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#410211 - 01/26/10 09:58 AM Does Insincere Flattery Work?
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
During college I worked at a beauty supply store. A co-worker used to gush and gush at customers about how PRETTY they were regardless of whether or not it was true. It was so ridiculously over-the-top, so absurdly animated, that it sounded more snarky than flattering to me. Ingratiation just grates on my nerves though.

After one of these performances, when the customer was safely out of earshot and the gal's facial expressions relaxed back into flat-affect-boredom, I asked her if she thought all of that really worked. "Oh, you'd be surprised."

Flattery Will Get You Far

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#410214 - 01/26/10 10:44 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6999
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
I know enough not to believe flattery, for the most part. If half of it were true, I would be rich, famous and a porn star. I’m sharp enough not to believe I am as ingenious as I have been told, I am not insecure about my looks enough to believe I am as good looking as I have been told; and, I damn well know six inches when I see it, so I can’t be as hung as I have been told. (Only one of those is not true.) Of course, insincere flattery is never used here… grin
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#410218 - 01/26/10 11:17 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Roho_the_Rooster]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Genuine compliments from certain people have the ability to render me totally speechless (and anyone who's read my endless yattering posts knows just how remarkable that is).

But obvious, graceless, gratuitous flattery is irksome because I have to puzzle out what's actually being said and why. Figure out the angle as they say in Miller's Crossing. It never seems to have anything to do with me. It usually says more about the person saying it than it does about me. Know what I mean, jelly bean?

Originally Posted By: Roho_the_Rooster
Of course, insincere flattery is never used here; grin


grin wink
_________________________
"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

We're Just Regular People

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#410221 - 01/26/10 11:22 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
Grigorios Offline



Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 85
Loc: Roma Italy
I think Flattery works quite well with the herd, provided it is used in the right way, so not over the top, I would say, it must sound "natural" and heartfelt.
A lot of people are insecure and have such a low self esteem and this is why it works.
As everything, must be done intelligently, to make it work. wink
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#410226 - 01/26/10 11:43 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Grigorios]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
I agree! It can be very effective on a lot of people. I also think my reaction is kind of common -- "Oh I never fall for that stuff!" I posted the article though because it says that insincere flattery may also work on the smart cookies in the crowd. The folks who know exactly what's going on.

Quote:
... awareness of when we’re being put on may not be enough to curb the effectiveness of insincerity... What this research suggests, however, is that the implicit positivity we experience as a result of viewing these images could play an important role in what we reach for when standing in the liquor store staring at a freezer full of cheap beer. You may not know why, but you’d feel pretty good about a Bud right now. And while you feel certain to you that your preference is not due to those silly ads (just like it might seem obvious to a manager that they didn’t promote a candidate because he brings her donuts every morning), perhaps it is the certainty with which we dismiss these kinds of manipulative and deceptive appeals that allows them to hold such sway.


Food for thought. smile
_________________________
"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

We're Just Regular People

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#410230 - 01/26/10 11:56 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
TrojZyr Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12990
Loc: The Solid State
Originally Posted By: Shade
But obvious, graceless, gratuitous flattery is irksome because I have to puzzle out what's actually being said and why. Figure out the angle as they say in Miller's Crossing. It never seems to have anything to do with me. It usually says more about the person saying it than it does about me. Know what I mean, jelly bean?


I do know what you mean! And I do hate having to puzzle out the underlying meaning of a compliment or "compliment."

The most annoying thing is when some repressed and/or subconsciously passive aggressive person gushingly compliments me on something that I suspect they actually find irritating, offensive, or just strange and confusing. If my sense is that they are trying to force themselves into a cheerful, tolerant, or charitable state of mind, I just feel embarrassed for them, and I wish they wouldn't bother. If I confuse or ruffle you, then I confuse or ruffle you!

Of course, I really don't like passive-aggression, either, and once again, I really wish you'd keep your damn mouth shut, or actually insult me in earnest.

I think if you want your compliments to really hit home, they have to be few and far between (especially the gushy ones), and largely focused on the things that the person already sees and values in himself or herself. I surely don't trust the person who is ALWAYS cartoonishly gooshing over my appearance any further than I can toss 'er left-handed (because a man who does that is trying to get laid, and a woman who does that is probably being a passive-aggressive bitch).

