2015/3/12 9:10:00作者:来源:查看评论0条)字号:

    Bad weather, bad food, and grumpy people. That’s what seems to come to mind first when some people think about Britain. Many online commentators even joke that Britons are so grumpy precisely because it constantly rains and they are always hungry.
    But British pessimism isn’t just a fanciful claim — there’s evidence to support this notion. In 2011, a national Ipsos Mori poll found that more than 60 percent of respondents believed the UK was getting worse as a place to live and that it was unlikely that today’s youth would have a better life than their parents.
    An obvious reason for such pessimism is the 2008 global economic crisis, which the UK is still recovering from. Yet, many believe that Britons are inherently negative, in contrast to their neighbors across the Atlantic Ocean.
    “The big difference is the Americans are more optimistic. And that’s due to the fact that Americans are told, they can become the next president of the United States,” Ricky Gervais, a British comedian, told online forum Big Think. “British people are told, it won’t happen to you. And they carry that. They carry that with them. We champion the underdog.”
    It’s no wonder that Britons’ reputation of having a “stiff upper lip” — being cold and not showing any emotion— precedes them.
    Show of strength
    Britain’s reputation as a grumpy country may, however, simply be the result of a cultural misunderstanding. According to the BBC, British actor Michael Caine once said:
    “I think what is British about me is my feelings and awareness of others and their situations. English people are always known to be well-mannered and cold, but we are not cold — we don’t interfere in your situation. If we are heartbroken, we don’t scream in your face with tears — we go home and cry on our own. It’s completely to do with your comfort — we don’t intrude on your space. That’s very English.”
    A BBC reader noted that the perceived coldness of British people is actually their way of dealing with hardship. Remembering the terrorist attacks against London on July 7, 2005, Stuart Colley, who lived in the capital at the time, said: “It seemed to me that most people’s response was a grim determination to carry on and not to descend into an over-emotional outpouring of grief or anger — despite what many of us felt inside. Our stiff upper lip seems to be something that gives us strength as a society when we most need it.”






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