“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”
― Norman Vincent Peale
Every now and then I have this question in my mind – is flattery good or bad? And true or not, in today’s world, it seems to me that it works in favour of those who can do it. Also, most often our reaction to flattery depends on things like – the person, situation, place and the words they use.
Many people use flattery as a tool to get their job done and well, they succeed too. It works basically because the one being flattered feels good about it, sometimes even after knowing the fact that the flattering comments might not be accurate at all. Also, the fact that flattery makes one feel better about oneself is what wraps the one being flattered. And this wrapping around with ego-boosting compliments make them look away from the ulterior motive of the flatterer.
For me, casual flattery is enjoyable and gives positive vibrations but too much of it when it goes on and on and on becomes annoying. Also, I can’t flatter people for the heck of it. If I feel I should praise someone for something, the call should come from my heart. And in my work life, I often find that this trait of mine poses as a hindrance. I believe in doing my job well and letting my work speak for me. However I often see around me that people who do little in actual but indulge in flattery at the appropriate places and at appropriate time, often earns brownie points & move into the good books of the bosses. I guess in today’s world self-advertising has become much more important than the actual job.
I don’t know whether flattery, to fulfill one’s own motives, is good or bad but I definitely know that this is one thing I can never do.
“Sweet words are like honey, a little may refresh, but too much gluts the stomach.”
― Anne Bradstreet
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