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  #1  
Old 26th August 2018, 15:38
hollowone hollowone is offline
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Default Why are the English anti-social?

Hi all,

I went out last night & met up with a large group of people, including a mixture of people I know & people I don't. I introduced myself to people, had the usual banter over how difficult it is to remember names etc. Everyone was lovely. Anyway, that's not what this is about. Now, something occurred to me; the situation that some of the other's were in;
  • Joining a friend in a group of people who you don't know
This is the situation that I've been in myself & one a lot of people would find difficult & a situation I'd like to cover in future posts.

My theory as to why the English are on the whole less sociable that the Spanish is simple;
  • they don't get much practice with situations like this as the Spanish do
This is what occurred to me! I think that one the whole the English don't get socialized to deal with large group situations & are on average less practiced at handling it. Think about it, it's very rare to end up meeting up with a friend when they're with acquaintances and friends you don't know, and those friends bring their friends along. I think that in more southern cultures, situations like this might be a more regular occurrence for the average person.

As for getting to know everyone, everyone was lovely, we all introduced ourselves & got into small talk and all that & it all went well. In my opinion, I think learning how to deal with this specific situation should be a must for everyone. In fact, my opinion, not knowing how to handle this specific situation is probably also a big reason why lot of people get wasted before they even go out.
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  #2  
Old 26th August 2018, 22:51
limey123 limey123 is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Is SA more prevalent in colder, northern European countries rather than, say, the Middle East? I don't know.
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  #3  
Old 27th August 2018, 10:10
Vasco Da Gama Vasco Da Gama is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

I've noticed this difference too,
it even seems to exist within the UK,
But I think it's really more linked to climate than anything else in my opinion
I've been working / living in England, then came back up to Scotland and just been struck by how aggressive and hard everyone seemed in comparison,
everyone seems a bit softer down south.

I've been to Spain a few times and noticed how chilled people seemed there,
but I also noticed that there seems to be a lack of manners in Spain,. people often just barge past you, or in front of you in your day-to-day business.

to my mind, it seems more like a North/South divide, with climate influencing people's attitude,
if you're fighting cold and wind and rain, you're likely to be generally pissed off and a bit hardened towards the outer world,

* yes,.. there has been an inordinate amount of generalisation in this post *
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  #4  
Old 27th August 2018, 16:56
gregarious_introvert gregarious_introvert is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

I don't find the English anti-social, as much as they are reserved; once one actually breaks the ice and gets talking to people, they tend to be as friendly as anyone else.

However, I agree with comments made above concerning Southern European / Mediterranean culture, in that the main difference is that people there socialise in family groups, whereas our own society has become more fragmented and individualistic; I don't want to get political, but I have seen a marked erosion in the British sense of community since 1979, something which is reflected in our social interaction too.

I am fortunate in that I live in a part of the country where it is difficult to walk down the street without exchanging greetings and where strangers will spark random conversation at bus stops, in shops or at bars; there have been occasions when I've been in other parts of the country and forgetting where I was, conversed with strangers to be met with positive reactions (even in London, which is considered an unfriendly place by most outsiders!), whilst I have also discovered other parts of the country (Liverpool and Edinburgh spring readily to mind from my recent travels) which seem to be even more friendly than Derbyshire.
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  #5  
Old 29th August 2018, 20:52
indiegirl1980 indiegirl1980 is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

In the words of the great John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett

'I look down on him because I am upper class and he is middle class'
'I look down on him because he is upper class but I look down on him because he is working class'
'I know my place'
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  #6  
Old 29th August 2018, 22:29
Deadbeatunderadustymoon Deadbeatunderadustymoon is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Is it such a bad thing? it’s just a diff culture and TBH kinda xenophobic. Personally I prefer the northen repressed protestant culture that is disapearing to the loud brash cultures that are replacing it. But that’s just personal preference, but I don’t go around criticising those cultures.
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  #7  
Old 30th August 2018, 15:52
neilm neilm is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl1980
In the words of the great John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett

'I look down on him because I am upper class and he is middle class'
'I look down on him because he is upper class but I look down on him because he is working class'
'I know my place'
Hmm, think there might be something wrong here...
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  #8  
Old 30th August 2018, 17:01
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Isn't it mind boggling that in British society some people have been considered to be 'better' simply because they were born into a family that had more money?! Particularly if that money was inherited. Class is such a weird concept.
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  #9  
Old 30th August 2018, 17:46
Marco Marco is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregarious_introvert
I don't want to get political, but I have seen a marked erosion in the British sense of community since 1979, something which is reflected in our social interaction too.
^ It's Thatcher's fault! There, I've said it for you GI
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  #10  
Old 31st August 2018, 11:56
GlasgowFilmTheatreFan GlasgowFilmTheatreFan is online now
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Sometimes I have got on better with people from other countries when I rarely get on well with people from my own. I have two theories. One is the other person is new to the country and hasn't got an established friendship circle and so is more open to meeting new people, whereas most Scottish people my age have already got established friends and aren't "interviewing for any more right now" The other is that there are a million culture-specific signifiers of status, income, class etc. everything from clothes worn to tone of voice to specific choices of words used. Someone from another country might be unaware of a lot of the more subtle ones which identify someone's place and status in society and thus be more inclined to take me at "face value" and give me the benefit of the doubt. Also, I'm not an aggressive person at all and I live in quite a macho culture so it could be that I don't really fit in my own culture.
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  #11  
Old 31st August 2018, 21:29
limey123 limey123 is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