But, I am always gracious when I accepting compliments, even the ones I suspect are bullshit wink.
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#410231 - 01/26/10 11:56 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
Dale Carnegie would have a lot to say about this.

Sincere flattery works wonders. Faked and inflated flattery will get you comments behind your back - brownnoser.

If I am not fond of someone I will either hold my tongue or find something that I truly do find impressive about the person that I can honestly separate my dislike of them from my respect for their trait/talent/knowledge/etc.. It works if you can truly show an appreciation for what you have picked out to highlight.

Of course flattery works best when you genuinely like the person. But that is usually difficult.
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"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#410233 - 01/26/10 12:30 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
Unknown Offline
Unknown

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1649
It all depends upon the target.

Some folks are so Ego deprived that one compliment even a fake one will make them feel like a big shot. Pretentiousness at its highest level.

Flattery can be a useful tool in the Lesser Magic department but it isn't the most reliable. Sometimes you are expected to back your flattery up in which case you then can become the victim of a psychic vampire.
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#410234 - 01/26/10 12:32 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Discipline]
Unknown Offline
Unknown

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1649
Well said Warlock Discipline!

And no this is NOT insincere flattery. grin
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#410236 - 01/26/10 12:48 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
J. Favenris Offline



Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 152
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Does insincere flattery work... does telling people what they want to hear work.... Well, what else is Lesser Magic?
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#410237 - 01/26/10 12:51 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: TrojZyr]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Originally Posted By: TrojZyr
Of course, I really don't like passive-aggression, either, and once again, I really wish you'd keep your damn mouth shut, or actually insult me in earnest.


Big pet peeve of mine too! As horribly sexist as this sounds, I characterize passive-aggression as a Woman -- says one thing, means another. It's sooooooo tedious. I always prefer to just know what's what. I want to know what people mean. Which doesn't seem to be as straightforward a task as it was when I was younger.

Quote:
I am always gracious when I accepting compliments, even the ones I suspect are bullshit wink.


Absolutely! I never like the thought of people having so much sway over me that they can change who I am. And I'm not rude, damnit. grin
_________________________
"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

We're Just Regular People

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#410241 - 01/26/10 01:30 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: TrojZyr]
Unknown Offline
Unknown

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1649
Quote:
But, I am always gracious when I accepting compliments, even the ones I suspect are bullshit


Well for me that would depend on the circumstance.

Obviously if someone is bullshitting me sometimes I'll go along with it but more often than not I always ask them why they are saying what they are. Sometimes there's an agenda behind such bullshit and my experience has proven to be on your guard in such circumstances.
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#410252 - 01/26/10 02:15 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: J. Favenris]
Dimitri Offline


Registered: 05/10/09
Posts: 19
Originally Posted By: Favenris
Does insincere flattery work... does telling people what they want to hear work.... Well, what else is Lesser Magic?

Amen to that.

The whole economy is based on flattery when it comes to sales.
It is simply amazing to see what flattery can do if you manage to keep a straight face.
Hell, if you are endowed enough you can let people buy the biggest bullshit.

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#410259 - 01/26/10 03:27 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Roho_the_Rooster]
MissMina1556 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 03/05/08
Posts: 1386
Loc: USA
Quote:
and, I damn well know six inches when I see it, so I can't be as hung as I have been told.


Oh Rooster, thank you for this visual.

witch
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#410261 - 01/26/10 03:35 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
Callier Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 2208
Yes! It does. All the time.

I'll call a fat ugly bitch a beautiful swan. I'll call the dumbest man on Earth a brilliant son-of-a-bitch. I'll call a cat a lion. A plant a tree.

I'm a Closer!

As long as they sign their name on that dotted line, I could give a fuck less if my flattery is "sincere" or not.
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#410267 - 01/26/10 05:23 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8865
Does insincere flattery work?

