Thursday, March 20, 2008

24. Listen to flatter

Everyone wants to hear good things about himself. Those who claim that they don't like flattery are either lying or are unable to understand their own feelings. Everyone has a high opinion about himself and nothing can be more pleasing than another person endorsing that opinion. We are impressed when someone thinks about us the way we think about ourselves. In our eyes, he is a wise and good human being and needs to be obliged in whatever way we can. We are ever willing to spare time for him and listen to him so that he has the opportunity to say what we want to hear. On the contrary, one who criticizes us is a mean-minded person who must always be kept at bay.When you praise someone, you need not worry much about the factual accuracy of what you say. The other person is always going to believe you. The only care that you need to take is not to refute something which is too obvious. For example, you cannot admire someone's shining hair if he is bald.While flattery is a weapon that never fails to hit the target, the best form of flattery is the one which does not sound like flattery. It makes both sides comfortable. You can tell yourself that you are not the one to say things just to please someone and the other person can tell himself that he is not the one who wants to hear pleasing things about himself. Those who can flatter without appearing to do so rise high in life. They are the object of envy of those who possess remarkable qualities, but don't know how to flatter.If you can listen to someone with interest without interrupting him, you flatter him without uttering a word. You give him the feeling that he has something important and interesting to say and that he is a good conversationist. This is sophisticated flattery, the fruits of which both sides can enjoy without any feeling of guilt.

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