Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding father of United States of America, he was also a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. So you can imagine, he is a real badass. And being loved by lots of people sometimes mean you are being hated by equally as many.
One such case that especially bothered Franklin was the hate he was getting from another legislator who opposed him politically. So what do all badasses do when something bothers them? They do something about it.
Franklin set out with the determination to turn this legislator into his ally. But instead of sucking up to this legislator, he did the complete opposite: He asked the legislator to do him a favour.
Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.
This was later known as the Benjamin Franklin Effect.
But why did it work?
Because our human brain tries to make sense of EVERYTHING we do, and when our beliefs contrasts with our action, like in Benjamin Franklin’s case, doing a favour for someone you believe to not be likeable, our brain subconsciously start a conversation with ourselves.
Why am I doing this guy a favour if he’s unlikeable? Maybe he isn’t such a bad person after all.
This is “stressful” self conflict is also known as “cognitive dissonance”.
So what do you do next time when you want to make friends with someone? Ask for a favour. Even something as small as borrowing a pen can have a positive effect on the subconscious mind.
Or you can do what I do most of the time, ignore them :)