If you heard others exchanging nice words about you, consider that they were earnest. Soft-soap To wheedle or cajole; to win over or persuade by means of flattery; to butter someone up for ulterior motives. In use since the early 18th century, the verb birthed synonym and corresponding noun are thought to derive from soft soap, the semiliquid soap whose oiliness might well be linked with unctuous-ness. The expression comes from the Blarney Stone located high in the wall of Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland.

Here’s a list of similar words from our thesaurus that you can use instead. Noun –The act of one who flatters; false, insincere, or venal praise; obsequiousness; adulation; cajolery. Noun The act of one who flatters; false, insincere, or venal praise; obsequiousness; adulation; cajolery. Needs to review the security of your connection before proceeding. Most people can see through insincere flattery, and they won’t appreciate you trying to manipulate them into doing what you want.

This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. Journals.sagepub.com needs to review the security of your connection before proceeding. A salesman who starts with a little flattery or soft soap will sometimes sell a very good insurance policy.

Try reading a confidence boosting audiobook if your self-esteem becomes a constant problem for you and you begin taking things too personally. One good option is The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Dr. Nathaniel Branden. Whether you’re delighted because you were recognized or secretly pissed because the person’s adoration is dishonest, take time to feel what you’re feeling.

It’s an inauthentic approach to complimenting someone and has the opposite of the intended effect in most cases. We’re all guilty of using insincere flattery to get our way at some point in our lives. However, using it frequently to manipulate people into doing what you want might mean you have a sociopathic personality. If you’re hoping to borrow your brother’s car, be careful not to overdo it when you compliment his haircut, new shoes, and singing voice — he knows flattery when he sees it. The proverb imitation is the sincerest form of flattery means that one imitates someone else because one admires that person or values what that person is doing. Erika Kaplan is a Dating Coach and Matchmaker for Three Day Rule, an exclusive matchmaking company across nine cities in the United States.

As sad as it is to believe, some praisers are merely doing so to set you up for a request or favor in the future. They’ve played into the concept that “flattery will get you everywhere” and may be complimenting you to win approval or even forgiveness for some wrongdoing. A different explanation of the origin of the term by Shadwell was that the sycophant refers to the manner in which figs are harvested, by shaking the tree and revealing the fruit hidden among the leaves. The sycophant, by making false accusations, makes the accused yield up their fruit. They say the highest form of flattery is impersonation. DisclaimerAll content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only.