Ben Franklin Effect: How to Deal With Haters


In a perfect world, everyone would like to be Angelina Jolie - a likeable charming personality.

We would want to be that guy who whenever he walks into a room becomes overwhelmed with warm smiles, sincere handshakes and comforting hugs.

As a result of this, such a personality never gets a hissing or dissing from anyone.

However, outside this Wonderland where everything is astoundingly beautiful and perfect is the real world.

In the real world, you make enemies both known and unknown. These enemies may actually be people that have taken an oath in their anger that nothing you do (including greeting them) could ever be pleasing to them.

They seem to literally wake up everyday and devise a totally malicious plan to make you uncomfortable. On the other side of the coin, we have the silent enemies - the Resident Evil, the ones who can't wait to show you their white teeth in the name of smiles.

However, deep in their heart are nothing but evil machinations aimed at your downfall. This type of enemies are borne primarily out of envy and jealousy for your success.

In life, making enemies is inevitable since we live among and interact with other people.

Everyone must not like you, that's a fact of life.

This becomes even more true when your aim is to make a change in your community or make a dent in the universe.

The only way to avoid pissing people off is to be and do nothing important. But as long as you want to grow, improve yourself and your environment, those who can't stay in the same room with you will surely arise.

Even though you might try to ignore them, enemies can make life hellish.

And if you are unlucky, they might be part of your social circle or someone that is in charge of the key that could make you successful.

So, what is the best way to deal with your haters? How can you turn your enemies into your fans without falling on your knees?

For the answers to these questions, we will turn to Benjamin Franklin.

He created a really effective strategy for dealing with haters.
Borrowing a Leaf From the Life of Benjamin Franklin

1706 marked the year that Benjamin Franklin's life dawned on earth.

He was the eighth of the seventeen children of a soap and candle maker in Massachusetts. Being in such a crowded home makes the chances of Ben becoming successful equivalent to making mountain out of a mole hill.

The story of how Ben rose to the apex of power and fame is one that will always have you saying wow even if you are hearing it for the hundredth time.

Although he had a very poor family background, Ben went on to become a master of political games and social skills. These traits were developed by pouring countless hours scouring the contents of books in his brother's printing shop. His reading habit is fueled by his love of books as well as the firing drive in him to become distinguished in the society.

He turned into a talker and a schemer - a man capable of cunning and persuasive charm.

Just as the saying goes, knowledge is power. From reading, he started leading. He was appointed a clerk in the government of his time.

In a space of few years, Franklin had gone from being a nobody - a common printing shop boy to a man of power.

On his way to the top, Benjamin Franklin had made a handful of enemies. But the man is not at all swayed or disturbed for he has stockpiled a cache of cajolative weapons, one of which was the Benjamin Franklin effect.
The Magic of the Benjamin Franklin Effect

By the time Ben was planning to run for his second tenure as a clerk, one of his colleagues couldn't withstand it anymore.

He took out time to prepare and deliver a very long speech in front of the legislature on how Benjamin Franklin is ineffective and simply unsuitable for the position of a clerk.

Despite the hate campaign, Ben later won. It's needless to say that enmity ensued between him and the man.

Having a very good analytical mind, Ben realized that the man is a highly enlightened and has great political power. This makes it automatically high that his enemy would become elected into a high position of power. And when that happens, he will find himself in a very hot seat.

He had to turn that enemy of his into a good friend without falling on his knees or paying any servile respect.

One day, Franklin penned down a letter addressed to the man. He asked his hater to lend him a selection of books from his library, one of which is rare and curious.

In the whole town, Benjamin Franklin had the reputation of being a man with high literary taste. When the letter had been read by the man, he was flattered to be asked for such favour from a man like Ben.

So, he quickly sent the requested books to Benjamin Franklin. After a week, Ben returned the borrowed books with a thank you note.

What happened after that has been making a buzz in the world of psychological science since then.

At the next meeting of the legislature, the hater gave Ben the most sincerest handshake and the warmest smile ever.

And then he talked to Ben for the first time ever!

In his autobiography, Ben noted that the hater “ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.”

Why the sudden change of attitude? Why did asking for a favour turn an enemy into a fan? Why does asking for help make people to start thinking positively about you?

This is caused by the psychological phenomenon called the Ben Franklin effect.

The Ben Franklin effect is a proposed psychological phenomenon which states that a person who has already performed a favor for another is more likely to do another favor for the other than if they had received a favor from that person.

The reverse of the statement is also true.

Finally, if you want to turn an enemy into a friend or get someone to like you more, asking them for a favour works BETTER than doing them a favour.

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Cheers! 😁

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