How to make someone like you- The Benjamin Franklin Effect

The legendary Statesman, Benjamin Franklin once wanted to win over a man who did not like him.

The way he did it was to ask the man for a favor. He asked the man to lend him a rare book that the man had in his collection. When the book was received Mr. Franklin thanked the man graciously.  Although Franklin did not have any interest in the book and he simply let it sit on a shelf for a couple of weeks, when he returned it he again thanked the man for his generosity.

As a result, this the man who had never wanted to speak to him before, became good friends with Franklin. To quote Franklin: “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

Scientists tested this theory with a group of volunteers. They simply had a researcher ask half of the volunteers for a personal favor during the process of answering some questions on a questionnaire. The second half of the volunteers were not asked a favor. The results was that the researcher received much more favorably comments from the group who were asked the favor than the ones that were not.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the theory is sound.

If someone does a favor for you, they are likely to rationalize that you must have been worth doing the favor for, and decide that therefore they must like you.

Has this worked for you or someone you know? Give us the details!