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The tricky thing about flattery



I was thinking about how tricky compliments are.

In a way they take us right out of our center.

Knowing who you are, an internal clarity in knowing, keeps you acting from your center.

Another’s opinion can be de-stabilizing in either direction, whether he says something positive or negative.  If the person says something positive that isn’t true, it can skew your perception of yourself and that person.  You may even get attached to hearing these positive statements so that the other person can have power over you.  It can also be a way of tricking you, or distracting you, from something else about that person or something he is doing.

If she says something negative that is untrue, you can lose your center by becoming insecure and diminishing your self-confidence.  This interferes with your capacity for mindfulness and responsiveness.   It can spiral you into a negative skew and you may react in ways that are against your best interest.  It also gives power to the other. You may act to change her perspective which disallows your inner sense of empowerment and balanced perspective.

I have a friend and she has a special skill of reading what other’s want to hear.  She uses this to put others at ease.   It also allows her the opportunity to get more of what she feels she wants, or needs, from others.  This may have been developed to neutralize others’ attempts to react to her competitively due to her good looks and intelligence.  It makes her seem less of a competitor when she is flattering and building up the other.

This is a dangerous energy exchange.

It is dangerous due to the underlying intent of the flatterer or opinion-giver.  In this woman’s situation she does not have an underlying desire to control the other to make him or her do her will.  This is not always the underlying intent with unsolicited compliments or opinions.

There is a deep desire to hear positive information about oneself built into our social development. Or for those more negatively raised, there is a deep desire to react to push through when confronted with negative reinforcement.

In both instances the movement toward the opinion pulls the person away from his or her own center and inner knowing.

Knowing who you are is essential in acting from your center and developing supportive, proactive, encouraging, and empowering relationships and success in your life.

When someone provides an opinion that resonates with what you know to be true – it brings you further into your balanced-centered-state.  This allows you to feel reinforced from a positive perspective that you are on the right course.  Accurate critical information is also positively reinforcing by keeping you in your balanced-centered-state.  It helps you avoid paths that are not in your best interest.

Mindfulness is a great way to increase your capacity for empowered, centered, balanced responses to these sorts of opinions.

First, know yourself.  Have a realistic understanding of your positive and negative attributes and capacities.  Know your limitations and talents.  From this balanced perspective you can receive information and know whether it is truth or not.

Remember that knowing and fearing are different.  Clarity in knowing increases your sense of self-confidence and fearing increases your feeling of insecurity.  Focus on attending to those things that increase your self-confidence and releasing those things that increase your feelings of insecurity.

Second apply mindfulness and clarifying attention to information that is unsolicited, and solicited.  This allows you to determine if the information is useful and how it applies. See the information within the center of the situation from a balanced, neutral, perspective.  Does it resonate?  What might be the person’s agenda whom is providing the opinion?

Remember to evaluate from various figure/ground perspectives and apply paradigm shifting as necessary.  Utilize compassion and understanding toward yourself and the other.

Flattery is tricky.  It can move you out of your center and give power to the person providing the opinion.

Pay attention, and use your mindfulness skills to keep you, in your center, neutral and unattached to the outcome of the evaluation.  This will assist you to remain balanced and empowered in your response to the information.

See you tomorrow.


Author: instinctivehealthparenting4u

Author, Integrative medicine practitioner, psychotherapist. Albuquerque, NM practice, focus on return to balance and the integration of spirit, mind, and body through meditation and mindfulness. Monthly trainings, & professional and personal development coaching. Find more on my website Read my books, Turning NO to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness, Turning ME to WE: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness (, for increased internal wellness and alignment with your spiritual purpose, and to activate joyous love and light, bg

2 thoughts on “The tricky thing about flattery

  1. Pingback: Parenting New From Around The Web – 2/11/2011

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