Compliments Versus Flattery

Do you know the difference between compliments and flattery? Intent. The difference between someone who compliments you and and someone who flatters you: one is giving you something, the other wants something from you. So how do you tell the difference? Easy: Were you expected to give something in return? The key word is: expected. Flattery comes with expectations, whereas compliments do not.

With so many people out there for themselves these days, it’s easy to get fleeced. Literally. A compliment costs nothing, and is something that will make someone’s day just because. Flattery on the other hand comes with a price tag. You have give up something to get something. Period. It’s not mutual. It may feel that way, at first. But, with flattery there’s always this gnawing feeling that if you don’t do something you won’t get anything in return. It’s pretty simple really. It’s based on a business transaction mentality. You do for me, and I’ll do for you. There’s nothing selfless about it. There’s also a serpentine quality about someone who flatters. They don’t call them snakes for no reason.

Someone who flatters knows to tell you exactly what you want to hear, is critical. They also know that telling you exactly what you already think of yourself is key to making sure they get what they want, when they want, whenever they want. Every time. It’s crucial that you think that they really want what’s best for you. They don’t, they’re only concerned with what you can do for them. So, they keep you focused on how: great you are, easy you are to talk to, special, smart… Whatever. It’s all a ruse to keep you on the hook. There’s something unauthentic about it. And, deep down, you know it’s not true. Even though it’s really nice to hear it. It’s also based on exaggerations and distortions as well.

People who compliment however, tell you the truth. They look for the positive and don’t exploit it for personal gain. They really are in your corner, and will find ways to help you. They don’t do it get something, they do it to give something. A compliment is meant to uplift, and doesn’t have to be exchanged for anything. Compliments are free, there are no price tags. And, they aren’t used to barter. When someone compliments you, don’t you feel the sincerity? You don’t feel uncomfortable. No nagging feelings that it may not necessarily be true. It feels right, and you believe them.

Compliments help people to want to become better. When people feel good about themselves, not only do they do better, they help others become better as well. There’s a positive vibe that comes with a compliment. You stand taller, smile more, and want to find the good in others. Confidence soars, and self respect becomes evident. You feel like you matter, and validation is confirmed. Compliments bring out the best in people. There’s no stress attached, most of the time they’re earned. Flattery is all over the place theses days. But a sincere compliment? Now, that’s something to get excited about.

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