10. "You are the most wonderful person I have ever met. We were meant to start this business/do this deal/win this suit."
Beware flattery without facts, especially when it comes too fast, too soon. It is a sign of a sociopath. They target their victims (people they can use), compromise their targets' integrity, exploit them and toss them aside when finished. The whole cycle starts with false flattery.
For more information read "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout and "Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us" by Robert D. Hare. Or, sit down with "Othello." Shakespeare identified the prototype sociopath, Iago, who remarks, "When devils will the blackest sins put on/They do suggest at first with heavenly shows. . . ."
Speaking of the devil, watch this scene from The Devil's Advocate (a truly horrible movie). Al Pacino stars as Satan, with his day job being the managing partner of an international firm. He counsels a colleague who knows Pacino is Satan: "Don't get too cocky. No matter how good you are. Don't let them see you coming. That's the gaff, my friend make yourself small. Be the hick. The cripple. The nerd. The leper. The freak. Look at me I've been underestimated from day one."
Here is the title card in the great fight: private investigator Flippo in the white trunks v. Satan in the red. I'm in Flippo's corner, hoping and praying to see it coming. The devil be damned.
Michael P. Maslanka is the managing partner of the Dallas office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith. He is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His podcasts and "Work Matters" blog can be found at texaslawyer.com.