Is it OK to Pay for Others?

(To go Dutch or to wine and dine?)

SITUATION: You went out to lunch with a colleague from work, paid for him or her without warning, and now do not want to take money back. You feel guilty.

A friend called you to the bar and paid for all the drinks. You do not understand whether you need a refund. On the first date at the restaurant, you paid for the check. The person insists that he wants to return your money; you refuse, and he or she continues to insist…So, you get a choice, “To go Dutch or to wine and dine, to freeload or to pay at least something.”

I read an article by Anna Chaplygina — an etiquette specialist and it’s time to deal with her info.

If we pay for a person without warning him, we will violate his boundaries. Almost all etiquette and communication conflicts begin with this. Therefore, it is necessary to say, “Let me treat you.” This is a more polite than, “I’ll pay for you.”

The valid rule is still, “Whoever invites pays.” So if a friend tells you, “I’m inviting you to dinner,” it means he’s going to pay. “Let’s meet for dinner,” means that everyone is more likely to pay for themselves. So if you invite a person somewhere, always follow your words.

At business meetings, the person who is invited also pays. Going Dutch is a norm. If your corporate culture forbids you to do so, then you should say, “I am grateful for your care, but we have such a corporate policy that all employees pay for their lunch themselves.”

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