- One in ten Brits snoop around their friends’ homes –
Wednesday 13th June 2012: New research out today reveals that nearly one in ten Brits (nine per cent) have used a dinner party as an excuse to snoop around their friends’ homes. Men are the biggest culprits with ten per cent taking an uninvited peak around their host’s house compared to just seven per cent of women.
According to the study by Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance(1), even invited guests engage in uninvited behaviour. Over a quarter (28 per cent) have shown up at a dinner party without a gift, while nearly a fifth (19 per cent) have reached for their phone to make a call or text whilst in their host’s company.
13 per cent of Brits have lit up at a dinner party despite more than 79 per cent admitting that they wouldn’t dream of smoking in their own home and 17 per cent of those surveyed have sworn in front of their host. Small wonder that seven per cent of Brits admitted that they have fallen out with their friends because of their bad dinner party habits while a further seven per cent have not invited their guests back as a result.
Gill Harbord(2), etiquette expert and Ladette to Ladies headmistress, commented: “The idea that guests set out to go on a self-guided tour of their guest’s home is just awful behaviour! If guests want to see the house they should always ask their host first and never engage in an uninvited snoop.
“It is truly dreadful that a quarter of British people have turned up to a dinner party without a gift and it shows a clear lax of manners in today’s society. Guests should remember that they do not need to spend a fortune but should always bring along a small token to show appreciation to their host”.
It’s not just poor manners that hosts have to contend with. Despite hosts spending £6,000 a year on food and furnishings to wow their guests, six per cent of guests cause over £100 of damage a year through breaks and spills.
Despite this the research revealed that guests still expect their host to abide by certain rules too. Almost a third (31 per cent) said they expect hosts to hang up their coat when they arrive and three quarters (76 per cent) would find it rude if they were not asked if they wanted a drink or a bite to eat.
The most important home etiquette rule that Londoners expect their guests to obey is not smoking in the house (82 per cent), whereas those in the North East revealed they place more importance on guests calling ahead if they are running late (85 per cent).
Just 15 per cent of men admit they offer to wash the dishes when visiting a friend or family member, whereas over a quarter of women (27 per cent) are more than happy to help out with this. Almost two thirds of women (64 per cent) will call ahead if they are running late compared to just 49 per cent of men. Nearly a fifth of men (19 per cent) would leave the table without being excused compared to 14 per cent of women.
Jacky Brown, at Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance, said: “It is clear from the research that old fashioned British etiquette is in danger of becoming extinct.
“As a nation we are well known for taking care of our castles so we would advise that hosts plan ahead and make sure they put away expensive and fragile items to prevent any accidental mishaps from happening.”
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Notes to Editors:
(1) Sheilas’ Wheels used the independent online research company FlyResearch who surveyed 1,001 Brits aged 18 and over, between 18 and 20 May 2012. FlyResearch is an online market research company. Its researches are members of the MRS, PRCA, BPC and Esomar, and abide by their guidelines. Further information is available at www.FlyResearch.com
(2) Ladette To Ladies headmistress Gill Harbord was trained at Constance Spry School in London, She is a nationally accredited flower arranging specialist and has taught all her teaching career at finishing schools in the UK. On the Ladette To Ladies series, she works with Rosemary Shrager to teach young women how to be proper ladies, through etiquette, cooking, deportment and many other subjects.