The Weekly Gripe

FEATURES

Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox
*

Unable to be friends with aloof, unemotional English people

8 comments  Add a comment

or treat anyone badly, all they do is keep you out of their lives.  I have lived in several countries for many years - The States (10 + years), Sweden and in India.

I am Asian, I made friends with people from all over the world in all the countries I lived especially the native people, however in England I only have Asian friends (British Asians) or other foreigners as the English never want to get close, yes they are friendly to a point but then make it clear they want to keep a distance and they will never invite you over even for a cup of tea and are generally inhospitable.  They seem to be very good at using hospitality offered by others, but are not so ready to reciprocate.  My Asian friends who grew up here don't have English friends either.  When I asked them about it they finally admit reluctantly that the English never showed an interest in them.

English people don't want to be friends I had some American friends (white and black) here and they told they had lived in London for years and could not make friends with the native white English and finally gave up.  I get the feeling the English have a friend circle and family and do not like to expand this circle especially with people who are not native British.  My British Asian friends grew up here and some have kids in 20s who are third generation yet most of their friends are Asian.

The English are polite and helpful in public areas, however they do not emote well, they are not in touch with their emotions, maybe that has something to do with it.  When I was in Wales I found people there lot more open, friendly and warm.

By: Rita


Leave a comment

   

BKMAKB

BKMAKB

Is this LONDON we're talking about? I'm a Northern English person and even I would REALLY STRUGGLE to make friends (or a friend) of any race or nationality in London. It's a very transient place where it's not easy to connect with people on the move and the wealth class (high v low) is the biggest in the country (England and the UK as a whole). Move up north people are friendlier and more hospitable. London's just a tourist trap or a business hub. Not exactly an ideal location for finding forever friends no matter what your race, ethnicity or nationality is. :)
BKMAKB
3rd Aug 16 11:08

!

2
Victoria

Victoria

I'm mixed Asian (north and south) and a quarter North West European. I had a West Indian (Jamaican) Christian upbringing, although today I'd say I'm a borderline 'in the closet'/'out and proud atheist'. I am English by nationality and have a reasonable mix of black, white and asian friends. This being said, I have never had any proper friends who are first generation Eastern European, Chinese, Japanese, Scandinavian, German, Middle-Eastern, Russian. Second, third an fourth generation yes, but no firsts, as yet. However, I know loads of people who do, my brother and sister included, and who both also have good mixes of friends.

Yes there are ignorant arses here, and many many of them in some places (seemingly more over the last few years), but don't let your lack of understanding about the aloof sentiments of ordinary and decent English people be over-shadowed by these buffoons. Sadly, I think you must be falling into the 'those that shout the loudest' trap. I sympathise, it's easy to depending on 'who you run into' during your time here. Yes, we English have a limited ability, and often limited desire, to proactively find common ground with others (with fellow Englishman included) and are more than happy to keep ourselves to ourselves (or to our existing circles, and who is in that circle is often a consequence of the type of people you grew up with in your life). Although polite, the English are naturally stand-offish and suspicious (more-so the more different to the person you are) until we get to know someone and find common ground, hell I am similar! When people come on too strong (as Americans often do) we can get put off, when people are too eager to speak to you, it makes us feel uncomfortable. We like our social connections to feel naturally-paced and genuine. We like the sociable, but not the socially desperate. We like and respond well to a strange kind of 'aloof but confident, and not too full on' conversation. If you are confident, exercise a light sense of humour and are willing to start small in conversation with someone and work your way up together in 'slowly' increasing and diversifying your conversations and discovery of common grounds, you'll do fine with most people. This is just who we are and is part of why we take so long to get to know or connect with. We are like this with each other often too so don't let your ego allow you to think it's all about you - consider for a moment how people from different classes interact when first meeting and getting to know each other, or those from the North and those from the South of our country. The suspicion and 'stand-offishness' is just the same, just often better hiden because your fellow Englishman is more adapt in reading you and you already have a bit of an idea of other likely, but looser, common grounds. If you analyse these interactions, you'll see it's not always about 'you'. Although, this said, if you seem intolerant or not accepting of English values and culture, we will sense this tone and reciprocate, which often means shutting off to you. We will do this to other Englishmen too from other classes and from other areas of Britian, if they seem disregarding or incompatible with our own sensibilities.

