. Proper fishing means catching, gutting and cooking your catch - ideally on a barbecue.


19. Iron a shirt

Even if you usually have someone to do this for you, we guarantee there'll be a time when you're caught short and need a shirt ironed quickly. If you don't know how to do it, then learn.


20. Move heavy stuff

OK, so this is slightly caveman-ish, but any woman is lying if she says she isn't impressed by a man who is physically strong enough to move heavy stuff around the house.