We all know organising a girls night out is stressful; from a lack of WhatsApp replies to annoying last-minute cancellations, it's no mean feat getting your girls together. A recent YouGov survey, commissioned by Pinkster Gin, revealed that 83 per cent of British women aged 25-55 admit it's stressful arranging a group night out. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) cited finding a date that suits everyone as the most common cause of stress, followed by getting friends to actually commit to the evening (46 per cent).
People constantly on their phones (28 per cent), friends suggesting somewhere too expensive (27 per cent), and disputes over the bill (26 per cent), were revealed as the biggest annoyances on the night itself, together with embarrassing photos being uploaded on social media (20 per cent), too many selfies being taken (15 percent), and pals bragging about their children (14 per cent).
Will Holt, director of Pinkster Gin, said: "We might be communicating with each other more than ever, but actually corralling and controlling a group of friends seems to be a minefield of social dilemmas.
"In a sign of the times, our research showed that the biggest bugbear on an evening out is friends being glued to their phones, ahead of disputes over splitting the bill."
Renée Kuo, managing director of Debrett's said: "The Pinkster poll reveals that arranging a night out with friends can be fraught with challenges and that far from improving communication, our digital devices often hinder it instead.
"We were delighted to work with Pinkster on this new ten-point guide, which offers advice for overcoming a range of etiquette obstacles, including a meandering WhatsApp group, friends paying more attention to their phones than the conversation, and an unwelcome exposé of the night's events on social media. This all goes to show that etiquette is as relevant now as it’s ever been."
The guide light-heartedly highlights ten scenarios and how to tackle them...
1. The WhatsApp Planning Committee
Go bold with dates and venues, and spare anyone who couldn’t make the evening a running commentary.
2. The Contagious Phone-Reach
Agree on a phone amnesty with devices out of sight at least for the meal, if not the whole evening.
3. The Unsplittable Bill
If you know certain pals are watching their spending, offer to knock a bit of their share, they can always turn you down if they prefer to keep it equal.
4. The Not-So Humble Brag
Tempting as it may be to engage in one-upmanship if someone starts waxing lyrical about her eldest’s glittering SAT results, simply smile and offer your congratulations.
5. The Surprise Karaoke Bomb
There are two approaches to unexpected organised fun: embrace the spontaneity and get stuck in or leave fast.
6. The Selfie Obsessive
Assuming the phone embargo has been lifted (or roundly ignored), pool pictures on group chat but hold back on sharing on social media until you’ve all okayed then in the clear light of day.
7. The Self-Imposed Curfew
Padding your expected return by a couple of hours will preserve domestic harmony and may prove a useful buffer when the Grease Megamix comes on for the second time.
8. The Taxi Overshare
Preserve your 4.6 star Uber rating by remembering some useful courtesies: try not to keep your driver waiting, respect the environment of the taxi (no toxic takeaways) and don’t treat it like a mobile DJ booth with ever-changing music requests.
9. The Indiscreet Entrance
When returning home, do some damage control and let sleeping children, partners and flatmates lie by switching your phone to silent and removing noisy high heels.
10. The ‘Home Safe’ Promise
If you promise to touch base when you get home, don’t leave it until the following day after a leisurely lie-in and a hearty breakfast.
If you want your own copy of the Debrett's guide to a girl's night out, it comes free with any purchase made from pinkstergin.com.