What you've got to remember is that people from other countries are an unknown quantity, we struggle to categorise you in our minds easily. I still experience this myself because of, what is seen as, my non-typical and unusual background. Doesn't make it right but we don't live in an ideal world so just get on with it. Yes it's easier for me as I have English sensibilities too so understand them.

In addition to this, my experience has been that many foreign groups make limited effort to integrate and find common ground (of course there are many that get on fine). Despite what you may think, our typical position has always been to exercise religous tolerance in this country, however, our religion comes second, and our sense of 'English-ness' is expected to come first. The reasons for the current state of affairs in intolerance are numerous, but I find that among the most relevant is a general loss of patience for first, second and even third generations of large numbers of people from other cultures to just get on and intergrate already!! Everyone, including myself, has waited decades for some groups to do this but they have been too arrogant, insular and inward looking to do this. Emigration has gained negative connotations today now because of this long-standing problem.
Victoria
26th Jul 16 03:07

!

1
Sass

Sass

I'm English and just returned after 9 years in the Mediterranean and you are spot on. Inhospitable sums it up. Cold. Distant. The few English people I have met had serious mental issues. They moan about how they go to live in Spain and the Spanish don't integrate with them. True. But they do the same thing to foreigners in the UK.
Sass
1st May 16 11:05

!

-2
jane

jane

Hi Rita,
What you said is so true!I am Welsh but have lived in England (in the same town) for more than 40 years, and I can count my friends on less than 2 hands. Here you can see the same people frequently- very rarely they might greet you, but mostly you are ignored. Most people I know here say the same, but when I lived in Wales, everyone was lovely and friendly. I got a bit of a complex, thinking it must be me, but I know it isn't.
jane
27th Mar 16 04:03

!

0
Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Today I shopped in a store owned and run by exiles from one of our new commonwealth countries. When I came to pay for the goods which I had selected the new citizen managing the checkout could not be bothered to look me in the eye, or smile, or give a damn who I was. All they wanted was my cash which they thoroughly checked for its watermark. They did not even thank me for my business, or bid me on my way.

That's the reality of the friendliness that these people bring. As far as I could ascertain these people are depressed, quite uninterested in being denizens of our land. Well it rains here, tough scheit!
Home Sweet Home
3rd Feb 16 06:02

!

0
Nick Fell

Nick Fell

Well if you don't like it go and bugger off to Timbuktu
Nick Fell
30th Jan 16 09:01

!

1
Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot

If you are speaking of a kind of artificial, loud-mouthed, ungenuine friendship, you can keep it. Genuine friendship is as the Ancient Greeks spoke of it, intellectual equals. Few people can match my demand for that, so people like me prefer to keep their own company. The English make most of their friends in childhood and those are the real friends that one usually keeps for life.

As far as I can see the many millions of newcomers who have made their home in this land seem quite unwilling to integrate with the native majority, preferring to keep their own dress and customs, and dietary habits. Is that friendly? Not in my book. Many of the newcomers don't respect our customs like forming queues at bus stops. The monoculturism of their own community keeps them far away from our ideals. These monocultures prefer to live in their own ghettoes. If you prefer to wear the badges of your original tribe, and continue to live with your own kind, then you have created your own separate class. Brits in those circumstances will probably not make any real effort to be especially friendly to you.

If you are newcomers and don't have English friends what real effort have you made to integrate here? Do you really understand our history and traditions? Do you know the rules of Rugby? You may know the rules of cricket but do you understand the deep nature of being a gentleman that cricket teaches? Do you understand the long history how we Brits won our freedoms? And I don't just mean Magna Carta. Did your school teach you Latin? Or do you consider that a dead language? Asian? Do you play football? probably not. What did you learn about this country before coming here?

Come back again when you have learned to eat roast beef, or bacon and eggs, and put milk in your tea. Come back again when you can have a pint of beer in a pub.
Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot
21st Jan 16 11:01

!

3
Mr Widdle

Mr Widdle

I find your comments to be quite rude to English people. Perhaps you have been looking in the wrong place? Perhaps they don't want to be called racist every 5 minutes?
Mr Widdle
20th Jan 16 09:01

!

2

FEATURES

Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox
spinner