If you're one of those who live by the motto "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", then chances are that your life will be full of miseries, a new study has found.
According to the study, published in the Economic Journal, people who apply a "tit-for-tat" attitude to life are more likely to be unemployed, have a smaller circle of friends and be less happy.
However, those individuals who have the habit of repaying good turns from others are likely to earn higher salaries, have more friends and enjoy life more.o reach the conclusion, researchers used data from 20,000 people in Germany, who are regularly polled on their socio-economic attitudes, to examine the effects of so-called "negative reciprocity" in the workplace.
Most of those polled admitted repaying other people in kind, either by returning favours or exacting revenge for past unkind acts.
They then divided the group up into those with more of a tendency towards taking revenge and those who were more preoccupied with responding to good deeds.
Those in the first category had fewer friends and were more likely to voice dissatisfaction with life.
"Positively reciprocal people tend on average to put in more overtime - but only when they find the remuneration fair," The Telegraph quoted Prof Thomas Dohmen of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, one of the researchers, as saying.
"As they are very sensitive to incentives, they also tend to earn more money," he added.