We Brits are, on the face of it, a smart and resourceful bunch.
We’re major players on the world stage, we regularly punch above our weight, we write REALLY GOOD books and we can self-deprecate like no-one else.
But it doesn’t take much to turn us into a flustered, bumbling mess – mostly because we’re just too awkwardly polite for our own good.
Here are the situations we Brits regularly face – and fail spectacularly at.
We are built for drizzle and overcast skies. We don’t know what to do with 30 degrees. Keep it away from us.
Dealing with someone being rude
Telling someone off because you feel they’re being rude would, in itself, be a terribly rude thing to do. And two wrongs don’t make a right.
So instead we suffer through that person coughing all over us on the bus, or try to sleep through the couple having a screaming match right outside our window at 3am.
Talking to Americans
We just can’t do it. We become a mix of star-struck because they sound like people on TV, and increasingly annoyed by their chatty friendliness.
A stranger trying to strike up conversation on public transport
DON’T LOOK THEM IN THE EYE.
Walking through a door first
Two Brits reach a doorway. Both insist that the other goes first.
We may be here some time.
We spent a whole hour on our hair. We know it looks great. But why on earth would we ever admit to such a thing by accepting a compliment on it?
How very uncouth.
Running out of tea
There are some ways in which we Brits meet the cliché perfectly. Just watch an office descend into chaos when the tea runs out.
Someone makes your tea wrong
We won’t say anything about it. We will quietly drink our over-sugared tea while coming up with all manner of solutions to our new problem – none of which will involve simply telling the tea-maker that we don’t take sugar.
Talking about our feelings
We either don’t talk about them at all, or we have too much to drink and blurt out far more than we intended to.
There’s very little middle-ground.
Moderating our drinking
We can’t stretch a bottle of wine out over a whole evening. It’s just not in our DNA.
Bumping into work acquaintances
For the country that invented smalltalk (probably), we’re terrible at it.
We will go to surprising lengths to hide from people we know but aren’t friends with.
Confronting issues head-on
Let’s just wait and see if they go away on their own, shall we?
Talking about money
The only time we ever brag about money is to tell people that our amazing new outfit was only £15. £15!
The problem is that we’re so good at apologising, we don’t know when to stop.
I instinctively apologised to a door once. A DOOR.