Vanity Pushers

I found the following quote, I believe that it was de Tocqueville. It might have been Machiavelli.

“‘My secret consisted in flattering their self-love [Members of Parliament and Cabinet Colleagues], while I took good care to neglect their advice… I had discovered that it is with the vanity of [people] that you can do the best business, for you often get from it very substantial things, while giving very little substance in return; you will never make as good a bargain with their ambition or their greed; but it is true that to deal profitably with the vanity of others, you must lay aside your own and look only to the success of your scheme; and this is what will always make that kind of trade very difficult.”

Think carefully when people attempt to offer you praise based on vagaries such as taste, group affiliation, or political stances, and not for carefully cultivated skills or character traits.

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