1) Sending Greeting Cards
The greeting card business is a cornerstone of the British economy.
I’m not sure if its because we are just more susceptible to the pretty colours, or we are drawn in by the thought that rather than expressing our feelings in person, the general sentiment is already printed on a card so all we have to do is stick our name at the bottom of the card.
There really is a greeting card for everything… It’s your birthday? Have a birthday card! Moving house? Here’s a new home card to put on the mantelpiece. Had a bad day? Here’s a sparkly card to make you feel better. And if your specific needs are not met, there’s a multitude of blank cards you can add your message to.
After all, who doesn’t like getting post??
I’m sure the consumerist culture in the US will pick up this British habit very easily.
2) Drinking Tea at any and every opportunity
Brits drink tea. This is nothing new. But I think it’s about time America took on this, frankly ICONIC, British habit.
And I’m not having any of this sweet tea nonsense. We are talking about English Breakfast tea, (maybe Earl Grey at a push) which is served HOT with a dash of milk and maybe some sugar if you aren’t already sweet enough.
Tea is so much better than coffee. You can drink mug after mug and not go crazy from an overdose of caffeine. It’s also less acidic so it won’t have as much of an effect on your teeth and digestive system.
But most importantly it is so ridiculously versatile. It is appropriate in every situation and can solve any problem you are faced with.
Got someone in doing work on your kitchen? Give them a cuppa (cup of tea) and they will probably get the job done quicker. Planning on getting together with friends you haven’t seen in months for a good gossip? We all know the tea will be flowing. Had a bad day? Wack on the kettle, my love and we can talk it through.
I honestly believe tea can solve everything… Maybe you guys should offer Trump some tea next time you see him?
3) Avoid all conflict by never saying what you mean
Now, this is an interesting one as it takes many forms and can be quite hard to spot for a non-Brit. Due to this, it will probably be one of the hardest British habits for Americans to fully adopt. It’ll also be hard as Americans are just so expressive and are never afraid to say exactly what they think. It’s just not how things should be done.
If you are annoyed about something, do not make your point known to the shop assistant or noisy group across the restaurant. Instead, you should sigh loudly and ignore the problem.
If someone at work has completely missed the point or is generally being an absolute fool, don’t bring it up with them in a constructive, adult manner. (Or in a non-constructive, non-adult manner). What you should really do, is make vague, sarcastic comments which they will never notice but will perfectly pinpoint the issue while expressing your soul-crushing frustration.
Take on this habit and you’ll avoid all conflict and continue getting by in life with no need for raised voices. So much nicer!!
4) The Weather - your ONLY topic of conversation
As we have already touched on, Brits do not generally like to express their feelings. Due to our reluctance to open up, the weather has become a key topic for general conversation. This British habit is an extremely adaptable one as everywhere has weather.
It doesn’t matter if the weather is the same every day as there is a lot of variation on this subject for those with a little bit of experience.
For example, you can discuss whether the rain is heavier or lighter today, if that cloud looks like it might chuck it down (rain heavily) later or just drizzle. And in some cases, you can use the weather to branch into other popular topics of conversation, such as gardening. If it’s been sunny for a week or so you can all happily agree that the garden will be needing a good drink sooner or later.
5) Embrace Queuing
Ever been to an airport and seen lots of people queuing up well before the attendants have even arrived? I’d willingly place a large bet on the fact that they are all British.
Queuing is a true British institution and forms the basis of our society. Brits thrive on order and queuing is a direct consequence of this love affair with the rules.
Even if there isn’t a sign or someone telling us to queue, there is something deeply imprinted in the national psyche that causes Brits to automatically stand in line and happily wait our turn. It really is the most useful and sensible British habit.
I will never understand why other countries cannot see that charging to the front of a scrum will not get you through any quicker. You would all be much better off if you just go to the back of the line and wait your turn. (Although it will be interesting to put this to the test come a tea shortage following Brexit…)
If you don’t have queuing you don’t have order. And if you don’t have order, everything will descend into a complete and utter shambles.
So there you have it America, key British habits you should be adopting as soon as possible if you ever wish to aspire to British greatness. Trust me, it’s what won us The War.
Bonus British Habit: Insert “The War” into every conversation.
(Please see above).