Do Millennials Make the Worst Houseguests? The Bad Behavior Study

published Nov 7, 2016
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

The short answer? Yes—Millennials do make the worst houseguests, according to a recent study from HomeAdvisor. But the reality behind it is a little more nuanced than it seems.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

In the study, 2,000 people in the U.S. were asked to confess both their biggest pet peeves and their worst houseguest habits, from a list of 27 bad behaviors. Each generation—Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers—had a slightly different take on what bothered them most. Millennials said they were bothered most by snooping, for example, while Gen Xers are more bothered by indefinite stays, and Baby Boomers were equally offended by guests showing up unannounced and staying indefinitely.

When it came to copping to their own bad behaviors, Millennials admitted to the most offenses of all three generations—16 out of the 27 on the list, as compared to 9 for Gen Xers and only one for Baby Boomers (cleaning without asking first). Among the list of offenses Millennial respondents admitted to? Showing up early, not treating the host to a meal, eating too much food, not offering to help with cooking or chores, making too much noise, and never making their bed.

It’s worth noting the differences between Millennials and Gen Xers, too. Gen Xers admitted to snooping, staying indefinitely and smoking in their host’s home without permission—three things Millennials were not likely to do, according to this study.

Based on the participants responses, HomeAdvisor ranked the generations to see who made for the politest guests in which category (including keeping their personal area clean, giving specifics about arrival and departure times, giving a gift, asking about house rules, and sending a thank-you note.) Although Millennials straggled somewhat behind in most categories, they outshone Gen Xers and Baby Boomers when it came to actually asking about house rules—45.2% of Millennials were likely to ask about them, as compared to 37% of Gen Xers and only 30.2 of Baby Boomers.

So, sure—Millennials may make bad houseguests, but the truth is, no generation is perfect, and anyone can break your house rules.

The most important takeaway? With these standards, it’s pretty easy to become a better houseguest—just keep your area clean, offer to help and chip in, don’t overstay your welcome, and send a thank-you note. (Seriously, a little bit goes a long way.)