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Old 04-16-2006, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Using Flattery - Does it work on you?

I've been thinking about the impact of writing and words on people. Personally, I'm a little like a rock when it comes to people trying to conciously influence me. If I get my heart broken, I'll be crushed, but if some one is trying to break my heart, it won't happen.

What really got me htinking about this, though, was that the other day I made a post on my own little blog about a girl I liked and apparently it was nice enough that she almost cried.

Since I'm a bit of an ass instead of emotional it got me to wondering about how flattery can influence a person.

When people try it on me I can generally see straight through it. I think people are full of shit so even if a close friend says nice things I can pretty much just assume it's them trying to be nice to me for one reason or another. I don't honestly believe people are being nice to be for the sake of saying nice things, and when they don't have a motive and I know it I generally just kind of ignore it since it's just them being nice and since thtey don't have a motive, there's nothing for me to think about. I guess I'm a bit manipulative sometimes.

And that got me to thinking, how are you influenced by flattery? Are you? If you are or aren't, what are some examples or different things that can be said that will influence you?

Apart of why I ask is that I'm not particularly social, so I have to kind of make socialness into a science for me to figure out so that I can be more persuasive about things.
I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: EH!?!?
I wouldn't say flattery works well on me. I'd much rather the person DO something nice for me, than to just say it or write it. heartfelt actions over flattery...
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago
Actions speak a lot louder than words... However, words don't anything.

I like to point out to people what their good attributes are, not so much that it's like I'm running around with my head up their butts... but because it makes me feel good to make them feel good... Someone recently told me that I made them feel like the most important person in the world... and that was the nicest compliment that I think I've ever been given in my life...

Compliments and flattery have to be genuine for them to have any effect, especially on me, if someone misguided soul were to tell me that i was beautiful, that'd be a lie and I'd seriously wonder what they wanted, the flattery has to fit the person... I think there are some people out there who are completely phoney in their compliments and that really lessens the value of it...
Free your heart from hatred. Free your mind from worries. Live simply. Give more. Expect less.
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Kittyville
It just depends. I usually trust my instincts - my instincts tell me if someone is telling me to make me feel better or if they are completely sincere. If someone is sincere, I generally melt like an ice cream cone. Very messy! If they're just being nice, I usually shrug it off and try to change the subject.

As for *giving* compliments - I try to be very open about my positive feelings for others - whether it's how they look or something they did. People around me know I'm an honest person, and know I would rather stay quiet than say anything I don't mean - so I *think* it's generally appreciated when I point out some awesomeness. I especially like randomly complimenting strangers when they're wearing something awesome or their hair is really beautiful or something like that - because they will go the rest of the day knowing that they look good, because I have no other reason to tell them that. I feel it brightens a person's day.
My heart knows me better than I know myself, so I'm gonna let it do all the talkin'.
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Old 04-17-2006, 07:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: One step closer to the padded cell...
How do I take a compliment? Most of the time very poorly, but I'm getting better
---(( no no your not fooling anybody you'll be stone cold in a moment )) Im getting better, I feel happy, I feel Happy.....---
Sorry about that, bit of a python moment.
Back to what I was typing. If someone tells me something to try to get something, I am as cold as ice. If someone tells me something simply to make me feel better, they will usually get a smile. I mean hey, even if the compliment wasn't 100% sincere, the fact they were trying to cheer me up is. Lastly, if their heart is in the compliment and I know they truly mean what they say, then I feel a little bit better all day

To point out to a few people something that Maleficent post above made me think. ( not saying that you feel this way Mal, just giving the credit of my sources )
Just because you don't necessarily classify yourself in the cute/pretty/sexy/skinny/beautiful category or any combination thereof, doesn't mean someone else doesn't.

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Old 04-17-2006, 08:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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For those confused...
Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
Main Entry: flat·tery
Pronunciation: 'fla-t&-rE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ter·ies
1 a : the act or practice of flattering b (1) : something that flatters (2) : insincere or excessive praise
I think you should make it a point to genuinely encourage those around you, give praise where it's deserved and be complimentary when you honestly can. It's the excessive fawning for fawning's sake, which is the very essence of flattery, that I can't stand.

It's fairly obvious when someone is trying to flatter me. It usually leads to a nice, awkward silence as they wait for me to mindlessly compliment them in return. Their self-esteem problems aren't really mine to fix, so I tend to keep my mouth shut or redirect the conversation if I can't find something to honestly compliment them on.

