Do you know anyone who does this? A lot of young people do, apparently, sometimes on purpose, but also as a sort of nervous tick.
The U.K.’s “Guardian” newspaper just did a story on how Americans have started speaking in a British accent when they feel awkward in social situations.
They talked to a bunch of Gen Zers who admitted it’s become a habit. Most said it’s something they unconsciously do when they feel uncomfortable.
Here’s an example: A woman who works in tech said she recently wanted to let her boss know she was feeling burnt out. So without thinking, she said, in a British accent, “It’s affecting me mental health, innit?”
Then her boss, who’s older, was like, “What the heck was THAT?”
Some Gen Zers said they also do it when they have to confront people. Like, one guy needed his roommate to take the trash out, and said, (in a British accent), “Can you please take out the rubbish?”
British reality shows like “Love Island” might have something to do with it. They’ve become popular with young people the last few years. But it’s not just about mimicking people we’ve seen on TV.
Experts think there’s definitely a psychological reason behind it. It can be a way of softening what you’re saying, or separating your true personality from a situation. So in other words, a defense mechanism.