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.” -Benjamin Franklin


I thought, we do good things to people who we like. I never realized its because of the good things we do to people, we like them.

                             Ask a favor;
                       To your so called hater
                         And watch the wonder;
                     This time they can’t thunder.

My Personal Experience:

It was really very hard to ask people a favor whom I hate. First of all I didn’t find people I hate. I only had some little differences with people because of some happenings in the past. I struggled hard to come up with two names who I thought they are not in good terms. And finally, I asked them a favor though I am not in a need of it. I cannot give the names as I don’t want them to know that they were a part of a little psychology experiment that I was doing.

Person 1:

A school friend of mine, who was not in good terms with me at all from the moment we met each other. I still remember the day where I lost to him in an election for a people leader in school. I took that failure sportively and congratulated for his success. He made a face and mocked at me and that’s the start of our misunderstandings. We had a number of arguments over many issues even after the school and went on having a rough sail. We tried to put down each other where ever possible.

He is now in a very successful position, working in an MNC and leading a happy career. I called him up last night and asked his whereabouts. I must say he was a lot surprised and I can sense his tone getting smoother as the conversation went on. I finally took a shot and asked some data relating to his role in the company, a favour that should be asked as per the Franklin effect. I told him that the data will be very useful in my research and project. Bingo!
He straight away gave me the information related to it and offered any assistance in case I need later. This morning I got a text from him enquiring whether the data will be of any help to me. Even I forgot about the experiment and talked to him cordially. I now believe that he is no longer my hater but a good friend who will be a shoulder from now.

Person 2:

I learnt that not every seed sprouts immediately!!
A cousin of mine, well-built in physique is a body builder and trainer. I never struggled to build a six-pack body and found pleasure in eating to my tummy full. As the time went on, he managed to have a macho look while I was finding food destinations where ever I go!! Whenever we met each other in some family functions or get-together, he used to make funny comments on how I look and calls me a sack of wood dust. I usually counter him saying he is freak and of course envy him.
This time I put that little ego away and called him asking for tips to melt down my body fat. I made some comments on how great he looks and said I too wanted to look like him. For a moment he thought I was throwing a prank on him (which I actually do) and hung up the phone. I called him again and made sure that I was serious about the idea and need his help. He said, he was busy that moment and told me he will return my call later.
I hope the effect worked on him and made a difference too. Well, I wait for his call, not just for the sake of the experiment but also for his body building tips. (It’s high time to lose some weight).

Through this experiment I realized how Benjamin Franklin, the eighth of the 17 children of his father had won over his haters and proved to be a well-known figure of the history.