Why should we consider flattery as a useful appreciative emotion? What role does it play in life?

ANSWER by Mr P: "Flattery has, and has always had, a place in daily life. Through times and ages gone, the role of flattery – as an acknowledgement of one’s skills and uniqueness – has been a grounding element to what makes us human. A reliance on the acquisition of flattery and appreciative command is what motivates the combined aspects of the psyche, providing opportunities for attention, expression and authority.

I may say to you, “Well done, what an amazing achievement, outlook, perspective or action,” but what I would really be saying (whether in Spirit or ‘human’ form) is “I recognise that you are standing as yourself, that whether I concur or not with your views and actions, I respect your space and place; the essence of you.” Even sarcastic flattery contains an acknowledgement of the power and presence of the other.

Flattery is most beneficial when it is discovered ‘as a result’ of something else. What I mean by this is, in exclamation or outburst, for within such expression lies a truth and wonder, and contrary to the perceived notion of flattery, this creates an acknowledgement and a bonding – an open channel of communication – between the giver and recipient, for flattery cannot truly be expressed from a closed heart.

Often, in common parlance, the giving of flattery will be downplayed, viewed as either insincere, inappropriate, or time-wasting. With one’s ego wishing to ‘push a point’ or express self-truths, it is a generous soul who takes the time for flattery…to offer acknowledgement. It is to be remembered, that it is always the intention of the energy which matters and resonates (which indeed, creates matter) and in this respect, an offer of flattery says I am listening, watching…you have my attention. And this is very powerful.

There is a tendency in today’s world to ‘justify’ appreciation – to have delivered the outcome before praise can be accepted. This is an unfortunate turn of events, for to distance one’s enjoyment and recognition – to become invisible until judgement or outcome attained – is to miss the point of life. Of course, flattery given with the intention of sending the person away, or extracting oneself from a situation is not helpful an energy – and indeed impacts negatively on the giver of such flattery – but to sit in an energy of open gesture, of acceptance and inquisitiveness is a most wonderful emotion and outlook.

World affairs, personal enjoyment and the growth of the planet would benefit in a return to the energy of flattery. Discussions would open, wonder would return and an ease would descend upon the population. Mindfulness, meditation…all the practices man imposes upon him or herself…fade in benefit compared to the daily practice of openness and appreciation for one’s neighbour, whatever their outlook. It is a practice worth pursuing, for it benefits all."