Behavioral Observation in UK

May 29, 2012 Comments by

I noticed the behavior of a lot of people in England when I walked by them.  The majority of the people kept to themselves without making much eye contact to strangers, however, they were real helpful and responsive when I asked them for directions or when I introduced myself to them.  Since I’m from California, I’m used to seeing the majority of the people smiling and being cheerful as you walk by.  Over there in the UK, it was quite the opposite.  I walked by many people and got little to no response…not even eye contact.  If I did receive eye contact, it would be perceived negatively such as “Why is this person looking at me.”  The overall culture seems to be a lot more reserved in comparison to the US.  Note, I am not referring to any tourists and these are my personal observations.

I read an interesting article that kind of reminded of these scenarios!  How Smiling at strangers can reduce feelings of loneliness: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/25/smiling-at-strangers-ostracism-loneliness_n_1547196.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

So next time you’re overseas or even in your own city, smile at someone and make them smile back :)

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