The survey, by PiCKUP! the biscuit bar with attitude, found that Brits regularly apologise for things that aren’t our fault – with some saying sorry up to eight times a day.
And it highlighted a north-south divide, with two-thirds of Sheffield residents and six out of ten Geordies agreeing that Northerners are more polite, while 40 per cent of those in Brighton and Plymouth unsurprisingly came down on the side of the South.
The research also revealed that two-thirds of Leeds residents had apologised when someone bumped into them, and one in five had even said sorry when someone stepped on their foot.
As a result, PiCKUP! is launching a nationwide campaign to tackle these traits, believing Brits would welcome the opportunity to act a little bolder.
From now right through to September, they will deliver more than 1.2m samples to the Great British public, along with a little tongue-in-cheek wisdom, as well as working with outgoing and outspoken social influencers to positively ‘pick up’ Britain.
The PiCKUP! tour includes visits to UK cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Brighton, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol – and you can try for yourself when they come to Leeds city centre from Wednesday, 10 July, to Sunday, 14 July.
“This summer we are on a mission to make Brits more bold as it is madness that so many people feel they are too polite and not outspoken enough,” says Claudia Eschbacher, senior brand manager for PiCKUP!
“We are touring the nation with our ‘Be More PiCKUP!’ campaign and sampling our delicious chocolate biscuit bars, as well as working with experts, influencers and social channels to get Britain on track to being bolder. From Blackpool Pleasure Beach to the Bullring in Birmingham, we are coming to a location near you!”
Other results from Leeds residents included:
• Joining the queue – 28 per cent of us don’t say anything when people push in line
• Noisy neighbour - 27 per cent stay quiet when their neighbours are making a racket
• Being poorly paid – 75 per cent won’t ask for a raise at work, despite it being overdue
• Getting the credit – 23 per cent of people in Leeds hadn't piped up when a work colleague was praised for something they had done
So how can we Brits learn to stop being so painfully polite? Papa Pukka, the writer and TedTalker shared his top tips about how to be bolder.
“Exclaim more. Really put your heart into expressions of surprise for a day. I find my outlook has really improved since saying ‘Yowzers!’ when even mildly surprised.”
“Generally, everyone needs to cheer up,” he says. “I am easily given to grumps, but when the rage monkey is flicking my temple, I now try and take a deep breath, before accepting that the remote/ my keys/ phone are not where I left them but one day they’ll reappear and it’ll be a lovely surprise.”