Can I just say, I absolutely adore that outfit you’re wearing today, is it new? Oh, and that story you told me yesterday, it was hysterical, I haven’t laughed so much in ages!
A little attempt at flattery, what experts Chan and Sengupta say is the art of offering pleasing compliments and one of the oldest forms of persuasion there is. But why, how do you go from a seemingly off the cuff pleasant comment to persuasion? And if it’s so useful, how do you do it right?
In a nutshell, flattery works because we want to believe nice things about ourselves. Researchers like Vonk found that this basic desire means that we react positively to the flatterer because it reinforces what we want to believe, that we have impeccable dress sense or a fabulous sense of humour for example.
At the far end of the flattery spectrum comes ingratiation which includes not only flattery but acts of opinion and favour conformity. So as well as the pleasing compliment, you might show or say that you too have the same opinions and offer some form of favour.