The pressing social need for appreciation and acknowledgment has catapulted Mark Zuckerberg in the league of billionaires. Irrespective of gender age and nationalities, we are suckers for compliments; some more, some less.
Massage does wonders and if it’s an ego massage; even better.
However, appreciation and flattery are as different as chalk and cheese. Appreciation without expecting any favor is genuine. But to appreciate someone in lieu of a favor or to remain in good books is flattery. Appreciation is sincere but flattery is not.
Both appreciation and flattery come in handy when one desperately needs to impress the opposite gender. I am sure it is easy to melt someone with, ‘Don’t wear makeup, you are messing with perfection; I bet the wind blows just to know how gorgeous your hair is; there isn’t a word in the dictionary for how good you look or you take my breath away’.
Politics and flattery go hand in hand. Decades ago a Congress sycophant had said, “Indira is India and India is Indira.” Nothing has changed. Recently the UP Congress committee had released a poster of a heavily bejeweled Rahul baba striking a pose as Lord Krishna astride a chariot in a giant hoarding. No points for guessing who took umbrage. Forgetting the fact that in 2008, Advani was dressed as lord Ram in a poster aiming his arrows at twin vultures - Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Clearly in politics, social arrangements work in perfect tandem with the aid of ample amounts of grease and butter. Remember the thousand rupee note garland in Mayas neck? While the flatterer and the flattered were pleased, they forgot that the public was nauseated with blatant sickophancy..
The art of flattery flourishes in the film industry. When one is constantly fed with, ‘you look so young and handsome,’ the result is a seventy five year old Dharmendra donning a flamingo colored shirt and gyrating with skimpily clad women in his latest movie. And a pouting Shekhar Suman is seen displaying his shiny cleavage a la Parmeshwar Godrej.
Fortunately, now on most occasions, work speaks for itself. On others, maska is lagaoed covertly. I am referring to the normal office life here. In deals where huge orders are at stake, innocent flattery transforms into a more hideous bribery.
What’s most important is self appreciation and acceptance of who you are as a person.
To covertly flatter is human but to get overtly flattered has its pitfalls.