Want to be my friend? Ask me for a favor.
It might sound weird, but according to happiness expert Gretchen Rubin (someone I follow regularly online), that's an important part of creating a bond between people.
"Ask for help, for advice, for suggestions. Asking for a favor is a sign of intimacy and trust. It shows that you feel comfortable being indebted to someone," Rubin said in a recent blog post on her blog The Happiness Project. "I remember a friend at work telling me, 'I never liked that guy until he told me he needed to borrow $50 from me. Then I realized he must consider me a friend, and presto! I started liking him.'"
Rubin says that often times providing support to others is just as important as getting support, so asking for a favor and hearing a "yes"can be beneficial to a relationship for both parties.
Rubin's favorite favor to ask for? Help.
"So often, I can just solve a problem by asking for help—which is almost always freely and cheerfully given," she says.
For more on Gretchen Rubin, check out our January 2009 issue's profile of the "Queen of Happiness."