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Why It’s Generous to Ask for a Favor

A fun fact: Asking for favors can strengthen your connections to other people. Because giving to others brings the giver such huge benefits, when we give others the chance to help us out, we are also giving them the opportunity to reap the benefits of being a giver. But asking people for favors also strengthens our connections by increasing our own likability. Although we typically assume we do favors for people we like, it turns out that we also report liking someone more once we do them a favor! This phenomenon has been dubbed the “Franklin effect” because Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” Franklin was right.

What favors do you need from others? Who can you ask to fulfill those favors?

This post is from a series about social connections from the “Science of Finding Flow,” an online course I created as a companion to my book The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less. Want to go on to the next class or start the course from the beginning? It’s free! Just go to The Science of Finding Flow course page. Enjoy!