Try it on Magister Svengali then get back to me*.

grin zombie crossbones

* In other words, it depends entirely on the "who" part of it.
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#410275 - 01/26/10 06:46 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Quaark]
Darkahn Offline


Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 410
Loc: Florida, USA
I'd pay to see that. rip
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#410277 - 01/26/10 06:48 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Callier]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
Big playa'. cool

It is comments like this that entertains me greatly.

Thanks you sexy beast. wink
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#410278 - 01/26/10 06:48 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Quaark]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Daark
depends entirely on the "who" part of it.


My thoughts exactly.
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#410281 - 01/26/10 07:01 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Darkahn]
Marianne Offline


Registered: 10/11/06
Posts: 29
Loc: N.Ireland


Insincere flattery works everytime with people of limited intelligence, those who are a bit more smarter aren't taken in by it.... so I have found anyway.

M
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People = Shit

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#410282 - 01/26/10 07:04 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Marianne]
Marianne Offline


Registered: 10/11/06
Posts: 29
Loc: N.Ireland


Replying to Shade's original post but ain't worked out this damn reply/quick reply shit so it's RE Shade not Re Darkahn

It'll prob be RE Marianne now ha!...nevermind...... HS!
M
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People = Shit

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#410302 - 01/26/10 09:08 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
John Prophet Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 995
Loc: My suburban lair
Another consideration is whether or not the flattery or complement appears sincere.

And of course there are also the subconscious, psychological aspects of it. As that article that you linked to alluded to, just because someone doesn’t react immediately to the flattery doesn’t mean that a seed hasn’t been planted, which can eventually germinate into future opinions, reactions and behaviors.
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#410331 - 01/27/10 02:31 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Callier]
Valek Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 1024
Loc: Non-local
Originally Posted By: Callier
I'm a Closer!

As long as they sign their name on that dotted line, I could give a fuck less if my flattery is "sincere" or not.


Do I smell some Glengarry Glen Ross action in this post? I think I do wink
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#410376 - 01/27/10 01:07 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Valek]
Callier Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 2208
Originally Posted By: Valek


Do I smell some Glengarry Glen Ross action in this post? I think I do wink


Ah man! That's my MOVIE!

I remember when I worked in my first boiler room when I was a kid. We had to watch this scene every morning. It changed my life. coopdevil

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#410497 - 01/28/10 04:12 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Callier]
BackInBlack Offline


Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By: Callier
Yes! It does. All the time.

I'll call a fat ugly bitch a beautiful swan. I'll call the dumbest man on Earth a brilliant son-of-a-bitch. I'll call a cat a lion. A plant a tree.

I'm a Closer!

As long as they sign their name on that dotted line, I could give a fuck less if my flattery is "sincere" or not.


Agreed. I've worked 20 years in the medical field as a paramedic and if it's one thing I've learned, it's how to turn some angry bitchy patient into someone who is walking away singing praises about the help I've given them. While 'disarming' someone may be viewed as being Lesser Magic, it's truly an art form nonetheless and should never be underappreciated, especially come promotion time...

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#410588 - 01/29/10 11:40 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Callier]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: Callier

As long as they sign their name on that dotted line,


The OP explicitly said "beauty supply store".

Now... correct me if I am wrong, but if you go into such a shop it must be because you want to do things to your "beauty". Real or perceived. Or at least you want to tweak your feelgood factor. Which means that you are conscious about your "lesser magic" of self representation when you walk in; thus being susceptible to manipulation along those lines.

I personally don't see that there is such a thing as "sincere flattery". Admiration, yes. Compliments, yes. But all in good taste and at the appropriate moment. Flattery seems to me to be insincere by default, and even at its best only a prop-up (or confirmation) of doubt that is already moving along the edge of insecurity and self-doubts.

As far as I can see, all beauty shops and beauty parlours, hairdressers, nail designers and that sort of thing, MUST provide "insincere flattery" for the simple reason that they have more of a therapeutic than a realistic effect in the beauty compartment. (I once had a gilfriend who was a hairdresser and she claimed that her "real" job was that of getting men laid. All it would take was for the guy to be smart enough to say "Oh! You have done something with your hair! It looks faaaabulous!" and voila, he will get laid.)

