40 Funny “Very British Problems” About The UK Just Being The UK, As Shared On This Twitter Page
Brits are seen as reserved in manners, dress, and speech. They're also famous for their politeness, self-discipline, and, of course, their sense of humor.
But just like the rest of the world, they have problems, and if you really want to get to know someone, taking a look at their challenges and the way they tackle them is a great place to start.
Created by journalist and writer Rob Temple, the internet project called Very British Problems offers exactly that; a glimpse into British people's everyday life, with all of its awkwardness taking center stage.
Considering it has 5.3 million combined followers across various social media platforms, I think we're safe to assume there are plenty of funny and painfully true insights.
We managed to get in touch with Rob, and he was kind enough to tell us more about Very British Problems.
"It started in 2012 and since then has basically been a diary of my day," he told Bored Panda. "I'm a typically awkward Brit and people seem to relate to what I encounter in my day-to-day life."
As Rob pointed out, a lot of similar accounts that also pay homage to British humor simply repost already popular memes. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that. But his is different. It features mostly his own little thoughts that he has as he bumbles through existence. It's human.
There's also the upcoming The Very British Problems Quiz Book that should come out in October.
"Everything I write is very personal to me, so to see my gentle observations have struck a chord with so many people is bonkers," the humble man behind the project said.
"The most relatable problems that the British face are definitely based around manners, etiquette, queues, weather, and tea!"
Rob said Brits mostly deal with these problems by moaning and laughing about them.
"[We] love to find the humor in difficulty, no matter how small or large those difficulties are. If a British person was in the middle of falling off a mountain, they'd probably make a joke about it before commencing with screaming. It's just how we deal with life," he explained.
To get a better understanding of British humor, and, in turn, the content of Very British Problems, we can check out what Ricky Gervais, the co-writer, co-producer and star of the hit BBC series The Office, which was on air for two years and adapted for a U.S. series for eight seasons, thinks about it.
"Brits are more comfortable with life's losers," he said. "We embrace the underdog until it's no longer the underdog. We like to bring authority down a peg or two. Just for the hell of it," Gervais explained.
"Americans say 'have a nice day' whether they mean it or not. Brits are terrified to say this. We tell ourselves it's because we don't want to sound insincere but I think it might be for the opposite reason," the comedian said.
"We don't want to celebrate anything too soon. Failure and disappointment lurk around every corner. This is due to our upbringing. Americans are brought up to believe they can be the next president of the United States. Brits are told, 'It won't happen for you.'"
Gervais finds differences between American and British humor everywhere from mass media to mundane conversations.
"There's a received wisdom in the U.K. that Americans don't get irony. This is, of course, not true. But what is true is that they don't use it all the time. It shows up in the smarter comedies but Americans don't use it as much socially as Brits."
"We use it as liberally as prepositions in everyday speech," Gervais explained.
"We tease our friends. We use sarcasm as a shield and a weapon. We avoid sincerity until it’s absolutely necessary. We mercilessly take the piss out of people we like or dislike basically. And ourselves. This is very important. Our brashness and swagger is laden with equal portions of self-deprecation. This is our license to hand it out."
Something tells me he'd also be a fan of Very British Problems. If he already isn't, of course.