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Thread: Sick of Sycophants. Extreme ingratiation in the workplace.

  1. #1

    Sick of Sycophants. Extreme ingratiation in the workplace.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...ick-sycophants

    Sep 15, 2017

    Unbelievable, unbearable, and incomprehensible. Sycophants are everywhere. Sucking-up takes a variety of forms, from petty compliment, to oily flattery, to outright treachery. Who hasn’t witnessed scenes like the following?:

    A colleague in one of our administrative offices organizes an orientation for department chairs. While attendees grab their coffees, we see the administrator's flunky trot to center stage. “Welcome back!” she chirps, “delighted to see you all here. It’s my great pleasure to introduce our wonderful leader. Would you all stand up and give her a round of applause?” She scurries back to her seat and gazes at the dean, giving her best Nancy Reagan doe-eyed-looking-at-Ronnie imitation. . . and we’ve just been asked to applaud one of the worst administrators our institution has had in decades. A stunned colleague whispers, "She forgot to say, ‘Hail, Maximum Leader!’” As usual, we are reduced to powerless irony and sarcasm. Heavy sighs all around as people straggle to their feet. This apparatchik is widely known as this administrator's creature, but today she’s outdoing herself. Her own perpetual kowtow is not enough; now she’s going to toady by leading others in toadying. She will prove that she can, in pursuing her own campaign of sucking up, marshal great forces of sycophancy to assist her.

    When I tell this story to friends, many chime in with their own stories of suck-ups. One recounted the behavior of a male colleague at the memorial service of a distinguished British book retailer. This world-class weasel never made decisions (in case he came down on the wrong side) and routinely undermined new employees by cozying up to them under the guise of fellowship, all the while storing up potential dirt. Outspokenly "loyal" and reliably obeisant until the next putsch, his fealty shifted swiftly and completely at the opportune moment. All that toadying served him well: He became the next CEO's right-hand man. Yet this same lickspittle broke into tears at the memorial service for one of the company’s founders. Who’d have thought that sycophancy could be posthumous?

    We could go on. And generally, we do, trading stories about sucking up, each more outrageous than the last. Every workplace teems with sycophants, from the hardened—those opportunistic and career-driven cynics; to the skilled—hypocritical and suavely ingratiating; to the fawning—warmed by mere proximity to power. But despite the rich variety of these sycophantic anecdotes, they do little to help us understand the behavior. For it is not simply the action that makes for sycophancy. The intent matters, and that intent is often carefully concealed by inveterate flatterers. We never get inside the sycophant’s mind. Nor are we privy to the circumstances of sucking up—the relations and situations that elicit and sustain it. We have our exasperation, our disgust, and at times our amusement at the antics of sycophants, but we have very little insight into sycophants and sycophancy.

    We mostly take sycophancy for granted. Whether we grumble about it or grudgingly tolerate it as the price of getting along in a complex society, we rarely examine sycophancy closely. Ingratiation falsifies the terms of our engagement with others and the fundamental basis of the communities we inhabit. Our book, Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy, considers sycophancy from several perspectives—from the earliest types mentioned in classical literature, to historical examples, to modern sociology, to notorious examples from literature.

    We would like to hear your stories: Who are the targets and ingratiators? How do observers respond? To confront sycophancy, we must understand it—all the more so given that we have entered a period of spectacular bowing and scraping. As sucking up appears to become a master trope of the current presidency, a consideration of this corrosive practice is definitely in order.



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  3. #2
    Our book, Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy, considers sycophancy from several perspectives—from the earliest types mentioned in classical literature, to historical examples, to modern sociology, to notorious examples from literature.

    We would like to hear your stories: Who are the targets and ingratiators? How do observers respond? To confront sycophancy, we must understand it—all the more so given that we have entered a period of spectacular bowing and scraping. As sucking up appears to become a master trope of the current presidency, a consideration of this corrosive practice is definitely in order.



    They wrote a book and now they're interested in studying the phenomenon?
    * Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

    * No Amnesty - The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

    * Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

    * End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.




    Reprinted from http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/immigration/ [Nov. 29, 2011]

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    They wrote a book and now they're interested in studying the phenomenon?
    They're interested in studying the phenomenon further given how widespread it is and how little attention it gets. We are surrounded by sycophants. Just look at the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal. I am not a sycophant because I don't always suck up.

    As Deborah and Mark Parker would put it, humans have been perfecting the art of "sucking up" to get ahead for a long, long time. With tongue not always in cheek, the authors give an account of ass-kissing from the ancient Romans to Kellyanne Conway and lots of interesting history in between.
    Last edited by timosman; 10-14-2017 at 04:14 AM.

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