Is it a real compliment or simple flattery? Much depends on the recipient’s view.


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It’s often easy to brush off a compliment, especially when self-doubt is involved.  Your not quite sure the lipstick is the right shade, or the dress fits properly, or your entirely confident the work done is up to your personal expectations.  In those moments, when someone gives you a compliment, you might consider it flattery.

I’m not given to flattery.  If I like something, or it resonates with me in some way, I feel the need to say so, tell it like it is, let the other person know how it moved me.

Simply put, flattery, is saying something whether true or not, for your own gain, to make the “flatterer” look or feel good and has little to do with the recipient. It is “skin deep” as words go, with little to no substance behind it, except a momentary gain and momentary feeling for the recipient.

There are exceptions of course; your on a blind date and the fella involved can’t stop talking about your hair or yours eyes or makes mention of your skin, etc.  We don’t need to go down that road to know what is involved in this instant flattery.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, a little flattery goes a long way.  In some instances, it can be a boon, a salve to heal chafed skin after an unfortunate run-in with a jealous colleague or thoughtless remark made by someone that was unwarranted and likely untrue.  In those moments, possibly, it is acceptable, as long as the person involved doesn’t make a habit of using flattering words.

There is however, also a difference between flattery and kindness.  When you look at the world from the positive side, you find something good in most things.  Not everything, most things.  I’ve often had people tell me I’m too kind, it’s been a theme in my life off and on for awhile.

In reality, that’s not how what I’ve said was meant.  I might be too effusive in my delight with something seen, read, heard and therefore my words may come across as “kind” or “full of flattery”.  That would be the furthest thing from my mind.

Since I tend to be a positive person, I tend to look for something positive in most situations, but especially when someone has put them self out there and is vulnerable.  I will say nothing at all if I can’t find something positive to say.

Anyway, that’s my take on flattery for today.  I doubt there’s anything new or earth-shatteringly exciting in it, but there it is. 🙂






13 thoughts on “Flattery

  1. “Since I tend to be a positive person, I tend to look for something positive in most situations”

    Great outlook 🙂 Rock on!

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Brilliant and Original, Loved your post!

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