General Article Does the British 'stiff upper lip' still exist?

Topic Selected: Bereavement
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

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 – although opinion was divided as to whether this was seen as a ...

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for an immediate no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection