Flattery and its Dire Consequences

Aditya Darekar
2 min readApr 8, 2021
Flattery Vs Appreciation

Most of you might be aware of the difference between appreciation and flattery. Here is a brief description from the book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie:

The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.

Now again, why is it wrong to flatter someone? Is it always wrong?

The way I see it is that, flattery creates a kind of upsurge in the trust level between you and the other person. But here’s the catch. Having received a flattering compliment (without distinguishing it from a sincere one) you have the levelled up trust or affection for your flatterer while your flatterer feels nothing special.

Now imagine your flatterer to be someone close to you. Family or Friend. Eventually it is this uneven level of trust or affection that would create or tend to create arguments between the two of you later on. How you may ask?

Now again, I am no relationship guru but when I come to think of it, this is what I find it to be: Flattery doesn’t come from the heart and when you don’t mean something you say, you tend to forget it while the one at the receiving end might hold on to such compliments from you, very dearly. That is human nature. To feel important and be loved. Taking advantage of human emotions has always proved to be fatal for one person or the other.

Think about this the next time you head for another flattering comment for someone or are at the receiving end of it.

Below the bust are carved these wise words from General Obregon’s philosophy: “Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.” ~Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)

Post Takeaway: People tend to cling on to compliments more than criticism and thus any kind of insincerity in compliments can tend to weaken the strongest of relationships in life, over time. Don’t be a flatterer.

-Aditya Darekar



Aditya Darekar

22 | IT Graduate | Tech Enthusiast | Digital Artist | Bibliophile | Love to write what I read 📚and watch 📺