You’ll enjoy this brief except from Robert Cialdini’s (PhD) book, Influence. It confirms what you already know, but this reminder might be useful to you today.
An experiment done with men in North Carolina shows how helpless we can be in the face of praise. The men in the study received comments about themselves from another person who needed a favor from them. Some of the men got only positive comments, some got only negative comments, and some got a mixture of good and bad.
There were three interesting findings: First, the evaluator who provided only praise was liked best by the men. Second, this was the case even though the men fully realized that the flatterer stood to gain from their liking him. Finally, unlike the other types of comments, pure praise did not have to be accurate to work. Positive comments produced just as much liking for the flatterer when they were untrue as when they were true (172).
If you look hard enough, you can always find things to say that are both positive and true, and you’ll remain true to your authentic self. Sometimes you don’t realize how much power you really have in your life.