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19th Mar 2019

Do you hate splitting the bill with friends? Here’s some research behind it

To be honest, we never really know what to do.

You have those friends who will spot you lunch, and then you get the next one. Or who will pay for one round of drinks and you’ll no doubt get them back.

But when there’s a big group of mates, all eat, all drinking, all having fun… and the bill comes, it can be mighty awkward.

Do you split it evenly? Pay for all that you had down to the very last cent? And what about leaving a tip? Do you all leave 20 cents or does someone just throw in a few Euro?

And what if one friend pays for dinner in a pricey restaurant, but then the next time you head out its to Subway… that’s hardly fair, is it?

These are all the questions the majority of us have when going out for lunch, dinner or drinks with friends. It gives us all mild panic attacks… and now science has proved it.

A new study published in the Journal of Economic Psychology has coined the term of hating the above situations ‘reciprocity anxiety’.

The term has officially been described as “feel[ing] anxious in a situation that requires them to reciprocate or when they anticipate such a situation.”

As well as happening with friends, it can also happen when you’re shopping. For example, if you’re at a makeup counter and they ask if you’d like a free makeup tutorial/free product, you sometimes feel like you have to buy something from the retailer.

Whether you do or not, it’s good to know that we all feel a little bit anxious in those situations… and that’s totally OK.