What Are Characteristics of British People?

Mike Kniec/CC-BY 2.0

According to a questionnaire conducted by the British Council, British people are most recognized for their good manners, sense of humor, love of alcohol, pride in their country and unappetizing cuisine. People complained in the survey that the British are also ignorant of cultures outside their own and are intolerant of non-British people. Alternatively, they are considered to be friendly, well-educated and law-abiding.

Additional negative and somewhat contradictory impressions cited in the survey are that British people are rude, unfriendly, lazy, pessimistic and too nationalistic. Chris Green from The Independent explains that many misconceptions exist about British people and their culture, especially the notion that they are all heavy drinkers and that their food is horrible. These beliefs are thought to adversely effect Britain’s tourism industry and the British Council is working to combat any unfavorable stereotypes people hold toward British people in hopes that the country can attract more visitors and international business. The British Council is especially concerned with maintaining the country’s reputation, considering the exposure that it receives through the rising popularity of social media. The interconnectedness of the global population has taken power from the British government and placed it in the hands of businesses, domestic citizens and international movement groups.