The English Character 英国人的性格
The English Character
and in particular of the English, is “reserved”.
A reserved person is one who does not talk very much to strangers,
does not show much emotion, and seldom gets excited.
It is difficult to get to know a reserved person:
he never tells you anything about himself,
and you may work with him for years without ever knowing where he lives,
how many children he has, and what his interests are.
English people tend to be like that.
Closely related to English reserve is English modesty.
Within their hearts, the English are perhaps no less conceited than anybody else,
but in their relations with others they value at least a show of modesty.
Self－praise is felt to be impolite.
If a person is, let us say,
very good at tennis and someone asks him if he is a good player,
he will seldom reply “Yes,”
because people will think him conceited.
He will probably give an answer like,
“I’m not bad,” or “I think I’m very good,” or “Well, I’m very keen on tennis.”
Even if he had managed to reach the finals in last year’s local championships,
he would say it in such a way as to suggest that it was only due to a piece of good luck.
Since reserve and modesty are part of his own nature,
the typical English tends to expect them in others.
He secretly looks down on more excitable nations,
and likes to think of himself as more reliable than they are.
He doesn’t trust big promises and open shows of feelings,
especially if they are expressed in flowery language.
He doesn’t trust self－praise of any kind.
This applies not only to what other people may tell him about themselves orally,
but to the letters they may write to him.
To those who are fond of flowery expressions,
the Englishman may appear uncomfortably cold.
2011-04-02 16:10 编辑：juliatt