Do you think British people are obsessed with eccentrics?

Page 1 of 1 [ 10 posts ] 

DevilKisses
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Jul 2010
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,067
Location: Canada

25 Jun 2016, 12:44 am

British people have a reputation for being eccentric. I don't think they are more eccentric than average. I think they just obsess over the eccentrics. They keep track of their every move and idiosyncrasy and write a bunch of books and essays on them. I notice this in Canadian(BC) culture as well. People are kind of obsessed with keeping track of how weird people are. If you do anything that's remotely weird they ask behind your back what's wrong with you. I notice this a lot less with immigrants.


_________________
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 82 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 124 of 200
You are very likely neurotypical


B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

25 Jun 2016, 12:54 am

Britain has been and is an intensely class-based culture, and a non-conformist streak such as eccentricity may be tolerated and indulged in one class and simultaneously punished in another class. This is not only historically true, it is still true. The aristocracy often reveal inherent double standards when their own behaviour is mirrored back to them by an "inferior" - a person termed a "commoner". They consider that to be the height of rudeness...

Many people with Asperger's Syndrome are considered to be eccentric, and I haven't noticed that they are well tolerated in either Britain or the USA. I know nothing about Canada though.



BirdInFlight
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jun 2013
Age: 59
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,501
Location: If not here, then where?

25 Jun 2016, 1:06 am

That's a popular belief, yet as someone British living in Britain, I don't actually see all that more tolerance for "eccentric" people here than anywhere else. British people are still human and its very human to deride, reject and fear anyone unusual, and there's plenty of that goes on in society here as anywhere else.

Ask the bullied kid in school who is a bit quirky, if he or she thinks his eccentricity is doing him or her any favours with his or her fellow Brits...

Try to remember that everything you hear about a country or its culture is usually an exaggerated stereotype, often an outdated one, that doesn't play out in everyday reality in anything nearly like the intensity others think it does.


_________________
~ ~ ~

If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

~ ~ ~


DevilKisses
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Jul 2010
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,067
Location: Canada

25 Jun 2016, 1:15 am

BirdInFlight wrote:
That's a popular belief, yet as someone British living in Britain, I don't actually see all that more tolerance for "eccentric" people here than anywhere else. British people are still human and its very human to deride, reject and fear anyone unusual, and there's plenty of that goes on in society here as anywhere else.

Ask the bullied kid in school who is a bit quirky, if he or she thinks his eccentricity is doing him or her any favours with his or her fellow Brits...

Try to remember that everything you hear about a country or its culture is usually an exaggerated stereotype, often an outdated one, that doesn't play out in everyday reality in anything nearly like the intensity others think it does.

That's what I was saying. I don't think British culture tolerates eccentrics any more than any other culture. They just fetishize it in the upper class.


_________________
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 82 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 124 of 200
You are very likely neurotypical


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 23,874
Location: Long Island, New York

25 Jun 2016, 1:26 am

I have no clue about how Brits feel about eccentrics. All I know is that I really like British eccentricts.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


League_Girl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 25,326
Location: Pacific Northwest

25 Jun 2016, 1:32 am

I have only read that it's more acceptable to be weird in Britain while in the US it's not acceptable so more people are disabled.


_________________
Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

Daughter: NT, no diagnoses.


BirdInFlight
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jun 2013
Age: 59
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,501
Location: If not here, then where?

25 Jun 2016, 1:41 am

I'm not at all sure they "fetishize it in the upper class" either. If anything, what I see happening more is that most ordinary British people seem to generally pour derision on any perceived member of the upper class who displays eccentricity, particularly the aristocracy, since there can be resentment of the extreme state of privilege which permits that individual to indulge in eccentricity.

As for it being more acceptable to be weird in Britain, hmm, I still think acceptance or not happens on a much more micro-level or case-by-case. Depends on who is weird, how weird, where they are and who they are encountering. Not that different from any other country.

Bottom line is, despite the reputation, there's still plenty of "eccentric" people in Britain being beaten up and rejected, or if "upper class" then resented and derided.


_________________
~ ~ ~

If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

~ ~ ~


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 36,894
Location: Top deck of the funny bus....blowing bubbles

25 Jun 2016, 1:49 am

I don't know any eccentric people.

But it would be interesting to know if Asperger and ADHD diagnosis's are a more working class thing.

I say this because eccentric behaviour could be more accepted in the upper classes.


_________________
I can't say that I have ever shat on my own doorstep.

Woof Woof! Cheep Cheep!


ToughDiamond
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,617

25 Jun 2016, 2:50 pm

As an Englishman, I've seen a mixture. I've little direct experience of the aristocracy, nearest thing I saw was some of the Wilberforce family back in the 1980s, when I had a brief stay in their ancestral home. I only met about 4 of them, but they all struck me as definitely eccentric.

I've met hundreds of eccentrics lower down in the food chain, there's this New Age muesli-belt thing going on in the middle class, and quite a lot of oddballs down at the bottom of the pile too. It's often hard to categorise them by class. Some of the wealthiest of them live like paupers.

I don't know if the proportion of eccentrics is any different to that of other countries, nor whether the British are particularly "obsessed" with eccentricity. I think there is a certain admiration for nonconformity. I'm always relieved to find the people I'm among tend to celebrate eccentricity, because I feel much more likely to be accepted. It's hard for such people to adopt this "he's not quite right" attitude, because (I think) they know perfectly well that they're "not quite right" either.

Sometimes I wonder whether this non-eccentric, homogenous, society even exists in the UK any more. But then it's probably become second-nature for me to avoid it. I think it's easy for an Aspie to get too concerned with fitting into a stereotyped neurotypical world.



foxfield
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Posts: 276
Location: UK

26 Jun 2016, 1:44 pm

UK may soon have a posh, quirky, bumbling eccentric as its prime minister. David Cameron has resigned and Boris Johnson is one of the very possible successors.

Theres certainly a lot of hate for Boris at the moment, especially post Brexit referendom. But he obviously has a lot of support as well, and I think his eccentricity is part of that support. He does seem, at least on the surface, to be a refreshing change from the rest of the politicians, who take themselves so seriously but somehow fail to show any convincing integrity or passion.