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One in ten Brits have lied about their salary at a dinner party

A new study shows the extent to which we try and embellish our finances in social situations.
By Editorial on May 1st, 2018   @freelotteriesuk

Owning a second property abroad, having penned a novel and having once been in a band, are just some of the ludicrous tales wheeled out by Britons at dinner parties, according to new research by online furniture company Swoon

A new study has revealed as many as one in ten Brits have exaggerated their salary at a dinner party, while 11 per cent have embellished the places they have travelled and 8 per cent have over egged their literary knowledge at a party or soiree.

Other exaggerations Brits frequently wheel out to impress fellow guests at 'spinner parties' include job titles, foodie credentials and even the value of property they own.

Getting away with it

But when it comes to getting caught out, a brazen 86 per cent say they usually get away with it, however a red-faced 14 per cent say they were caught out when their child or other half gave the game away.

More than one in ten has told porkies when it comes to qualifications and 7 per cent have spun the tale that they can speak another language, according to the survey.

The research reveals one in five blames nerves over meeting new people for exaggerating, but 14 per cent say they are prone to embellishing the truth after a few drinks.

One in five people stretch the truth to impress a new crowd and one in ten say it is purely to keep up with the Jones’.

Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman says, 'The tendency to ‘show off’ is ingrained in human beings and is largely an unconscious effort to establish a pecking order. Just as in the natural world, animals do all sorts of things do make themselves look bigger and more impressive than they really are.

'This is a natural trait that has evolved through sexual selection because the animals that manage to convince potential mates that they’ve got it all going on are the most successful, and the most likely to leave a large number of offspring to carry on the boastful genes.'

What not to talk about

A third of respondents agree that ex-partners should never be discussed at dinner parties and four in ten say politics should be avoided at all costs.

Some 42 per cent avoid conversations about religion and 35 per cent feel sex is an uncouth topic to discuss around the table.

Three in ten say the atmosphere always turns sour when Brexit was discussed, and 23 per cent say debates about the death penalty, breastfeeding and veganism are off-limits.

Some 60 per cent say they often become obsessed with creating a good environment when they are due to host a dinner party.

In fact, the research shows the average Brit spends £79 on food and drink each month (that’s £936 each year) for entertaining and we also splash out a further

£388 a year on soft furnishings and home décor to spruce the house up when guests are due. This is supported with sales from Swoon which has seen dinnerware sales triple since launching the collection in November.

Noel Eves, CMO of Swoon says, 'We know that our customers are obsessed with the finer details of their homes and making a statement, and the survey results highlight the lengths that they’ll go to in order to impress their guests.'

According to the poll, people from London fork out the most each month for entertaining - £91 in total, with folk from Edinburgh coming second with £88.

Most likely topics to exaggerate at a dinner party

Film knowledge
Your qualifications
Where you have holidayed
Your salary
Literary knowledge
Your partners job title
The car you are planning to buy
Being able to speak a foreign language
Your wine knowledge
Home renovations
Having a famous friends
Your foodie credentials
Where you bought your furniture from
The value of your property / properties
Your singing ability
Your child’s exam results
You write a blog
Your child’s sporting triumphs
You are writing a book or poetry
Your postcode
You have a second home abroad
Being in a band in your youth
Your share portfolio
Knowing / being related to a distant Royal


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