Flattery 101: Innocent or Guilty?



Original poster
"Hey OMG I love your shoes! Where did you get them?"

Flattery (also called adulation or blandishment) is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject.


People say that flattery can get you places, that the "Art of Flattery will get you everywhere." But sometimes, some of the compliments you give or get could be insincere. So where do we draw the line?

Is flattery good or bad?

Are you susceptible to it?

And, moreover, how far do you think you can go with a little bit of flattery?

Inspiration from this article: Andrew O'Connell writes in the Harvard Business Review, "Why Flattery is Effective"
I think honest flattery is the way to go. What do I mean? Well, I work in retail. I am thankfully not in commissions, but anyone that thinks that means it doesn't matter how sales are is a fool since even though it's indirect, how much the store makes will influence in the end how much I make in a year.

So the point is, I want my customers happy. How do I do that when I am only getting 2 minutes of interaction with them? A lot of ways, one of them is a little bit of flattery. "Wow, that's a nice purse," has come from my lips more then once, but each time it has, it has been sincere. I liked the purse, I may not want to own the purse, it might not be practical for my life style or not in keeping with the mood of my clothing, but still for some reason that purse caught my eye, and wow, that's a nice purse.

What did it cost me to say this? Nothing. How did it make the customer feel. Good. Will this mean they'll spend another $5 today, probably not, but they're at least smiling now.
I'm guilty of it but it's more.... impulsive.

I'll see something I think is cool and I'll say it, not really for any gain sometimes, just to, you know, compliment it.

but I do some how end up making friends with a lot of people in stores and in foodstuffs places that I frequent, and it ends up giving me discounts and free things.... ?.?
Give me honesty or GTFO! >=O

Supa omia veritas!
I'm with Vaybrah, it makes me uncomfortable when people over-compliment me.
I compliment people when the compliment is true. ^^
If they really need cheering up, I cheer them up, but I don't lie. ^^
Aye, same here. I'm known for being completely truthful, so when I complement something or someone, I do it sincerely. Although when I get compliments, I end up getting flustered... I never know how to respond to flattery, heh.
Flirttery more than flattery over here.

Other than that, I'm like TK where it'll just be impulsive compliments.
Flirttery more than flattery over here.

Other than that, I'm like TK where it'll just be impulsive compliments.

So THAT'S what it was! >:[ *gives Eastwood glare while grinding fist in open palm*

Generally when I compliment someone it's genuine though. . .but then I find some things really interesting/beautiful that other people think are weird things to like, so most of the time I keep it to myself. Also compliments have a particular cultural gravity where I live. Compliment=genuine like of something you own=you give it to them, no questions asked.

In other news though, I am very susceptible to compliments/flattery >.> Curse of the Leos, I say!
I dig honesty. I have become really good over the years at seeing through deception and bullshit. I absolutely despise insincerity, especially since I am open and honest with everyone.
<--- Guilty as charged! I'm a compulsive flatterer... it really is my modus operandi. Talking with me in person is basically an endless stream of self-denigration from me, and a stream of compliments to you. It's usually quite honestly how I feel when I say it; social situations just stress me out and put me into self-esteem-panic-mode.

I do this not only in social situations, but for academics and work too. The art of writing a "good" (read: high-scoring) paper in college is, often, to figure out your professor's point of view and subtly cater to it without being too obvious.
I am so used to getting a flood of flattery and compliments that they just roll right off me. It has NO effect on me unless it's sincere... And believe me, I can tell the difference. t__t When you get butt kissers up the ying-yang, or dudes hitting on you, etc, you figure out when someone's complimenting something they -actually- like and have interest in or when they're just trying to butter up an admin or get a piece of ass.

When I am giving compliments to someone, I am usually sincere. XD I rarely ever do it on impulse or urge, so I don't randomly pop out and flatter something unless it really caught my attention. Usually it comes in the form of someone asking me my opinion AKA, Fishing for Compliments. I'll give the compliments and flattery that they're fishing for, but I try to make sure it's for something I actually liked or think deserves the praise.
When I take the time to compliment someone I mean it. I can sometimes overly compliment someone but it's always true! Whether or not it's supposed to be flirtatious is up to interpretation of the receiver!