Emotional Britain?
Leading social anthropologist Kate Fox discusses the British problem with simply letting go…

Picture of Kate FoxThe French do it, so do the Spanish and the Italians have it perfected to an art form, however us Brits still struggle to open up emotionally and let the tears flow. Despite being a modern nation full of so-called metrosexual males, it seems we still bottle up our feelings.

Shows such as X-Factor and Big Brother have seen the British ‘Blitz spirit’ receding, and an outpouring of emotions hitting our screens. National television seems to be the ideal forum - it’s hardly surprising that the English are getting confused about the rules!

Whilst a whopping 66% of Britons are most likely to let out a good chuckle, many still hold back on expressing other emotions. New research by Kleenex shows most of us are afraid of expressing our feelings as our peers will think it’s ‘inappropriate’ and 23% say public displays of emotion make them feel uncomfortable. It’s a subject anthropologist Kate Fox find’s close to her heart.

“The English tend to be particularly bad, … particularly males, at expressing emotion, at letting it out”

The new Let It Out campaign will actively help Brits to get over the social stigmas of expressing their emotions by letting go of their inhibitions and having a good laugh or real sob. The research also reveals that when we do succumb to our emotions, 70% would prefer to do it in person, with 6% choosing to talk over the phone and 5% opting to email. Although Kate is quick to point out the oddities of email communication.

“They actually become less inhibited, less restrained, when they’re doing it by email, there’s something about being in cyberspace.”

Despite the stereotype of men being poor at releasing emotions, surprisingly, more men (45%), than women (36%), feel happier after having expressed their emotions. Even though 72% think that bottling up emotions would be ‘bad for your health’ and that as a nation we should express our emotions more, less than 20% had actually done so in the last 24 hours, and one in five couldn’t remember the last time they had.

Leading social anthropologist and author of the best selling novel Watching the English Kate Fox, discusses the British problem of expressing emotions http://www.webchats.co.uk/webchat.php?ID=339.

For more information visit: www.letitout.com.

Picture © Sarah Marsh.