The online world is full of tips and tricks on how to make people like you. The most common suggestions include showing openness to the other person, asking them about their personal interests, making eye contact, flattering them a bit, giving them a favor, and so on and so forth.
If you want to use some of these tricks, you may do so depending on the kind of person whose friendship you want to win. The problem is, there are some people who just don’t like you for reasons you don’t exactly know.
You may deal with this situation by showing them a great deal of kindness. However, kindness won’t always work. In this case, you may want to try using the ‘Ben Franklin Effect.’
The ‘Ben Franklin Effect’ is a proposed psychological phenomenon that occurs when a person who previously performed a favor for another is more likely to do another favor for that same person than when they’re the recipient of such favor.
The story behind this phenomenon is shared by Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The story goes that Franklin met a bitter political rival, whom he knew had the capacity of helping him in the future should he win this person’s admiration.
Franklin then did the most intelligent thing of reaching out. He wrote this person a note asking him if he could lend Franklin a rare book that he had in his library. The man obliged and sent the book to Franklin. After a week, Franklin returned the book with a thank you note. When the two saw each other again, the rival spoke to Franklin, which was the very first time that he did. From then on, they established a lasting friendship.
Franklin used this effect all throughout his life and it contributed much to his success. Franklin then wrote:
“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”
Benjamin Franklin was able to turn a foe into a friend not out of mere hopes but out of what science calls the theory of cognitive dissonance. This theory refers to the presence of two conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors and creates feelings of discomfort that leads to the alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors in order to reduce the discomfort and restore balance in one’s self.
Asking your hater a favor might be counterintuitive but a lot of research had been done to support this phenomenon. Besides, asking a person a favor will make them feel important and give them a good feeling for being able to help someone in need. That’s why they’re more likely to help you again. But, of course, expressing a heartfelt gratitude for a favor done to you is also a key.
If ever there’s someone in your life right now who’s not so friendly towards you, instead of offering them material things or ignoring them, try asking them a favor. Borrow a pen from an unfriendly colleague, ask a grumpy neighbor to watch over your dog for a day or ask a stranger to take you a picture.
Do one simple act of this a day and see how your admirers will grow in number.
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