Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you. (Dale Carnegie). Enemies who attack are being honest about their feelings toward us. They make it clear they are our enemy. Friends who flatter, on the other hand, may very well be enemies in disguise. There is a difference between a sincere compliment and flattery. Flattery has an ulterior motive and is based on what we want to hear rather than the truth. Enemies in disguise have an uncanny ability to zero in on our weaknesses and emotional holes. They use this knowledge to manipulate us and to trick us into trusting them without discernment. Sincere compliments usually feel different to us. Fake flattery sets off warning bells. It’s much more difficult to be wary and alert when interacting with someone we think of as a friend. Often we ignore red flags and warnings because on the surface this “friend” is smiling and their words sound nice. This is why we are hurt and betrayed more often by “friends” or family than we are by strangers. We know to be careful of strangers. People close to us are “supposed to care” so we let down our guard and are less discerning. Pay attention to the signs and especially your body signals. Be careful of people who send conflicting messages. Most especially, be cautious of flattery no matter where it originates. Flattery is a manipulation tool.