If, however, you try to flatter somebody who's savvy in the art of lesser magic, they will just laugh at you. It only works as a means to prop up an already fragile self image.
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#410638 - 01/29/10 06:10 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
PriestNocturnum Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 197
Loc: Indiana, USA
Of course it can but your shrewd observation of the human animal should tell you if the intended victim is truly gullible or not enough to fall for it. P.T. Barnum said there's another sucker born any minute, and laying down some falsehoods work for some people, that’s how sales people make a living.

But too much insincere flattery, and to the wrong people can be equally disastrous. That’s why I tend to avoid it myself. People as a whole don't mean much to me and I guard my own reputation pretty well, so I can't afford to be caught unawares by someone who points out publically, ‘oh he's that guy who lies!’

When you seek to charm, beguile or use psychology on people, do so sparingly or you'll look the fool for it. Read The Art of Seduction some time by Robert Green and his other book The 48 Laws of Power.
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Reverend Corvis Nocturnum

"It has been said, 'the truth will make men free.' The truth alone has never made anyone free. It is only doubt which will bring mental emancipation." ~ Magus Anton Sandor LaVey

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#410691 - 01/30/10 05:28 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: PriestNocturnum]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
I was under the impression that he never actually said that. I've only read one book about him though (The Fabulous Showman: the Life and Times of P.T. Barnum, by Irving Wallace; excellent, highly recommended!) and definitely learned something in the process. Among so many others, Barnum also had a rich, deep talent for word-craft.

I don't think I'm good at selling but I can be extremely diplomatic with a very careful choice of words. People hear the same things differently so I think it's critical to be able gauge your audience and adapt.

A lot of people have commented that insincere flattery only works on the attention-starved, weak-minded, low self esteem crowd. The article I posted implied that it may also work on the sharper tacks, the people that know that it's insincere. It may reach those people on a deeper subconscious level like John Prophet said. The fact that it's not seen as a threat may make it more effective than we realize. Piqued my interest because it's something I'd never considered before.

I'd always had the same feeling as you that insincere flattery in the wrong situation could backfire. Get you two steps back instead of one step toward your goal. I mean, it sure puts me in a bad mood. No one wants to be treated like a dupe.

I pride myself on having a fairly well-attuned bullshit detector, on having a fair amount of sales resistance, but maybe I've been too dismissive. I posted the article because I thought it was useful to re-evaluate a few things: how malleable I might be; the indirect results of this sort of manipulation I may've been unaware of; and the stealthy nature of insincerity in general.

All of my thoughts on this subject are pretty vague right now. I will definitely read the books you suggested, thank you!
_________________________
"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

We're Just Regular People

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#410702 - 01/30/10 07:57 AM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Shade]
Drakkar Tyrannis Offline


Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Maryland,USA
It does in fact work, however I'm not really fond of bogus flattery. I much prefer the delightful art of razor ended compliments. This especially works on stupid people and that look of "Thank you...I think??" or the smile at the realization of the compliment that fades once they take into consideration exactly what I said always brings a smile to my face, however if they're really goofy then they don't even catch it. Sometimes I just enjoy being a smart ass, when the situation calls for it.

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#410731 - 01/30/10 01:16 PM Re: Does Insincere Flattery Work? [Re: Drakkar Tyrannis]
Quercuss Offline


Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Vermont, USA
Insincere flattery is used by those who lack talent in manipulation or...maybe they are attempting misdirection.

Instead of commenting on the great tie (which is a single colored cheap piece)and an obvious "kiss ass" move, try something like "Hey...saw your (give ownership) memo the other day on blah blah policy. Thanks for letting us know. You've saved me a lot of future headache" You all ready knew abou this policy, but they don't know that and now they feel good about what they did and about you. Pick something they want to feel proud of and stroke their ego.

As far as the "feel good" factor of insincere flattery. As stated in the article, there is an effect on even those who are aware of the obvious attempt at manipulation.

Its similar to training a dog. Rather than have them associate bad feelings (by punishment) with the wrong action, help them associate good feelings (praise, treat) with the proper action. They'll soon forget the wrong action and associate the good feelings with the proper action and want to get the good feelings again. And it works on people too. We are all animals, after all.

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