El personaje britanico – the British character

Excessive Politeness

Politeness is one thing, but the tendency to apologise every time you brush past someone on the street is another.

As pleasant as it is to shout “thank you driver” every time we leave the bus, and spend hours quibbling over who’s going to pay the restaurant bill, our civilities can surpass the limit at times.


While the use of sarcasm isn’t an exclusively British thing, the subtleness and frequency with which we employ it is what differentiates us from the rest.

Many Brits will apply mockery and irony in everyday conversation almost subconsciously, and it’s something many just don’t get.

Self mockery

Brits are very good at mocking themselves. We’re continually saying things like “God, I’m an idiot” or “look at the state of me” in everyday conversation, while British comedians are forever inciting laughter about British traditions, at which we are the first to laugh.

Keeping Quiet

Harking back to our excessive politeness, British people have a tendency to remain quiet and deal with it when it comes to uncomfortable or unpleasant situations. A good thing, you may think, but it only increases the extent to which we moan about the horror we endured afterwards.

Drinking tea

This is the most common giveaway, especially if a Brit ever finds themselves surrounded by people who only seem to believe in drinking herbal tea. Rather a builder’s brew any day, thanks.


Only a Brit would avoid getting on a bus purely because they see someone on there who they’ll have to make small talk with, or run from a room the minute they feel uncomfortable.

We so easily feel ‘awkward’, and we dedicate a lot of our lives to trying to escape from these situations.


There’s no doubt about it, we are the world’s booziest nation. While Europeans will enjoy a night out on a few glasses and Americans tend to save it for house parties, Brits drink with the sole object of getting wasted, and aren’t afraid to make it a wholly public affair.


Brits are often somehow incapable of revealing what we are really thinking. Things like “no offence, but…” and “I’ll bear it in mind” are prime examples of phrases that we often say when we actually mean something very different. The all-too-common “I’m fine” line is another classic lie.


We love our all-inclusives. Pay one sum of money over the Internet and get the whole lot: flights, seedy hotel, unlimited alcohol and a whole load of other sunburnt Brits to sunbathe, drink and eat too much with. Oh, how cultured we are.

Aversion to PDA

The British struggle with public displays of affection. Fondling lovers are cringy and unwelcome at all times, and the commonplace reaction is to tell them to “get a room” as soon as a couple so much as hugs.