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Revealed: Only 14% of Brits Feel Comfortable around Strangers

Research into how Brits express themselves and how they perceive others around them revealed that just 14% of the population feel comfortable enough to be themselves around people they don’t know.
  • A study by blu into how people express themselves revealed just 41% of people feel comfortable enough to be their true selves around their friends.
  • 60% of the population feel the most themselves when they’re at their own home.
  • Over a third of those surveyed judge people based on clothing, dialect and music tastes.

Research into how Brits express themselves and how they perceive others around them revealed that just 14% of the population feel comfortable enough to be themselves around people they don’t know.

The survey consisted of over 2,000 participants from across the UK aged between 25 and 55.

Under half (41%) of the people surveyed felt comfortable enough to be themselves around friends, with even less (21%) able to express themselves around colleagues.

While over a quarter (31%) of Brits feel comfortable around their extended family, under a quarter (22%) felt the same way when spending time with partner’s friends.

The study, by blu, also investigated subcultures, revealing goths to be the most popular subculture, with 20% having identified as one at some point in their lives.

Despite many people having identified with subcultures at some point in their lives, 63% said they no longer did identify with one, with 68% citing that they had grown out of what it meant to be part of one.

That being said, some of the cultural values involved with subcultures are still used by people to express themselves, with music (35%) and clothing (34%) as the main drivers of individual expression.

Contrastingly, the research also highlighted the things we as people judge others on, showing that how someone speaks (74%) was the main way in which people are judged.

Clothes and how someone dresses (73%) and hair and make-up (68%) were also significant contributors to how people are judged.

Colette Flowerdew-Kincaid, Digital Content Manager at blu says:

*“The main findings from this research are interesting as it highlights a distinct lack of confidence to be ourselves in front of others. While it’s fairly commonplace for us to feel more comfortable in our own skin when in the comfort of our homes, knowing that so many of us rely on this environment to be ourselves is an area of concern.

The pandemic would’ve no doubt played a part in this, as more and more of us became accustomed to being at home all the time with little or no time spent socialising. For this reason, it’s important for us as we come out the other end of the pandemic to try to build back up our socialising and interactions with others. Hopefully then we will see a shift in our willingness to express ourselves more freely.*