Brits stop worrying what people think about them at 46

middle aged couple in a kitchen
Self-conscious Brits finally stop worrying about what other people think of them at the age of 46.  A study of 2,000 adults aged 55 and over found they also don’t feel comfortable in their own skin until they turn 42 and aren’t content in their careers until the ripe old age of 40.

When it comes to relationships though, adults are settled by the age of 37. But while men are satisfied with the way they look by the time they reach 34, it takes the typical woman more than two years longer than that to feel happy with their own appearance.

It also emerged that as a result of feeling comfortable in their own skin and ‘unapologetically themselves’, 72 per cent of adults feel more ‘content’ in life.

The study found one of the later things Brits finally achieve a comfortable level in is finance, with adults being nearly 50 before they finally feel confident with their cash.

Men also feel comfortable to speak up and have their own opinions heard a full five years before women (45 years versus 40). One in three adults believe becoming a parent was key to them feeling more comfortable in themselves, and a quarter put it down to learning to drive.

However, 29 per cent think it took retirement to generate the self-confidence they needed in life, according to the OnePoll figures. Being more comfortable in their own skin made things like speaking in front of a crowd easier for 28 per cent of respondents.

And 39 per cent no longer dread meeting new people and fumbling for ways to make themselves sound interesting.

Says Victoria Betts from shoe brand, which commissioned the research:

“Feeling comfort is crucial to being happy in life. But there are so many different areas in life to feel comfortable in, and it’s no wonder it takes Brits until their 40s to tick them all off.

“Our results found nearly seven in 10 adults think it’s important that people should be allowed to be unapologetically themselves.

“But for many, the desire to fit in, not make waves and go with the flow means they don’t have the confidence to do this until later in life.”


1. Becoming a parent
2. Getting married
3. Retiring
4. Going travelling
5. Learning to drive
6. Getting on the housing ladder i.e. buying my first home
7. Becoming a grandparent
8. Losing weight
9. Getting a promotion
10. Graduating from university / a course
11. A big birthday e.g. 50th
12. Achieving a personal goal e.g. writing a book, running a race
13. Getting engaged
14. Going on a solo holiday
15. Getting divorced

Chris Price