Does the British 'stiff upper lip' still exist?

Topic Selected: Bereavement

General Article icon Type: General Article

Some people think of Britain as the nation of the ‘stiff upper lip’, meaning we are reserved, unemotional, or find it hard to show our feelings, especially in public. Social commentators often point to the death of Princess Diana as the turning point for the British reserve, suggesting that the outpouring of public grief indicated a new-found ability to display our emotions.

However, according to historian Dr Thomas Dixon, currently researching a project into the history of crying, the British actually have a long history of very public outpourings of grief – and our reputation for being emotionally reserved is actually a fairly new thing.

What do you think about this ‘stiff upper lip’? Was it ever a trait of the British, or has it evolved over the years? Is ‘reservedness’ something we, as Brits, are guilty of?

The majority of you thought that British people used to be more reserved, but have changed in recent years &

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