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Last Update: Mar 22, 2015
'Help yourself by helping another'
A meaningful (un)asked favor often brings you three important advantages:
- people like you more
- people want to pay you back in one way or another
- it gives you a good feeling if you help someone else
This three advantages will help your confidence grow, both in your career as in daily life. It is known that if people like you, they also think positively about you. As people think positive about you, they will share their opinion with others, for example with neighbours, colleagues or with your boss.
If people like you, they also add other responsive and valuable features to your personality. This effect is called the halo effect, discovered by the psychologist Edward Thorndike. The opposite of the halo effect is the horn effect. If people like you, they think you're also capable for other tasks and are more likely to recommend you if someone seeks for a specific expertise. You will be seen as a competent person.
People do not want to be in debt. When you grant someone an unasked and meaningful favor, it makes them think they owe you something. This principle is called reciprocity. Reciprocity means that people feel a social obligation to give something back to you, otherwise they will think that they steal from you.
The principle of reciprocity has its origins in the time when the course of trade was based on barter. People had to trust each other if they do something for someone else, the other person would do something back for them. For example, the baker give bread to the shoemaker, and the shoemaker will make shoes in return. Although barter no longer exists, the principle of reciprocity is still in everyday use. For example, we ask someone for a return visit after visiting this person.
The nice thing about the reciprocity principle is that you often can ask for a somewhat larger favor than you gave initially, like a kind of interest for the favor you once have granted. But don't wait too long asking for a return favor, otherwise the other don't remember it anymore.
It's obvious that you feel good when you get something, however you feel much better when you give something away. Granting a favor is the same as giving away something. Doing so for someone else will increase your self respect and subsequently your self-confidence.
When you have self-confidence, you think and present yourself positively. Others, like colleagues and managers perceive positive people in general as pleasant to deal with. The halo effect let your manager think you're a capable employee and give you more important tasks and higher wages.
'Help yourself by helping another' is exactly what Wealthy Affiliate is all about.