Scorekeeping - Deepstash
To get through life, we all need to ask for help - here's how NOT to do it

To get through life, we all need to ask for help - here's how NOT to do it

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Scorekeeping

While reciprocity does make people more likely to comply with the request, it also makes us feel controlled, which takes all the fun out of it.

Reminding someone that they owe you a favor does not create good feelings. Scorekeeping is fundamentally bad for relationships.

Focus on the benefactor

The motivation to be helpful is tied to your helper’s identity and self-esteem. People help because they want to be admired.

  • Other-praising (Acknowledging and validating the character or abilities of the giver.) “You go out of your way …” or  I feel like you’re really good at that.
  • Self-benefit (Describing how the receiver is better off for having been given help). “It let me relax.” or “It makes me happy.”

"You're going to love helping me!"

"You're going to love helping me!"

Don't try and convince someone how much they will enjoy helping you. It reeks of control and is presumptive. It drains their joy out of helping.

How they feel is for them to decide.

A small favor

One common tactic is to portray the help we need as so small, that it is barely a favor. "Would you add these updates to the database? It won’t take you more than five minutes.”

It is conveying that you think the work the other person does is easy, quick, trivial and not very taxing. That’s not a great way to enlist help. You might also underestimate the size of the favor. Do not presume it won’t take them very long the next time you ask them for help.

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