Flattery & Butter

Dear Joseph,

“Are you trying to butter me up?”

That was the question my grandpa Bankhead would ask when one of us started to use lots of “nice words” to get something we wanted from him. When I was your age, we used a different phrase: for called kids who “buttered” up the teacher or coach: brown-nosers.

Like most things in our life where our heart and intent is makes the difference between the real and the fake. When it came to buttering up grandpa, what we were saying about him had real truth to it. It’s just that in our case, as kids, we were praising grandpa because we wanted something from him.

A true compliment is given, because it is deserved. We don’t think about what it gets us in the end.


Rule 24: Avoid flattery, and be careful not to have fun at the expense of another.

This entry was posted in Civility, Letters to Joseph, Political Civility and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>