Comment: Why won’t we answer the door to unexpected visitors?

20 per cent of respondents said they would never answer the door to anyone Im not expecting. Picture

20 per cent of respondents said they would never answer the door to anyone Im not expecting. Picture: Getty - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We’re a funny lot, us Brits. Known globally for being socially awkward queue-enthusiasts, it turns out we can’t even open our own front doors without getting ourselves all worked up.

According to a new study, one in five Brits won’t answer the door to anyone they’re not expecting. When asked how often they might respond to unexpected guests, 46 per cent of people quizzed by said they would “only answer if it’s someone I want to see”, while 20 per cent said they would “never answer the door to anyone I’m not expecting”.

When asked who they would be most likely to avoid answering the door to, cold callers understandably came out on top (87 per cent) followed by neighbours (65 per cent). More interestingly, 25 per cent are snubbing family members, 19 per cent said they’d pretend not to hear their friends and 16 per cent admitted they’d ignore their partner.

Reminds me of a family friend who used to lie on her living room floor when she saw her annoying neighbour coming up the drive. My neighbours are lovely, but there have been times I’ve wished for a solid wooden door with a sneaky peep hole for when the dreaded Nottingham Knockers rock up. (We have a glass panel that makes it tricky to retreat to the living room floor when it’s clear an unwelcome visitor is lurking outside. Unless you want them to see you wriggling away, that is.)

Interestingly, two fifths of survey respondents also confessed to ignoring trick or treaters – I’m surprised it’s not more!

We fully embraced all things Halloween-related, taking our children out and loading up a bowl of E-numbers for our young visitors, and a lot of people seemed to be “out” (or hiding out the back) that night. I think that’s fair enough – Halloween definitely isn’t for everyone and I admit I’d gone off it myself by 9pm when some crazed banging and letter box shaking started at my front door.

I’d forgotten to turn the pumpkin lights off, but that didn’t mean I was up for welcoming a gang of rowdy older kids after hours. But, being British, I waited until they’d moved on before quietly stepping out to turn out the lights.