Flattery is so misused today that it has earned an ugly name for itself. It’s associated with tricksters who derive pleasure in getting what they don’t deserve from targeted people.
Flattery is the art of saying something positive to someone which in the actual sense is untrue.
In Nigeria, especially among young people, flattery is commonly known as “whining”. And it’s so common in their conversations that most times, it’s perceived as offensive or insult, particularly if it’s said by the young person to the elderly one, or from a low-profile person to a high-profile person.
However, there are things you may not know about flattery. Probably because nobody told you about it or you just didn’t care to know.
This article will show you the things you may not know about flattery. Just promise yourself to read to the end and be open-minded. In the process, you may have inspiration on how you can use flattery to your advantage.
Things About Flattery You May Not Know
1. Flattery is not praise: Did you know that most praises you receive could be flattery?
I guess you probably did not know until now that I am going to tell you.
Praise is the act of saying positive things about the good qualities of someone.
Whereas flattery is insincere praise.
The truth is that most praises are flattery in disguise. Take for example a person who praises you when he wants something from you.
If you examine well, most of the good things someone says about you most of the time may not be true. Their true intention may be to get you excited to give them something you may not give in a normal mood.
This kind of praise is common in politics. And it is called sycophancy. You see people praising politicians or other people in powerful positions to gain their likes or magnanimity.
Of course, people who praise those in powerful positions may not be blamed. This is because most of the people in powerful positions face criticism a lot, and they need praise to boost their self-esteem and ego.
And politicians who have too much hunger for praises surround themselves with sycophants called supporters and friends.This is why most politicians perform below average because of sycophancy. They get so blindfolded by sycopancy that they don’t realise their underperformance.
2. Flattery has a developmental advantage: flattery is not all bad. It has an ethical and more valuable objective. It can aid growth and development. Presumably, flattery of this type may work only on children, people with low cognitive development, and people who have been starved for praise despite their positive effort towards a project or noble deeds.
Take for instance a child who is not yet entirely good at writing or having a bath perfectly, but the parent declares that the child is so as to strengthen and make certain the habit which is still in its ambivalent form, which the child is yet to master.
3. Everybody is susceptible to flattery: No matter how intelligent we are, we can respond to flattery positively. Abraham Lincoln once observed: ” everyone likes a compliment”. Because we all like compliments, there are compliments that are flattery and you may not know because of the way it’s packaged and the situation in which the compliment takes place.
For example, you are an avid reader and you know it very well. An unfamiliar person with an ulterior motive compliments you about it. He backs the compliments up by saying he once saw you somewhere speak about books and that your speaking was very rich in knowledge and vocabulary. He concluded by requesting that you come and speak in one of his programmes for free.
Wouldn’t you grant his request?
I guess you would.
No matter how knowledgeable we are on the tactics of flattery, we can’t always spot flattery immediately if it’s in a refined and package form.
We like to hear good things about ourselves. So the person with an ulterior motive who can say that good thing you know about yourself very well will succeed in getting what he wanted from you.