Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When was the last time someone tried to use flattery on you and for what?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26834points) March 16th, 2015

How long has it been that someone tried to use flattery on you? What were they hoping to gain, time off (if you were their boss), sex, borrow money or goods, gain your favor or endorsement, etc.? Were they sly about it, or did they lay it on thick? How quick were you to pick up on it that they were blowing smoke up your tail pipe?

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4 Answers

David_Achilles's avatar

For the past few months a new co-worker of mine has been very free with flattering comments about me and about my work. He seems warm and genuine but I’m not a person who trusts easily. I’ve been burned too many times. It has been my suspicion that he was hired for some sort of “team leader” role. My company is like the Wild West right now with everybody and yet nobody really in charge. While I would welcome a little more organizational structure I have quite a few more years experience than he does and a broader skill set. He is much younger, and I can say honestly, more personable than me in many ways. I am an introvert and happier to work very independently.

I don’t mind collaborating with someone but I don’t want to “answer to” them. So I felt like he was schmoozing me a little bit to get me on his side and win my loyalty. I wonder if he is 100% sincere in his complements or if this is some sort of stealthy takeover attempt. Time will tell. I like him so I am being amiable and treading carefully. The political situation is one that requires all the alliances I can muster.

I think he is sincere but I also think he has an agenda. Time will tell. He has confided in me about issues that he has with some of the other people in our office. He has also asked for my help at times which I am happy to give.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ I think he is sincere but I also think he has an agenda. Time will tell.
How little of a complement would you consider not to be flattery for gain? If he said ⅔ less complement, would you figure he was angling for something?

David_Achilles's avatar

It really doesn’t matter exactly how much of the complement is for gain as long as it has some element of sincerity and is not total out and out deception. I mean, we are all social animals and if we are honest about it I think we must all admit that we look for advantage in social ways. We try to get along with people and make people like us. There is nothing wrong with that per se. There is something wrong with out and out deception. Lying to someone to win them over or to win their confidence so you can use them for totally selfish reasons. Or gaining their confidence so you can find out their vulnerabilities to exploit some advantage or undermine them in some way.

In this case I think it’s to his advantage to get along with me and he sees that. I can be helpful to him. He is likable and talented and I want to help him. But I don’t want to be stabbed in the back. I tend to take complements with a grain of salt. So I may be disappointed if things turn out not to be for real, not sincere. But I probably wouldn’t be surprised. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Isn’t that how it goes? I have to give someone a fair chance because if I don’t, distrusting them makes our failed relationship a self-fulfilled prophecy of disaster. I would much rather make a friend of him.

Right now we both have an advantage to helping each other. Isn’t it usually that way? He has really made the atmosphere at our office more genial. So far, so good.

Misspegasister28's avatar

When people flirt with me they’re usually very creepy about it. They get even more creepy when I say I have a boyfriend.

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