Here’s a resolution that might sound counter-intuitive: Ask for a favor.
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. I remember a friend at work telling me, “I never liked that guy until he told me he needed to borrow $50. Then I realized he must consider me a friend, and presto! I started liking him.”
Studies show that for happiness, providing support is just as important as getting support. By offering people a way to provide support, you generate good feelings in them.
So asking, and receiving, a favor generates good feelings on both sides.
Obviously, there are small favors and big favors. You don’t want to ask someone to take care of your dog while you’re on vacation unless that person is already a close friend. But asking for a recommendation for a good dentist isn’t burdensome.
One of my most helpful Secrets of Adulthood is It’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help is a very useful way of asking for a favor. I’m absolutely mystified by asking for help is so hard for me. So often, I can just solve a problem by asking for help—which is almost always freely and cheerfully given.
Happiness paradoxes: it can be selfless to be selfish, and you can be generous by taking.
How about you? Have you had an experience where you asked for a favor — or were asked for a favor — and the favor ended up strengthening your relationship?

By: Gretchen Rubin (Bestselling author; blogger www.happiness-project.com)

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