How do you view flattery? While it can be great to flatter someone, you should understand your motive and desire before you term it as respectful or not. In many cases, flattery can be manipulative and conniving. Better to know the signs that shows that you are flattering and not respecting.
“The ears of our generation have been made so delicate by the senseless multitude of flatterers that, as soon as we perceive anything of ours in not approved of, we cry out that we are being bitterly assailed; and when we can repel the truth by no other pretence, we escape by attributing bitterness, impatience, intemperance, to our adversaries.” – Martin Luther King
You are not sincere
You are flattering another person but there is no sincerity attached with it. You are actually doing this to butter the other person’s ego. When you are not flattering another person your statements are sincere and you show appreciation for their work, their look or the kind of person they are.
You make the other person feel sad
Flattery rarely makes the other person feel good. With it comes some doubt and wariness. If you are respecting the other person on the other hand you are meant to make the person feel good. Your statements should be one that makes them encouraged, inspired and helps them to continue onward toward their goals.
You are putting yourself ahead of the other person
Although flattery could seemingly appear positive. Yet it puts a brighter spotlight on you rather than the other person. It is as if you are better off and you really are not considering the other person’s advancement. This doesn’t help the other person’s self-esteem or show admiration to him/her.
You compliment the other person excessively
Yes compliment or praising the other person is great. But this should be done with a mild dose and should be effective in making the other person aware of his/her strengths. However, you do not show respect to the other person when you do praise them excessively.
You have an agenda
People who can distinguish between praise and flattery know that with flattery comes an agenda. Most times people who flatter another person want something in return. In a way this can be manipulative, as if you really do not care about what the other person is truly about, but rather you are selfishly scheming for something you want from the other person.
You see the other person as an instrument
You flatter and disrespect the other person when you praise them excessively because you see something special about them that could serve as an instrument in helping you achieve your purpose. Respecting someone should make you know that they are not tools in helping you get what you want. Neither are they items for a specific purpose, to be used and dumped after. So if you are buttering someone to get something such as money, power, influence, or sex, then you are simply flattering the person.
You spice up a negative quality and make it look positive
Flattery can be directed at an angry man and inform him how wonderful he is for knowing what he wants and being strong. You can tell a jealous woman how great she is in protecting her relationship with her lover or her husband. All these doesn’t paint the real picture but rather feeds on someone’s pride and ego by telling them what they want to hear.
You have the other person wondering
Most times, when you flatter someone you tend to have the other person wondering if he/she deserves it or not. But by respecting the other person you show to him/her that your words are true.
It is important to know how to be careful of people who flatter you. When you start becoming a person of influence you will have a lot of flatterers who would present themselves to you. Understand such signs and you will be more meticulous in dealing with them.
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