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Kolakeia

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Kolakeia

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Kolakeia is the use of flattery to distract the listener from something.

Example

That's a wise thought. Can we explore that more? The other stuff can wait.

Yes I know it's not all there. You're very perceptive, you know. Do you get that from your parents?

I say, you do look good today. Can we talk about this thing here?

Discussion

There is little more interesting to most people than themselves, and to be told they are wonderful gives a welcome boost to their sense of identity. It is no surprise that attention to the person makes that person pay more attention to themselves and, consequently, less to other things.

There is also a pattern of exchange here: I tell you how wonderful you are and you ignore that I am changing the subject.

Classification: Attention

See also

Attention principle, Exchange principle

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