Here’s my No Brainer Ask principle.

The strength of your relationship with someone directly correlates with the amount of time it takes that person to say yes to one of your requests.

If you’ve built the trust, if you’ve been generous, if you’ve given more than you’ve received, the ask — when you make it — is a no brainer. Of course! Yes! Count me in!

My friend Michael called me up about a month ago. He was training to run in a 24-hour relay from Mount Hood to the Pacific and he was hoping I would make a donation to his team. Michael, a close friend, has built trust with me and my answer was an immediate yes.

Blue Dog Rescue in Austin sent me an appeal because they had a high influx of rescue dogs and needed some extra funds. I rescued my dog Blue Jean from Blue Dog and was bowled over by their placement services and dedication to their dogs. I gave in a second.

Avaaz sent me an appeal asking me to donate to the biggest climate summit ever. I don’t think of Avaaz as a climate leader and I have trouble keeping track of their campaigns as they A/B test me on issues as varied as saving bees and human rights in Palestine with few report backs on progress. I didn’t give.

In a real relationship, the ask in incidental. And the answer is always yes.