The Human Behaviour




Humans love compliments. If I bought a new dress, I would want my friends to compliment me; similarly, if someone got a promotion at work, they would like others to appreciate their skills and hard work. Likewise, we seek approval from people around us as social creatures. This is very normal; it becomes a problem when someone starts associating these compliments with some personal gains or manipulation; in that case, these compliments are hardly genuine, known as flattery. It’s a necessary evil in some cases and can become someone’s weakness in other cases, but in either case, we have to survive with it, and we should know how to do so. This blog will dig into flattery, how it can be constructive and manipulative, and how you should survive in such an environment without losing your true identity. So stay with me as we start the ride.

Why Do People Use Flattery?

Humans are complex, and so are their goals. People can use flattery to achieve various purposes, but among the common goals, it is an attempt to impress the other person to get personal gains. We learn to use it from a very young age. It’s instinctive or fed into our minds from childhood is a debatable topic, but have you ever noticed your kid came home and started to shower you with love and if you are a mother complements you about what a beautiful dress you are wearing, you smell so lovely or your hairs look so beautiful. Similarly, flattery is relatively common in the corporate sector; if you work in one, you will notice many employees won’t work very hard but will be bringing gifts for the bosses or complimenting them about how exceptional leaders they are. Surprisingly, according to the statistics, such people also get quick promotions and sometimes less work pressure than those who are honest and won’t put much effort into impressing their leaders other than through their work.

Flattery in Relationships and Manipulation:

Manipulators use flattery in relationships to gain the attention of their victims and gain personal benefits. Let’s understand this with an example: Jack couldn’t pay his bills because he was overspending on lavish night-outs and luxuries. He wants Kate to pay his bills, although he has ignored her since last week. He texts her and, after formal greetings, asks her to send her picture. Kate works at a petrol pump and sends him a rough photo without any filters or makeup. She hasn’t washed her hair for the last five days, and they, too, feel greasy.

Jack doesn’t like the photo but compliments her by saying that his eyes are craving to see her and that she is the most beautiful girl out there, and he asks for a night out. Kate, the innocent soul, feels instantly happy about it, and when they meet, he tells her how bankrupt and stressed he is. She gives him a generous amount to fulfill his needs, and the following day, he again ignores her because his goal is met.

So, exchanging compliments and gifts in healthy relationships is essential, but you should be cautious about bombardment, mainly if some kind of favor follows.

Watch out for these signs: This is Flattery!

Flattery can be fairly sensed in most cases, but if you still feel confused, here are a few signs to watch out for:

  • Examine the flattery for signs of insincerity or exaggeration. If the praises appear excessively enthusiastic or inflated, it could be an attempt to control you.
  • Keep track of when the compliment is given. If it only happens when the manipulator is trying to get something from you, it might be an attempt to sway your choice.
  • Recognize the situation. If the flattery seems inappropriate or is taken out of context, it could be an attempt to control you.
  • Seek out hidden agendas. It could be manipulative if the flatterer uses this strategy to persuade you to do something against your better judgment.
  • Be on the lookout for attempts to turn the flattery into a dependency. If a manipulator makes you feel good about yourself and praises you constantly, this might be a manipulative strategy to control what you do.
  • Look for irregularities in behavior. If the manipulator only flatters you when they need something from you, this could be a ploy to control you.
  • Watch out for manipulation of emotions. It could be a manipulative strategy if the flatterer uses it to make you feel guilty or pressured to do something.
  • Be wary when someone unexpectedly flatters you. If the manipulator does not usually give you much credit but suddenly starts praising you, it might be a ploy to control you.
  • Be mindful of your own emotions. If the flattery gives you the creeps, it might be an attempt to control you.
  • Have faith in your intuition. If something about the flattery seems strange or too good to be true, it might be an attempt to control you.

Trapped in Loop of Flattery? What To Do?


Getting out of the loop is easier if you recognize it initially. Later, it can become a little tricky. Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Set boundaries and be clear about what you will and won’t do. Tell the manipulator that you find their methods uncomfortable and will not be persuaded by flattery.
  • Communicate assertively and speak up for yourself. Never be afraid to voice your own needs and opinions, and don’t let the manipulator’s flattery force you to do something you don’t want to.
  • Speak with a family member or trusted friend for their advice. They can provide you with an unbiased viewpoint and assist you in recognizing the manipulation for what it is.
  • If the manipulation is dangerous or continuing, get professional assistance. You can regain control over your own decisions and learn coping mechanisms from a therapist or counselor.
  • Recognize the manipulation and learn to resist it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed; practise saying no and defending yourself. The more you stand up for yourself, the easier it will become.
  • Besides that, before making a friendship or jumping into a relationship, pay attention to what others say about them. Yes, their opponents can give you opposing viewpoints, but if that is the majority’s opinion, you should leave them.


Undoubtedly, flattery is the sweetest yet most potent psychological tool anyone can use against someone. The math behind it is straightforward: humans love compliments, and they activate hormones that make us feel good. While one should keep expressing compliments for loved ones, as this bonds people, one should also be wise enough to differentiate between an innocent compliment and a flattering one.

F and Q’s:

What is the psychology behind flattery?

Manipulation of any kind includes flattery. People who lack confidence frequently use it to gain acceptance and feel more powerful. Passive-aggressive people use it to get what they want. People who want to win others over or assist others in achieving their objectives frequently use it. They make people feel good in their own eyes for their gain.


What is the most potent form of flattery?

It is said, and I quote, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery yet the strongest one.” The person trying to flatter you imitates your style, personality, and everything you can think of. The only goal is to make you believe they like you when trying to gain personal benefits and win your trust.

How Does Flattery Deceive Us?

Flattery tricks us by instilling false self-perceptions in us. By succumbing to it, we demonstrate a lack of morality. When we give in to flattery, we diminish ourselves. It is a wicked force that subverts moral and social norms by appropriating something that is not truly its own.







  Introduction: Humans love compliments. If I bought a new