E-canteen Fundas: How the word 'because' can make all the difference

Using the magic word 'because' and providing a reason influences others behaviour favourably towards you
Pic: Edex Live
Pic: Edex Live

Bhaiyya, Rahul’s in trouble,’ said Rinku. ‘Our Hindi lecturer told him to prepare her presentation. Rahul said that he cannot do it. Now she’s upset.’
‘Yes, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I’ve work to do. Why’s she forcing her work on us? I’d rather not be in her good books than do her work, like Rinku did. Rinku was up all night preparing it as she didn’t want to offend our lecturer.’
‘Interesting situation,’ said Rakesh. ‘And one we face often. Let’s do a role play and see if we can get out of this without upsetting your lecturer. Rinku, ask me to prepare that presentation.’
‘Bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘Can you make my presentation?’ 
‘No,’ said Rakesh bluntly. 
Rinku was taken aback. Rakesh and Rahul laughed. 
‘You got offended, didn’t you?’ said Rakesh. ‘And you’ll hold that against me. Okay, ask again.’ 
‘Bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘Can you make my presentation?’
‘Sorry, Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘I can’t because I’m busy. Now?’
‘Much better,’ said Rinku. ‘I feel you’ve got a reason for refusing, so it’s okay. I won’t hold it against you.’
‘That’s the power of the magic word ‘Because’, fellows,’ said Rakesh. ‘In a famous study called the Copy Machine Study done by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer, people standing in line at a copy machine allowed others to cut the line 94 per cent of the time simply ‘because’ they said they had urgent work. What’s more fascinating is this — people allowed others to cut the line 93 per cent of the time ‘because’ they said they wanted to make copies! Compare these high success rates to a 60% success rate when no reason was given and you get how behaviour works.’
‘Wow,’ said Rinku. ‘So giving people a good reason does work.’
‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘It appears that human behaviour is driven by reasons; whether the reasons are logical or irrational, it doesn’t seem to matter. So, by using a simple ‘because’, we can influence others and even get favours. When we give reasons and justify our behaviour, it gives everyone a face-saving exit.’
‘I feel some people may use it to lie and shirk work,’ said Rinku.
‘You don’t even need to lie,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘The study proves that you can give the correct reason, however irrational and it still works 93 per cent of the time. Even a reason like ‘because I didn’t feel like it’ makes the other person more tolerant.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘Because…’
Pro Tip: Using the magic word ‘because’ and providing a reason influences others’ behaviour favourably towards you. Giving a reason that explains or justifies your actions eases unwanted stress in relationships and generally works in your favour.

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