HOW many praises did President Noynoy Aquino receive after he blasted to silence in his inaugural speech the vehicle sirens illegally used or abused by motorists?

The myriad alleluias he must be getting everyday: "Brilliant decision on the pork barrel, Mr. President." "You've tamed the media, President Noy." "You look hip while reviewing the troops, sir."

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Are PNoy and other powerful persons not spared from flattery? Are they susceptible to it, in the first place?

The higher the seat of power, the more intense and profuse are the praises. PNoy may not suffer the corrupt gladly but it is doubtful if he and others in power shun those who sing hosannas.

No one is safe from, or invulnerable to, praise. Not P.Noy, not Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, not any other VIP or boss.

The 2000 book by Richard Stengel, "You're Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery," says people of high self-esteem and accomplishment enjoy flattery more and have higher tolerance for it.

Downside

Would PNoy be offended by a remark in the Cabinet that he looks sexy even with sparse hair? From a former classmate, it would please PNoy.

Tell Mike he sings better now than when was vice mayor and then ask if freedom from his party chief has anything to do with it. The mayor won't show it but he'll be tickled pink.

There's a downside to flattery though: Giving praise when it's not due might make the VIP incapable of self-criticism and, Stengel says, might render them "unfit for weathering criticism of any kind."

But to flatterer and “flatteree,” the praise can help them survive the day’s woes.

(paseares@yahoo.com)