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Eye-opening theory uses orange analogy to show how we build trust with people

People on TikTok are using an analogy about peeling an orange to describe how we build trust with others and it’s really eye-opening.

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Man pealing fruit
Credit: Daniel Day (Getty Images)

The Orange Peel Theory uses an orange to represent the small favors we ask others to do as we learn to trust them.

We all ask people to do things for us in everyday life, which unknowingly helps us determine if we can ask them for bigger favors in the future.

Asking someone to peel an orange seems like a bizarre task as they may think – why can’t you just do it yourself?

However, if they peel the orange for you without question, this says a lot about their character and reveals whether we can trust them.

It’s gone viral after a TikTok user shared a video describing the Orange Peel Theory which has had more than 1.7 million views.

“You may really enjoy eating an orange, but some people find peeling the orange to be an unpleasant task,” she said. “Maybe you get food under your nails and you don’t like that or maybe you find it difficult.”

She went on to explain the possible reactions when you ask someone to peel it for you, such as “No you can peel the orange yourself,” “Fine, you’re welcome” or “I’d be happy to peel your orange for you no problem”.

“It might not literally be about peeling the orange. More so, they’re asking you for a small favor to see your reaction, to see if later they can ask you for bigger favors. And how are you gonna make them feel when they ask you to do that for them?” the TikTok user continued.

“This is something I’ve done before and I didn’t realise why it meant so much to my heart that this person did this small favor for me. It might just be baby steps to building that trust.”

In the comments, people are sharing real-life scenarios where the Orange Peel Theory has come into play.

One person commented: “My husband opens drink cans for me so I don’t break a nail.”

“My big sister used to ask me to take the first bite of her apple to get it started for her,” said another.

A third person added: “Day one of moving in, my fiancé asked me one task I hate to do and I said laundry… I haven’t done laundry since.”

“It reminds me of how my mum would pack my dad’s lunch so he doesn’t forget to eat,” someone else wrote.

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