Satisfied or Disappointed? Ask The Brits

Satisfied or Disappointed? Ask The Brits 1920 1162 Ivona Ivanova

Are you happy with your life? It seems impossible to answer this question by simply using ‘yes’ or ‘no’, right? We know from experience how easy it is to get disappointed over small things when they don’t go the way we initially planned them to go. Perhaps it is difficult to identify one major event that went extremely well or extremely bad in your life so far. Instead, a series of circumstances on both personal and global levels might seem to have set the life you’re living now. 

While there are several unrests that are threatening worldwide well-being, this one time we decided to focus on the current tensions affecting the UK. One of the main ones being Brexit and its negative effect on employment rates in the UK, which has made us wonder to what extent this question is affecting the life satisfaction of the British people.

Empirical evidence from our research

Through our platform, we asked 1000 Citizens aged 16-65+ in the UK how satisfied they currently feel about critical aspects of their life.

The results are far too intriguing to keep them all to ourselves, so we want to share them with you so that you can gain some insight on how your answers compare to our audience. 

Interestingly, out of all nine areas of life included in our survey, the British express mutual disappointment with four of them and a strong satisfaction with three. Maybe foreigners are right in their observations to find the British people complain more than other nations? Our UK audience are most likely to complain about the amount of sleep they’re getting on average (44% are disappointed), their current income (45%), the number of books they’ve read in the past year (42%), and finally, and with perhaps little surprise there, about the political situation in the UK (67%).

UK, Male/Female, 16-65+ (n=1000)

Onto happier things, the British are satisfied with the way they perceive themselves on social media (44%), the romantic relationship they’re in at the moment (59%) and their work/school performance (50%).  One could guess that the decrease in the employment rate in the UK hasn’t affected that last group, right? On a more serious note, the shared satisfaction of the British with their digital self across the different social media platforms adds to the research from last year on the contrast in our behavior online and offline. The majority of our UK audience seems to have fallen into the trap of altering their online selves to the level of perfection regardless of the downs they might experience in real life.

UK, Male/Female, 16-65+ (n=1000)

Is there a difference between females and males?

We thought it would be interesting to fragment the results by gender to test our hypothesis that life satisfaction is experienced differently by women and men. When asked how they feel about their physical appearance, 43% of males demonstrate a high satisfaction rate with the way they look, when only 28% of females feel the same way. However, the numbers flip over when respondents are asked how satisfied or disappointed they feel with their fashion style. While 30% of the female respondents express satisfaction with their fashion style, only 14% of the male respondents can say the same about themselves. Despite the recent social movements empowering women to appreciate their unique beauty, females remain the sex with lower body confidence. One could say that British women try to fight with their own prejudices about their physical appearances by focusing on good fashion choices.

Further Insights

At CitizenMe, we like to look beneath the surface of our results to find interesting insights between data sets. In this specific case, we found that 62% of British people feel disappointed with both their physical appearance and current income, while only 19% of them feel disappointed with their income but satisfied with their physical appearance. Along these lines, 41% of respondents feel happy about how they look and what they earn, while only 32% show satisfaction with what they earn but disappointment with their physical appearance. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions here, but the results could indicate a possible correlation between the way the British feel about how they look and what they earn.

UK, Male/Female, 16-65+ (n=1000)

Just before you go, we want to mention one more interesting insight … curious to find out if 18-25 or 65+ age group complains more about the amount of sleep they get on average? Check out our latest Instagram


One of CitizenMe’s aims is to be your partner on the path to future success. It is important to note that we form decisions based on our values and beliefs. Defining our life priorities can help focus our time and energy on what’s most important to us. Our latest Insight “Life Priorities” will help you learn more about the different life priorities of Citizens around the world. See for yourself here.