One thing I can say is that I felt less SA-ish when I lived abroad. This was partly because I could play the "clueless foreigner" card and get away with stuff I couldn't do in my own country.
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  #12  
Old 2nd September 2018, 20:41
Toasted Teacake Toasted Teacake is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Rigid and hierarchical yet tacit social coda inform most of how English/British people in general interact with each other and the world, it's evident at all levels of society from the aristocracy and privately schooled elites who run the country for their own venal self-interest yet are completely unintelligent and out of touch with the wider world and how a healthy productive society should be managed, hence the UK's consistently low ranking on the HDI index.
I don't know where you get that. In the UK, it's more - if you know them, you're alright most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Southern Europeans also have a favorable feelgood climate, the closer social and familial bonds of cultural Catholicism and a cafe and terrace culture where one might see three generations of families out enjoying a civilized meal, I'd rather walk around Madrid at midnight on a Saturday than any English/U.K city where there's a constant undercurrent of microaggression and a genuine chance of being assaulted.
It's a subtle hatred. Those Southern European countries have their problems too. A lot of it, hopefully, will be cleared up after Independence.
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  #13  
Old 2nd September 2018, 22:40
speakfriend speakfriend is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HermannHesse
I don't know. I really wish it wasn't that way though.

All my closest friends in adult life have been foreigners - Sri Lankan, Philippino, and Italian. In childhood, my closest friends were Malaysian.

I don't know what it is, and why, but I've always felt more but by no means completely relaxed around foreigners. They seem (from my extremely limited sample size!!) more respectful and more accepting of different personalities. I didn't feel like I was a "problem" whereas in most day to day interactions I do.
Thanks HH, me being from an EU, you've just made my day. I'm sorry, though, that you didn't find the same level of acceptance from fellow British people.
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  #14  
Old 5th September 2018, 02:09
hollowone hollowone is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

@ Cheshirecat;
Quote:
Southern Europeans also have a favorable feelgood climate, the closer social and familial bonds of cultural Catholicism and a cafe and terrace culture where one might see three generations of families out enjoying a civilized meal, I'd rather walk around Madrid at midnight on a Saturday than any English/U.K city where there's a constant undercurrent of microaggression and a genuine chance of being assaulted.
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That note of multiple generations out and about together. You've got a good point. You never see that in the UK. There's this massive generational divide. My old friend Floriana from Italy who's much older than me has also said that younger people can't talk to older people, and that older people can't really relate to younger people. I think we're all on the same page.

@ Deadbeatunderadustymoon
Quote:
Is it such a bad thing? itís just a diff culture and TBH kinda xenophobic. Personally I prefer the northen repressed protestant culture that is disapearing to the loud brash cultures that are replacing it. But thatís just personal preference, but I donít go around criticising those cultures.
The 'loud brash' culture's you're referring to are American-style arrogance & how that's glamorized in the media. What I was getting at in this post is how people don't even introduce themselves and establish names from the start. A big part of the reason why brits feel they need to drink too much is because of a failure of basic etiquette leads to torturous levels of awkwardness and ambiguity.

@ gregarious introvert
Quote:
However, I agree with comments made above concerning Southern European / Mediterranean culture, in that the main difference is that people there socialise in family groups, whereas our own society has become more fragmented and individualistic; I don't want to get political, but I have seen a marked erosion in the British sense of community since 1979, something which is reflected in our social interaction too.
I think yourself & Cheshire cat are right and have hit an important nail. The individualism and fragmentation. One of my mates has also mentioned about generations not going out together which is a pity.

Finally @ Vasco de gama
Quote:
I've noticed this difference too,
it even seems to exist within the UK,
so, I think it's more linked to climate than anything,
I've been working / living in England, then came back up to Scotland and just been struck by how aggressive and hard everyone seemed in comparison,
everyone seems a bit softer down south.
It seems almost a clichť, the more northern a culture is, the more aniti-social it might seem. On that note of of how aggressive and hard people might appear, I wonder what makes people feel that everyone is out to get them & against them? I wonder whether lack of socializing, especially with more than one generation as talked about in previous replies is linked?
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  #15  
Old 6th September 2018, 22:20
choirgirl choirgirl is offline
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Default Re: Why are the English anti-social?

I've had a few good foreign friends too. Foreigners seem more tolerant of my quirks. I don't know why.
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