Lead data journalist

Brits are evenly divided between those who would listen in and those who would block them out

Being stuck awkwardly near a couple arguing in public is a common occurrence. But what is the best way to act in this situation: listening in and getting immersed in the soap opera of the row, or attempting to block out the couple - either out of respect for the couple's privacy or personal disinterest?

Now YouGov Omnibus reveals that the nation is evenly split between eavesdroppers (45%) and blocker-outers (46%). The final 9% don’t know what they do.

There is a clear gender divide, with women much more likely than men wanting to follow the topic of the disagreement (50% vs 39%). By contrast, half of men (50%) don’t want to hear what the barney is about, compared to 42% of women.

Similarly, attitudes differ depending on age. The older Britons are, the more likely they are to try not to listen in on couples’ arguments. While 38% of 18-34 year olds try to block out the sound of a partners rowing, but this rises as high as 61% among those aged 65 or older.

Photo: Getty

Find out more about YouGov Omnibus research

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