The Benjamin Franklin Effect

Outlined in his autobiography, the Ben Franklin Effect is a technique used to get someone to like you more. It's pretty simple: asking a favor from someone will get them to like you more than if you did a favor for them yourself.

Franklin describes how he dealt with a rival legislator as an example:

Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return'd it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.

To be honest, I think it's a little psychopathic to use tricks like this to get people to like you. It's weird. Don't brag about this if you do do it. So then, why am I telling you about it?

Because I totally fall victim to it. If you ask me for a favor, I will 100% help you just for the enjoyment of it and instantly think of you as a good friend (as long as you say thank you).

The linked Wikipedia talks about cognitive dissonance as the reasoning behind the "trick". However I think there's something more human—more communal—behind its roots. We as humans find enjoyment from helping others. When the problem is solved, both helper and helpee find satisfaction.

A certain level of trust has to be involved too, as the person asking for the favor must respect the helper's abilities and put faith in what they can do. When trust is received, trust is given.

I get a lot of enjoyment from helping others, so to me, the Ben Franklin Effect makes a ton of sense.

If you ever need help, you know who to call.