have you heard of the Benjamin Franklin effect? Okay! here we go:
Benjamin franklin effect is a cognitive bias that causes someone to like you after they’ve done you a favor.
Asking someone for a favor makes them feel good about themselves because they believe you elevate them above yourself because they possess the knowledge or access to something that you lack and that you admit it and give them the chance to demonstrate it.
Asking someone for a favor makes them feel good about themselves because they believe you elevate them above yourself Click To Tweet
They tend to like you more because you made them feel better about themselves and their ability to help and relationships had been built with this cognitive bias and this is the simple idea behind the Benjamin Franklin effect.
The Benjamin Franklin Effect
He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.
For some people, it feels scary to ask for favor especially from strangers because of the fear of being rejected or ignored, but that is not always true. we get a positive response more than 50% of the time we ask for the help.
The idea there is that a person who has done a favor for someone is more likely to do another for that same person than they would, if they had earlier received a favor from that person.
It’s a bit confusing buut let’s break it down:
if I had given you some gift earlier and you’ve done the same by giving me some gifts in return, the fact that you return the help decreases the chance of getting me to help you next time compared to the person that hasn’t return my favor.
When you ask someone for help, they unconsciously believe you are close to them, that you trust them, and that you are reliant on them. If your vulnerability puts you in a position in front of them where they feel compelled to help you, they will do so and end up liking you.
When you ask someone for help, they unconsciously believe you are close to them, that you trust them, and that you are reliant on them Click To Tweet
This was confirmed by John Jecker and David landy
on their publication on August 1969. A part of the journal quotes thus;
It is generally assumed that a person performs favor for those whom he likes and doing favor is in fact an expression of love for the person helped and it is also possible and of high probability that a person comes to like those people whom he helped.
Common Mistakes While Asking For Help
Not Being Exact
When you want to ask someone for help, a lot of people makes the mistake of not being exact about what they want, maybe they are shy to ask you directly or are just confused about what they want.
I once received a mail from people telling me he wants to connect with me and the next question that pops up in my head is “How exactly” i don’t know if he’s talking about physical connection or social media connection or connection for cross promotion, he didn’t even added a single link to the mail and i ended up ignoring it.
Be sure to be specific and straight forward with your request to avoid negative response and to stand a higher chance of getting a yes to your request.
Not being exact put people in a state where they don’t know what you specifically want or maybe they can give it to you; or a situation where they don’t know if it is what they want to give out in the first place, so they entirely avoid the situation and say no.
When you want to ask someone for help, be exact and specific with your request to stand a higher chance of getting a yes Click To Tweet
Requesting From A Group Of People
Another common blunder is addressing a request to a large group of people in the hopes that one of them would be able to assist you. This is referred to as “diffusion of responsibility” by the psychologists.
In this case, there is a very low probability of getting a positive response because each of them will feel ‘why should it be me and not the other and your request might be granted by none of them.
As much as you’re being specific with your request, also try to be exact with who you want it from and do not make the mistake of asking a question like “can someone help me with…”
Consequence Of Asking For Too Much Help
Some people naturally enjoy doing favors because they enjoy feeling useful or helpful. I’ve known a few people who just love being there for others by constantly assisting them in getting out of sticky situations. However, this rarely works, and they are eventually being used. If you come across someone like that, don’t take advantage of them.
In as much as asking for help can be the beginning of a wonderful relationship, taking advantage of people and demanding for more helps can reverse the case and will make them begin to despise you because they feel you waste their time and money or take advantage of their generosity in a way or the other.
Asking for help or being helped is not meant in this post to be a sure fire way to to get people to automatically like you or get interested in you, it’s just a way to increase the probability of getting liked by the other party.
Be specific about your request to stand a lower chance of being rejected, also don’t forget to ask a single person rather than expecting someone to help after asking the whole room .
Keep in mind that asking for too much of help within a short period can in fact get people to begin to show you some attitude of contempt for trying to take advantage of them.
Lastly, do not feel uncomfortable with yourself when you get a no for an answer, it is in fact close-to-normal to be rejected or denied access at one point or the other, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try next time or give in to the fear of rejection.
It's close-to-normal to be rejected or denied access at one point or the other, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try the next time or give in to the fear of rejection. Click To Tweet