British Manners Survey: Actions Speak Quieter than Words

April 19, 2013, 5:04 PM GMT+0

The majority of Britons think we’re quick to thank and apologisebut slow to open doors and give up our seats

New YouGov research today reveals how British adults regard the manners of their fellow citizens. It seems that people are still prompt with verbal offers of good manners, but anything requiring more effort cannot be relied upon.

72% think you’ll probably be greeted with thanks for receiving a favour; if you’re bumped into, 63% say you can expect a ‘sorry’; and when you let someone by in a car or alley, 52% say you’ll get some appreciation.

But when it comes to actually having to move, you might not be so lucky: if an elderly or pregnant person needs a seat, 54% say most British people won’t bother; if the person in front gets the door, 59% don't think they're likely to let you go first; if someone catches your eye, 62% think you won’t get a nice response; and if you ask someone to turn down their loud music, 55% say most will refuse.

Politeness in Britain | Create infographics

When it comes to the perceived politeness of different parts of British society, upper class and teenage people get the worst reception: nearly a quarter (24%) say the high-class are least polite, compared to 14% saying working class people are, and over a third (39%) think teenagers are rudest.

The country's most courteous are the middle classes, who 21% say are most well-mannered, and those in their fifties and sixties, who nearly a third (29%) say are most polite.

See the full poll results

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