Is flattery the only way to get around people?

Ms Gurmeet Sodhi,
HOD, BBA Department

  The well-acclaimed dictionaries of the world define the word ‘flattery’ as insincere praise; the scholars associate it with guile and deceit; no sane mind accepts it as normal. Notwithstanding all the negative connotations attached to it, the world uses it as a tool for achieving objectives that cater, at best, to ulterior motives. Those who indulge in it possess varying degrees of expertise in giving compliments that would forthwith produce a predefined result. That being the motive, would it not fall under the category of wickedness. To me, very honestly, it appears to be a disorder that does not, like most ailments in the world, seem to have any cure. Yet those who indulge in it believe that they are administering a tonic that would heal the other person of some chronic illness. Howsoever ironical it may be, it is a practice that has been on going on for centuries. History stands witness to the royal court’s monarchs being praised to the heavens by the courtiers in service only in the hope of receiving gifts and favors for self or the kin. So, something novel or unique, it is most definitely not.

          The corporates and trainers have, of late, begun using flattery for motivating disgruntled employees; parents use it to inspire children to work harder; given the situation, are we not creating an environment for the free and unchecked growth of this undesirable practice. Are we not supposed to do our duty without any desire for reward? The nature rewards , by itself , the duty done with an unselfish motive. Personally ,I feel that there is a difference, though minute, between ‘praise’ and ‘flattery’. While praise creates pride in one’s work and flattery creates feeling of superiority; a heart that swells with pride is any day better than a brain that swells with superiority.

           It is time we gave up the desire of our egos being massaged and started   leading normal lives; the feeling of superiority arising out of a ‘session of flattery’ is momentary but leaves one desiring for more the moment another task is assigned.

         So, let us not encourage the practice any further and try to be sincere to our duties assigned to  us.

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