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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Sucking up. How do you feel about it?

    I was wondering how NFs feeling about “sucking up” to other people and how this may affect their lives, social lives etc.

    I suppose sucking up could mean somewhat different things to different people, so I should explain that what I mean is basically being over-nice, deferential etc to someone who you may not even like that much as a person, but who you think can help you to get ahead in their social circle, etc.

    I have a horror of sucking up to people, fishing for invites and all that sort of thing because I also have a horror of looking clingy or pushy and to me that’s exactly what this would accomplish. Of course, it just also seems very false to me and I don’t see the point of being nicey-nice to someone who I don’t really like and who I suspect doesn’t really like me, in the hope that they might be able to somehow help me to “get ahead”.

    But I wonder if sometimes I may shoot myself in the foot by taking the opposite non-sucking-up approach to an extreme. Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty sure that I am generally thought to be friendly and cordial with my acquaintances, though probably also somewhat distant with a lot of people. I’ve certainly never heard/observed anything to suggest that people find me unfriendly, rude, etc. I guess the thing that I find frustrating (and I would like to see how other NFs – and others – feel about this) is that sucking up and being pushy seems to be quite productive for a lot of people. They fish for invites, and get invited and become the most popular people around (not that I want to be the most popular person around…well, I have mixed feelings about it!). I never fish for invites, as it just seems so embarrassing and I don’t want to be somewhere if I get the impression people don’t want me there. The very few times in my life when I have kind of fished for an invite or whatever, I have ended up feeling humiliated (whether or not I got the invite!) and certainly very untrue to myself.

    But then you end up being the person who everyone more or less likes (or at least doesn’t dislike), but who a lot of people don’t bother with (besides my true close friends, and I do have a few of those). The people who suck up, show up to things uninvited, etc etc, might get bitched about a bit behind their backs, but the tradeoff is that they become highly popular with many and are never lacking for invites (even if they turn half of them down. In my case, if I turn down one invite, that person will often never ask me again – after one refusal! Even if I say something like "sorry, I have a prior commitment/am too busy/too tired this time, but another time would be great" - that's about as pushy as I'm going to get!)

    Interested to see what your thoughts are. Sorry if the above is rather rambling, not quite sure where I was going with this!
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  2. #2
    Phantonym
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    No thanks to sucking up. And basically I can relate to everything you said.

  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I can relate to your post, SilkRoad. I prefer either honest, authentic expressions of respect or nothing. Once the sucking up starts, then all communication becomes meaningless. I can't see the point especially because I'm okay not socializing that much and being overlooked. If the only way I would be valued or accepted in a given social circle is to pretend and conform, then that acceptance is meaningless. It makes more sense to me to adopt a new pet and form a real connection.

    I do try to find something I sincerely like about most any person, and will compliment them on something if it is true and sincere, but that is especially difficult for me in dynamics based on false compliments for social strategy. If I give a compliment it is real and I don't want it seen as fake and ambitious. Then I end up saying nothing.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I do try to find something I sincerely like about most any person, and will compliment them on something if it is true and sincere, but that is especially difficult for me in dynamics based on false compliments for social strategy. If I give a compliment it is real and I don't want it seen as fake and ambitious. Then I end up saying nothing.
    That is a good approach (looking for something genuinely nice to say). It just keeps things open even if you sense you're unlikely to ever have much of a connection with the person. I don't want to end up seeming superior/too good for other people...which I think is a trap I could fall into.
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  5. #5
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    can't relate at all...hmmm

    i don't recall ever questioning invites or being nice...or too nice...or not nice enough to people...i probably do the inviting as often as i'm invited...hmm

    anyway can't relate...but all you can do is be yourself right? try to invite people to do stuff too and say yes when you can...sorry i guess i didn't need to post. :/
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
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  6. #6
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    I am against sucking up to further one's own status if the complements aren't true, but I have no issues with voicing and affirming qualities that I respect and like about that person when voicing it might provide social lubrication for my own needs. For example: chatting with the departmental secretary and complementing her on her new haircut.

    It's a win-win: she feels noticed and more like a person when often students forget to acknowledge her beyond what she can do for them, and I am on good terms with her just in case I find myself in need of what she can help me with (opening a locked door, getting a file for me, etc.).

    EDIT
    Oops. Didn't realize this was in the NF subforum--sorry guys! (I will add, though, that if I don't genuinely mean what I have to say, I don't say anything--it's rather me being cognizant of needing to talk about more than my immediate goals and Te-ing too much.)
    Last edited by Usehername; 10-14-2009 at 10:24 PM.
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  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    That is a good approach (looking for something genuinely nice to say). It just keeps things open even if you sense you're unlikely to ever have much of a connection with the person. I don't want to end up seeming superior/too good for other people...which I think is a trap I could fall into.
    Another aspect of this topic is how it feels to receive such compliments. When I strongly suspect someone dislikes me and they compliment me instead of paying me, or have a specific advantage they are seeking from me, the flattery can feel a bit insulting. It suggests that the receiver of such a false compliment has their reason controlled by ego, and that they are too stupid to see through this type of manipulation. In the end it seems disrespectful.

    I'm thinking mostly of professional contexts, since I avoid most social ones.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  8. #8
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    hopefully im talented enough where i don't have to suck up for anything.

    if not, i hope i like my life of mediocrity

  9. #9
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I hate sucking up also, and I hate getting my assed kiss. Too fake for me. Unfortunately, yes, that's how people climb social and career ladders.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  10. #10
    Junior Member GHC's Avatar
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    I really don't like sucking up to people, in fact I think I can be quite bad at acting nice to someone I dislike/despises and some people might be able too see through it. I sometimes can be very ironic, sarcastic or rude when someone I dislike is in my presence; It doesn’t even need to be with words just my body language will scream at you “I don’t like you”.

    I suppose that's the reason why most of my classmates describes me as being a very honest person.

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