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Dangers of Falling for Flattery: How to Spot and Stop Manipulation

Dan was a young man in his early twenties who had just started his first job out of college.

His boss, Karen, began to praise him frequently, but he noticed that whenever he received praise from Karen, she would follow it up with a request for him to do something that was outside of his job duties or outside of his comfort zone.

One day, Karen asked Dan to do a presentation to a group of important clients. The day of the presentation, Dan was a nervous wreck and made several mistakes.

After the presentation, Karen told him that he had done a terrible job. Dan realized that Karen had been manipulating him all along, using flattery and praise to get him to do things that were not in his best interest.

He learned that flattery can be dangerous because it can manipulate our emotions and cloud our judgment.

Flattery can be dangerous because it can manipulate our emotions and cloud our judgment. It's worse if the flattery is coming from a family member or someone we love.

But by being aware of the signs and learning how to recognize and stop manipulation, we can protect ourselves from falling for flattery.

 How flattery can manipulate our emotions

Flattery can create a false sense of trust and admiration, which can make us more susceptible to other forms of manipulation. It can make us feel special and important, which can lower our defenses and make us more receptive to the manipulator's requests.

Flattery can manipulate our emotions, making us feel good about ourselves and clouding our judgment. This can make it difficult for us to see the manipulator's true motives and recognize when we are being manipulated. Creating a sense of obligation or sense of loyalty, which can make us feel like we need to comply with the manipulator's requests in order to not let them down or to maintain their positive opinion of us.

Flattery can also be used to distract us from the manipulator's true intentions, making us focus on the positive feedback rather than the negative consequences of their actions.

Thereby making us dependenton the manipulator's approval and validation, making us more reliant on them and more likely to comply with their requests.

What happens when flattery and manipulation get combined?

Flattery is like a sweet candy. At first, it may seem appealing and enjoyable, but if we consume too much of it, it can be harmful to our well-being.

Just as too much candy can lead to weight gain and tooth decay, too much flattery can lead to a distorted sense of reality and a lack of critical thinking.

Just like we should enjoy candy in moderation, we should also be wary of excessive flattery and be aware of its potential to manipulate and deceive.

Manipulation on the other hand is like a puppet master pulling the strings of a puppet.

The puppet master is in control and can make the puppet do whatever they want, but the puppet is not aware of the manipulation and may think that they are making their own decisions.

Similarly, manipulation is the act of controlling or influencing someone in a deceptive or underhanded way, making them do things that they may not have otherwise done if they were aware of the manipulation.

Just as a puppet is unaware of the manipulation it is subjected to, a person being manipulated may not be aware of the true motives behind the actions of the manipulator.

But when you mix manipulation with flattery, youget a dangerous mix because, combined, they are especially effective at influencing and controlling people.

This kind of manipulation can be especially harmful because the person may not even realize that they are being manipulated.

They may believe that the manipulator has their best interests at heart and that they are doing what they are asked out of love or loyalty.

This can make it difficult for the person to recognize and resist the manipulation, and they may end up making decisions that are not in their own best interest.

Here are some more examples of how flattery can be used to manipulate so you can be more aware of it

In relationships: a partner who constantly compliments you may be trying to control or manipulate you

In the workplace: a boss who constantly praises you may be trying to get you to do something that is not in your best interest

In sales: a salesperson who uses flattery to try to get you to buy something you don't need

In social media: a user who constantly likes or comments on your posts may be using flattery to try to gain your attention or trust

In friendships: a friend who constantly compliments you may be trying to manipulate you into doing something you don't want to do

In family relationships: a family member who constantly compliments you may be trying to manipulate you into doing something that benefits them

In dating: a person who uses flattery to try to win your affection may be trying to manipulate you to go further than you'd like.

 10 tell tale signs that flatery is being used to manipulate you

  1. Look for insincerity or exaggeration in the flattery. If the compliments seem overly effusive or exaggerated, they may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  2. Pay attention to the timing of the flattery. If it only occurs when the manipulator wants something from you, it may be a tactic to influence your decision.
  3. Be aware of the context. If the flattery is out of context or seems inappropriate, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  4. Look for ulterior motives. If the manipulator is using flattery to get you to do something that is not in your best interest, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  5. Watch for attempts to create a dependency on the flattery. If the manipulator is constantly praising you and making you feel good about yourself in order to control your actions, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  6. Look for a lack of consistency. If the manipulator is only flattering you when they want something from you, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  7. Be aware of emotional manipulation. If the manipulator is using flattery to make you feel guilty or obligated to do something, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  8. Be suspicious of flattery that is out of character. If the manipulator is not normally complimentary but suddenly starts showering you with praise, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  9. Pay attention to your own feelings. If the flattery makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.
  10. Trust your instincts. If something about the flattery feels off or seems too good to be true, it may be a tactic to manipulate you.

5 simple things you can do to stop the manipulation  from flatery

  1. Set boundaries and be clear about what you are and are not willing to do. Let the manipulator know that you are not comfortable with their tactics and that you will not be swayed by flattery.
  2. Use assertive communication and speak up for yourself. Don't be afraid to express your own needs and opinions, and don't let the manipulator's flattery make you feel like you have to do something you don't want to do.
  3. Seek the opinion of a trusted friend or family member. They may be able to offer an objective perspective and help you see the manipulation for what it is.
  4. Seek professional help if the manipulation is severe or persistent. A therapist or counselor can help you develop strategies to cope with the manipulation and regain control over your own decisions.
  5. Learn to recognize and resist the manipulation. Practice saying no and standing up for yourself, and don't be afraid to seek help if you need it. The more you practice standing up for yourself, the easier it will become.

Defeat Flattery and Manipulation: Take Back Your Power

In conclusion, falling for flattery can be a dangerous trap. It can manipulate our emotions, cloud our judgment, and make us more susceptible to other forms of manipulation. But with the right tools and strategies, we can learn to recognize and resist flattery and take control of our own decisions.

By setting boundaries, using assertive communication, seeking the support of trusted friends and family, and seeking professional help if necessary, we can protect ourselves from the dangers of falling for flattery and stop manipulation in its tracks.

Don't let flattery deceive you and don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. You deserve to be treated with respect and to make your own choices, free from manipulation.

Book a consultation with Adewale

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa
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