(Proverbs 28:23 KJV) He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
This seems counterintuitive. It certainly goes against the current attitude of our culture where self-esteem is king and the ultimate insult is to “dis” someone.
A true friend “rebukes” (3198) when it is needed by you even though he doesn’t want to. I don’t know if you have ever watched a TV show called “What Not to Wear.” We don’t have cable at home but when on vacation the women of my life like to watch it. One of the parts they really like is when the two advisors enlighten the hero of the week on the quality of their current style. It is not a pretty moment but by the end of the program, when the new look is revealed, they are thankful for the criticism.
A false friend “flatters” (2505b) when it is needed for himself but not deserved by you. All they want is for their own agenda to move forward.
So? Don’t reject compliments but don’t pay too much attention to flattery. Try to be honest with yourself. It is hard but it can be done.