Genuine compliments, at least in the professional sense, I've no problem accepting. I'm very confident in my abilities in relation to my job. Personal praise...I've a hard time acknowledging. For what reason and where the disconnect is, I couldn't say.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Kansas City, yo.
I loathe flattery.

I love compliments.
"The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me." (Ayn Rand)
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." (M. Scott Peck)
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
Found my way back
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Location: South Africa
Flattery sucks. Problem is that I'm a bit on the naive side, so I don't always see it until it's too late. And then it really sucks because then you feel like you're a whoopee cushion that was just sat on. I don't flatter people.

Compliments, OTOH, I take with open arms. I don't give nearly as many compliments as I should for fear that it might look like I'm trying to flatter/be false/brown-nosing etc. Another reason I don't compliment as much is because I'm a bit shy. I get this almost embarassed feeling when I do tell someone something nice...especially if it's in person.

I'm weird.
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
Ok - can I edit my posts to read "what healer said"?
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Angloland
Originally Posted by Toaster126
I loathe flattery.

I love compliments.
Mr.Bump agrees with your wise choice
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't flatter people because I refuse to have a reputation as a bullshit artist. I do, however, give sincere compliments where they are due but I find that people are so used to bullshit and looking for alterior motives that they can't see sincerity anymore.
I find that sad.
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Super Moderator
Location: on the other side
I like to receive a compliment but actions for me speak louder than just words. Over time, I have started complimenting others just naturally, because I feel like it. Not as a form of flattery but usually just because I really think at that moment that I should tell them how nice they are/look/what a good thing they have done/said. Usually people are pleasantly surprised by the fact that I have chosen to say something at that particular moment. It's great to see someone smile at you sincerely because you just made them feel good.
Whether we write or speak or do but look
We are ever unapparent. What we are
Cannot be transfused into word or book.
Our soul from us is infinitely far.
However much we give our thoughts the will
To be our soul and gesture it abroad,
Our hearts are incommunicable still.
In what we show ourselves we are ignored.
The abyss from soul to soul cannot be bridged
By any skill of thought or trick of seeming.
Unto our very selves we are abridged
When we would utter to our thought our being.
We are our dreams of ourselves, souls by gleams,
And each to each other dreams of others' dreams.

Fernando Pessoa, 1918
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
Observant Ruminant
Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
Too intense praise or flattery actually makes me withdraw, because I'm afraid someone's putting me on a pedestal I can't live up to. I know, poor self-esteem.

Obviously fake flattery doesn't do much for me: for example, I don't trust flattery from someone who has something to gain, or from someone who's very flattering and effusive before they even get to know you well. Used to know a guy who tried to make friends by flattering everyone around him, all the time. Once you were his "friend," however, you were supposed to listen to his nonstop rant about his life and feelings. His flattery was just a form of recruiting, as it were.

Of course there's that form of flattery called charm or charisma, in which a person uses body language, eye contact, and facial expression to make you feel like a very important and special person -- without saying much of anything. And that's a hard one to resist because it can be subtle. Some people are born to it, some learn a few tricks from the cheesier sort of personal development courses or books.

As others have said, actions speak louder than words. "You're doing a great job" isn't as sincere as "This is great. Can I help?"

Last edited by Rodney; 06-03-2006 at 07:12 AM..
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
I consdier myself to be quite adept at being honest in a flattering way to females I know. Poetry is something I can do reasonably well and flatter the hell out of someone. Poetry is cool like that though, it's not necessarily "reality" but instead words constructed with the goal of flattery, not honesty. In that instance, it's a different sort of flattery, because it isn't necessarily 100% honesty.

I am not really a big fan of flattery from someone else, but I do really appreciate some sort of indication that they are following me in a conversation. IE, follow-up questions instead of just distractedly saying "Yeeaa.."

Also, a friend of mine uses my name when she talks to me and is about to say something important. IE, "Jim, I was at the store today.. etc." It has a very cool effect, because generally you don't say names when talking in a two person conversation with a friend.

I tend to be very modest, and when flattery is attempted, I generally assume it's either not true or the other party is just saying nice things for the sake of saying them.

I don't go bonkos with the flattery though. Praise from me is a valuable thing, and I don't use it so much that it becomes worthless.

Generally I would say I value common courtesy much more than I do flattery.
Desperation is no excuse for lowering one's standards.

Last edited by Jimellow; 06-03-2006 at 07:53 AM..
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flattery, work

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