Spot the Difference

There’s a difference between praise and flattery. Praise is sincere appreciation, while flattery, well, is false. And sometimes, we go overboard.

Some say nice things to get their way. Some others don’t know what hit them. However, it’s nice to know that someone out there likes your work, appreciates your time, and makes an effort to make you feel good.

Sure, they could be lying, or trying to control you into doing something for them. Who’s to say, they could even flatter you, gag you, drag you, and take your money away. But what if they do none of those?

That one person, who seems like a stalker, and a sweet talker, could just be an admirer. That one person who praises you so much that you begin to doubt yourself, perhaps just likes you for who you are.

We’re a untrusting society. Parents teach children to stay away from strangers. We discourage friendships from foreign lands, lower statuses, and other castes. We’ve become so cautious that we are too afraid to accept someone’s appreciation. We’re accustomed to looking for the “catch” in every statement.

“Hey, let’s get pizza. I’ll pay.” — Why, what information do you need?

“I’m happy I could help.” — What do you want in return?

Sometimes, we judge. But most times, we judge too soon. Not everyone looks at life the same way we do. Maybe something we did somewhere had changed someone’s life. We need to realise that sincere praise is far from flattery. They could mean to tell you how much you mean to them.

Flattery to some people is truth to some others. Except the ones dabbling in fakery just to manipulate you — those bastards are real.

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