Identify and shun flatterers and flattery – चाटुकारों और चाटुकारिता से बचें (January, 2018)

One day a fox notices a crow sitting on a tree branch with a big, juicy piece of cheese in his beak. The fox hatched a clever plan to gain access to the cheese. Standing under the tree, the fox tells the crow how beautiful the crow is and how glossy her feathers are. Noticing the crow is showing lots of interest in his talks but not letting the cheese off of her beak, the fox tells her that he wonders if her voice is also as wonderful as is her beauty. Gloating in the flattery and not realizing the trap, the crow now opens her mouth to start cawing. It doesn’t take long for her to realize her folly when she saw the fox running away with her cheese that fell as soon she opened her beak. The article for this month’s article is ‘Identify and shun flatterer and flattery’ (चाटुकारों और चाटुकारिता से बचें)


Let’s first understand flattery and flatterers. Flattery is an act of excessive praise to achieve unstated objectives. As such, flattery takes place when a cunning person tells you what you want to hear – or crave in your heart. However insignificant the act of flattery may sound, it is a dangerous phenomenon. When you are praised for the attributes you don’t really have, it robs you of the energy you need to achieve those goals. A flatterer is a selfish, cunning, and dangerous person, who doesn’t mind playing with others feelings, successes, personality, and future for his own petty gains. However, because of his glib tongue and suave behavior, his ill intentions often go unnoticed.


Contrary to the common belief, flattery is not always highlighting and praising someone’s achievements only. It is easier to spot an instance of flattery when someone praises you incessantly for your small achievement. However, if someone feels pity on you when you failed and tries to fill your mind with negative ideas, such as others aren’t fair, is another subtle form of flattery. Such an act makes you feel good in that miserable situation. Falling prey to such flattery cripples you permanently from future successes.


It is not always that only the flatterer is to be blamed: it is the person who allows a flatterer in his/her life is equally, if not more, at fault. In reality, the person being tricked is weak mentally and seeks the pleasures of flattery. Somewhere in his heart, the person is fully aware that he doesn’t really deserve all the adulation and appeasement of the flatterer. Moreover, his sub-conscious mind gives him a warning at every instance of flattery. But, because of the joy and pleasure he derives from the false praising, he chooses to ignore the inner warning.


To spot a flatterer or an act of flattery, it is important that you understand your own strengths and weaknesses. You must stay true to your self-evaluated view. If you achieved something small, you must know the extent of that achievement rather than triumph in that achievement because some cunning person has praised you unreasonably. Similarly, upon any failure, you must not let anyone manipulate you during those weak moments. Rather than seeking comforts in someone’s words, which could lead you to a vicious negative spiral, you must use self-talk and positive knowledge [some of which you gain from our monthly hawans] to bring yourself out of that feeling.


Once you fully understand flattery and its ill effects, there is yet another subtle aspect to be understood. i.e., not every act of praise is flattery. Your well-wishers (parents, siblings, true-friends, teachers etc.) do praise you for your successes; accept them with humility and use it as a boost for bigger, loftier goals in future. Also, seek their input for your mistakes so that you could do even better.


While it has been established that you must identify flatterers and don’t let them influence you, you must also make sure that you do not become flatter ourselves. Let’s take a vow that neither will I flatter someone nor will I accept flattery.


In this month’s assignment, kids will share their interpretation of the act of flattery, how they will identify flatterers, and how they will deal with flatterers and difficult situations.



Harsh Mendiratta