Dr. Melanie Ross Mills: October 17, 2017


Friendship Expert Provides Tips on Why You Should Pay Back Your Friends (and the Best Ways to Do It) 



Friendship and relationship expert, and licensed temperament therapist

Almost everyone has that friend who conveniently heads to the restroom when the check arrives at a group dinner, or regularly “forgets” his or her wallet on a coffee run claiming they’ll pick it up the next time, but never returns the favor. In fact, according to soon to be released data from Bank of America, money has a strong influence on our closest relationships – especially when it comes to unpaid debt – and creates feelings of awkwardness and stress.

While it’s no surprise owing or being owed money can put a serious strain on a relationship, unfortunately, more than half of Americans have seen a friendship end over debt. Other interesting findings from the report include:

  • MONEY & FRIENDS DON’T ALWAYS MIX: 44 percent of consumers cite money as a cause of stress in their friendships, and many admit they would rather talk to their friends about nearly anything – including their love life or family drama – than money.
  • IT DOESN’T TAKE A LOT OF MONEY TO END A FRIENDSHIP: Nearly 40 percent of consumers say they would end a friendship over one hundred dollars or less.
  • MONEY IS CREATING A SOCIETY OF AVOIDERS: Two in five Americans have been avoided by a friend who owes them money. And, people would rather trip and fall in public or go to a party solo than ask a friend to pay them back.

Fortunately, though, there are ways we can salvage a relationship before it goes south over money owed. To help us navigate these awkward financial situations and ignite a conversation with a friend or family member we’ve had a falling out with over IOUs, Dr. Melanie Ross Mills can guide us through those situations in a manner that doesn’t result in the termination of a friendship. Her tips include:

  • PLAN AHEAD: As you coordinate a get together with your friend, consider asking how he or she prefers to handle any shared expenses in advance of hanging out so you can come to an agreement before the check arrives.
  • COMMUNICATE: If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve covered the cost of a friend’s concert ticket, or you need to repay a roommate who lent you a couple of dollars, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Even if you can’t pay your friend back right away, let them know as soon as you expect you’ll be able to return the funds. Conversely, if your friend can’t pay you back right away, try to be receptive to what works for them.
  • USE TECHNOLOGY: As person-to-person payments (P2P) that allow consumers to send money to others via their mobile device grow in popularity, it’s never been easier to settle-up with a friend in real-time. Take advantage of convenient mobile apps to send, request and receive money from friends and family.



Dr. Melanie Ross Mills, friendship and relationship expert, and licensed temperament therapist, has earned national acclaim through her extraordinary gift of connection. Through her magnetism, insight and experience, equally paired with humor and authenticity, “Dr. Mel” offers relational support through a range of platforms including her Life Bonds™ iTunes Podcast, Life Bonds™ Book Series (The Friendship BondThe Identity Bond, and The Couples Bond), and Life Bonds™ Workshops. In addition, Dr. Mel offers insight through one-on-one sessions, public speaking engagements, and her social media platforms (@drmelaniermills). Dr. Mel has been described as FOX News Radio’s “go-to” Relationship Expert. She was the recipient of the 2016 Women of Excellence Award for her dedication to young women and espousing the ideals of women of excellence. Dr. Mel has presence on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX networks. You will find her coveted advice, quoted or featured, in publications such as TimeReader’s DigestSelf, Women’s HealthBridesChicago TribuneEssenceBravoWhereInside FitnessPark Cities Pe

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