British Reserve

The British are known culturally for many things, one of them “reserve”. Reserve relates to the general disinclination to show emotion, feelings or to act in any way that could be viewed as slightly off-centre. The cultural concept heavily correlated with the sense of privacy the British hold.

As a result of British reserve you will note that language is heavily tempered and gestures are restrained. Neutrality and diplomacy in communication are seen as necessary components of courtesy. British reserve does not mean that Brits are boring, lifeless and unemotional. It simply means that in British society people are trained from school-age to be self-contained and not to be open emotionally.

The British find self-revealing, enthusiastically-open and emotionally transparent people quite uncomfortable. They may find it hard to relate to such people as there is not an equal sharing of knowledge. Essentially the British only really ever open up with family and/or very close friends who they trust.

Making friends in Britain may seem a lot more hard work than in other countries. Brits take time to warm to people and trust them enough to start sharing thoughts, emotions and time. They may not initiate get-togethers as often as you might think usual, and may go for longer intervals without much contact, even though the elements of friendship are present. You may also come across rebuttals when asking about getting together on occasions. Be patient and give it time.

The British have a reputation for being cold and unfriendly. However this perception is culturally biased. The British value privacy greatly and they do not offer information about themselves easily. Many questions people in other cultures may ask each other as a matter or course may come across as intrusive to a Brit; for example, you would never as about someone’s wage in the UK. Other sensitive areas would be occupation, educational background, class, family or anything else that could be deemed as questioning their social standing.

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