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Ingratiator's Dilemma

Ingratiation and ulterior motives underlying friendly behavior are most easily detected when the ingratiator in some way is dependent upon the target. This can occur, for instance, when the ingratiator is a single man out to find a date, and the target is beautiful woman; or when the target is the ingratiator's teacher in school or supervisor at work, or is generally a powerful person in a company or in politics. Because such asymmetry in power makes it more likely that friendly behavior by the low-status person is seen as ingratiating, this presents the ingratiator with a dilemma: When it matters most, that is, when you depend very strongly on someone, ingratiation is most likely to backfire because people will easily see through your hidden ...

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