Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hi everyone, I'm Susie.

  • Today I’m going to share with you

  • some unusual attitudes that British people have.

  • I’ve talked to some of my friends and family,

  • and we agree that these are beliefs and attitudes

  • that are typically held by many British people.

  • Okay, so the reason I wanted to make this video is that

  • I think it’s interesting

  • how certain groups and cultures of people

  • tend to have beliefs or ways of thinking

  • that are unseen and unspoken of

  • and this might be difficult to sense or understand

  • if you are someone from a different group

  • or from a different culture.

  • So the first one that I've written is that

  • we really hate boasting

  • and I think that's definitely a big part of British culture.

  • Really just don't boast.

  • Don't big yourself up in any way.

  • People really are sensitive to it and don't like it.

  • It’s seen as a very negative trait.

  • I have had many conversations with people from China

  • who might come to me and say,

  • Hi, I'm so and so.

  • I've been doing this for a while

  • and I'm high up in this company,

  • and tell me in quite a lot of detail

  • about what they're doing for work

  • and maybe how successful they are.

  • And to me, I often feel like I've just met you

  • and you're telling me this kind of information

  • and so I'm not quite sure what to do with the information.

  • I just... you know, nod and smile like,

  • okay that's great.

  • Usually, in conversation with a British person,

  • those details about your career

  • wouldn't really come to light at all if ever to be honest.

  • Like if you are successful,

  • you would just never mention it.

  • It wouldn't need to be something that would be said.

  • And the act of not mentioning it

  • would be very admirable.

  • Next, I've written that

  • we don't want to appear weak

  • in terms of accepting help, admitting we're sick,

  • not working or having a nap.

  • Okay, so there's definitely this culture of

  • we need to push through.

  • We need to be seen to be busy and to be trying hard

  • and almost to be suffering in a way.

  • And this probably comes from

  • around the Industrial Revolution or the war,

  • it comes from those kinds of periods.

  • Our grandparentsgeneration was definitely very hard working.

  • This stiff upper lip, keep going,

  • keep calm and carry on type attitude.

  • And especially taking sick days off work is relatively, I think...

  • it's an unspoken rule that

  • that is not a great thing to do on a consistent basis.

  • There'll be a kind of a judgment that's passed around the office.

  • You know, where’s so-and-so?

  • Oh they're sick again.

  • Okay hmm, interesting.

  • And so people might not always be as sympathetic

  • as perhaps they should be.

  • Again, this is definitely a stereotype.

  • Of course, there are many people

  • who are very kind and sympathetic.

  • Perhaps in comparison to other cultures,

  • you might find that there's more of a looking down on

  • being ill and being weak like this.

  • Another example is taking a nap.

  • You could quite possibly be seen as lazy

  • if you take a nap at work.

  • Number three, we don't like talking about class

  • even though we know it exists.

  • Okay, so this is kind of a tricky subject.

  • I think the class system in the UK has been

  • relatively famous around the world.

  • You know, we can watch period dramas

  • and get a pretty clear understanding that

  • there was the upper class and the lower class.

  • These days it's much more complicated than that

  • and less clear, less obvious.

  • It's difficult to tell what class or background

  • someone has come from.

  • As technology has meant that

  • what we perceive to be good jobs is shifting and changing,

  • people are coming into a lot of money in different ways

  • and it's easier to become a multi-millionaire

  • or something through entrepreneurship

  • than let's say, owning land.

  • But having said that,

  • that the class system is shifting and changing rapidly,

  • there is a distinction between

  • just being rich and being of higher class.

  • Yeah, it's to do with subtle things like the way you speak,

  • the way you dress, your interests, your hobbies.

  • But the reason I've written it down is because

  • it is never ever talked about.

  • Because it's seen as an unpleasant subject to talk about.

  • And I definitely don't want to be one to push the idea of

  • this class system still being alive and well,

  • or to give you the false impression that,

  • oh yeah, England is like very clear,

  • like upper class, middle class, lower class.

  • No, it's not like that at all.

  • It's a lot more complicated

  • and blurred boundaries, blurred lines there.

  • So even though the class system isn't as strong as it once was,

  • there's still a sense of it existing.

  • Let's say that two people from very different class backgrounds

  • come into conversation with each other.

  • They're going to feel a bit don't quite get each other.

  • The language is a bit different.

  • The way we talk and our mannerisms are different.

  • And so that makes people feel like they're

  • almost from a different world.

  • Even if you've grown up in the same town or neighborhood,

  • you can feel like there's a bit of a jarring sense

  • that we're not quite of the same group.

  • So whatever that is,

  • I think many British people

  • have had this experience in their lives

  • but they will never talk about it.

  • It's not something that's mentioned.

  • It's a kind of a subconscious recognition of

  • there are differences between groups in some way.

  • Now number four, I've had mixed reviews about this one

  • but I think in general,

  • British people tend to use social media less

  • and they use their phones maybe less.

  • I have little bits and pieces of evidence

  • that tell me this might be the case,

  • particularly like Asian friends saying,

  • oh they've come to the UK

  • and their friends text them back within five or six hours

  • or even the next day or two days or a week later

  • and it's still considered a normal communication and friendship.

  • So yeah, I think people are just

  • not texting their friends all the time

  • and means of communication tends to be

  • people prefer to meet in real life

  • than to be constantly texting back and forth.

  • I’d like to put this out to you.

  • What do you think if you've lived in the UK,

  • have you experienced this?

  • That people are using their phones and technology a bit less?

  • It also might go for things like Instagram stories.

  • Maybe you have British friends

  • that tend to share a bit less on their Instagram Story.

  • I think most people would agree with me that

  • using your phone in a social situation

  • when you're supposed to be socialising

  • is one of the rudest things you can do.

  • Unless you're just quickly checking Google Maps

  • or you quickly need to make a phone call,

  • then you shouldn't be scrolling through things,

  • checking social media, looking at your phone.

  • People look down on that a lot.

  • And the last thing is to do with money.

  • As a general rule,

  • people don't like to talk about money in this country.

  • So definitely don't ask anyone what their salary is

  • or how much their house is worth.

  • You'll be likely to be badly perceived

  • if you ask that kind of question.

  • You might come across a friend

  • who's quite open and happy to talk about their salary.

  • So if they give you that information then that's fine.

  • You can carry on talking about it.

  • And people prefer to keep things kind of equal

  • in terms of paying for each other's drinks and dinners

  • and just try to keep a bit of back and forth.

  • But you don't need to talk about the specifics of

  • like you owe me 2 pounds or whatever.