Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

So I was planning on doing a post for World Mental Health Day. I don’t want to write a cliched post about self-belief and not letting other people dictate your current mindset though so, I figured I’d take a peek at the WordPress Daily Prompt. Rather intelligently, WordPress chose Flatteryย as the theme for the day, I think this enables more people to think about the thoughts and processes behind World Mental Health Day rather than just spouting generalised nonsense about esteem and feeling happy with the hashtag for World Mental Health Day attached.

To me, flattery is a negative term. It’s not something to be celebrated or excited by. Essentially, it’s kissing somebody else’s ass, giving them excessive praise and not being particularly sincere about – this is usually done to further ones own interests. Flattery could be seen as something positive however, in the loosest sense of the word, to flatter somebody is simply to compliment them. And everybody likes compliments. Some people just take it too far.

If you’ve stolen your mums car and wrapped it round a tree, you’d want to go home, compliment her haircut, shoes, new dress and perfume before breaking the news to her. This just shows that flattery is just something you use to get what you want. Of course you can put a positive spin on most things if you set your mind to it but, this one is a bit tricky even for an optimist like me.

So since it is World Mental Health Day, the main reason for this past today is to discuss what that means. It’s essentially a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and combating the stigma associated with them. If you went into work and became sick, you’d be sent home. If you went into work and had a panic attack, what would the reaction of your manger/s and co-works be? Hopefully bringing these issues to the forefront of our attention on a day-to-day basis will soon mean we can discuss mental health issues freely and openly without fear of repercussions or misunderstandings.

I’ll say right here and now that I struggle with anxiety. I struggle with the amount of confidence that I have – or rather don’t have, in myself. When it comes to University, my working life etc. I’m fairly confident in my professional and academic competency. However, when it comes to socialising and being kind about myself, things start to get a bit sketchy. I’m not saying I have no love for myself at all, but everybody knows what it’s like sometimes to look in the mirror and be unhappy in some way about the person looking back at them.

Music for me is a great form of escapism, whilst also bringing to focus important issues in your mind and wider society. This particular song by Jessie J focuses on being true to who you are as a person, doing what makes you happy and staying strong. Although I’m not a massive fan of Jessie J and her particular style of music, she has a unique, quirky sound and her songs tend to have powerful messages behind them.

I know I made a bit of a leap from flattery to mental health but what I’m trying to say is just to remember that everybody has individual feelings. Complimenting somebody and being sincere might make their day if they feel anxious, stressed or under the weather about themselves. Flattery might make them feel more positive in the short term but, long-term it’s easy to spot when people want something from you in return for their flattery.

So, I think the main message of this post is to be kind to yourself and your fellow man.There’s plenty of other people and things in this world that will be down on you and make you feel like shit. Don’t let yourself add to that. And don’t let people dictate to you how you’re supposed to feel.

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