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I’ll Be There for You – Brits Would Rather Be Remembered as a Good Friend than Anything Else, According to New Research

A nationwide study found the majority of Brits (54 percent) would put being a good friend ahead of success, good looks or income. 

In fact, being a true pal trumped the wish to be remembered as a “bon viveur” with only eight percent of us wanting to be remembered as being the life and soul of the party and just one in 20 (six percent) wanting to be thought of as a “colourful” character.

Instead, compassion and caring triumphed in the poll of 1,500 Brits, with being remembered as kind coming in second place (52 percent), trustworthy in third (48 percent), loving our family fourth (47 percent), and someone who was genuine in fifth (46 percent).

The study, by the UK’s oldest funeral directors CPJ Field, found that so great is the wish to be thought of as a good pal, that four in 10 (39 percent) of us claim to ALWAYS treat those around us with this in mind, avoiding bust ups when we can and supporting our nearest and dearest as much as possible.

And the majority of Brits (85 percent) hope to have made a positive impact on their communities in their lifetime – while half (50 percent) want more than anything to leave the world a better place because of their actions.

Being remembered as a genuine person was important to 46 percent of respondents, while a third wanted to be remembered as compassionate, and 38 percent as being honest.

While a quarter (24 percent) of the nation want those, we knew to reminisce about our wicked sense of humour. 

Jeremy Field, Managing Director at 10th generation family run business CPJ Field said: “It’s heart-warming to see the majority of us want to be remembered by our loved ones as a good friend rather than anything else. In times of adversity, we all need to feel supported by those around us, which is why caring for the living is central to the service at CPJ Field.”

The study also found that three quarters (73 percent) of the over-60s respondents surveyed said they thought their children and grandchildren would be their greatest achievement, while 15 percent of this age group wish they’d spent less time working and more time with their family.

Other regrets of the over-60s to emerge from the study were trying to please everyone all of the time (48 percent) and trying to hit all the expected life milestones rather than enjoying themselves (13 percent).

Almost a third (30 percent) of over 60s wish they hadn’t sweated the small stuff so much when younger, 21 percent that they hadn’t been obsessed with becoming rich – and 46 percent that they’d learned from their mistakes.

The study also found that almost half (48 percent) of respondents aged 60 plus haven’t ever spoken to their loved ones about their funeral wishes, while 49 percent had never considered planning their own funeral.

Top Twenty Ways Brits Most Want to Be Remembered

  1. As a good friend – 54%
  2. As a kind person – 52%
  3. As trustworthy – 48%
  4. As someone who loved their family – 47%
  5. As someone who was genuine – 46%
  6. As someone who was always honest – 38%
  7. As a good parent/ grandparent – 38%
  8. As honourable – 33%
  9. As compassionate – 33%
  10. As someone who went the extra mile for people – 30%
  11. As someone who others loved to be around – 28%
  12.  As a sympathetic listener -28%
  13.  As someone who made a difference – 25%
  14. Someone with a wicked sense of humour – 24%
  15. As a person who made the most of things – 24%
  16. As someone who had a passion in life – 21
  17. As brave – 20%
  18. As someone who loved to travel – 19%
  19. As the life and soul of the party – 8%
  20. As a colourful character – 6%

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