Ingratiation (A complete review)

In this article, we’ll give a brief idea of “Ingratiation”, tactics of ingratiation, it’s uses and forms of ingratiation.


Ingratiation is a technique in which the individual tries to influence another person by becoming more likable/amiable to their target.

This term was first identified by Social Psychologist Edward E. Jone, who defined ingratiation as “a classic of strategic behaviors illicitly designed to influence a particular other person concerning the attractiveness of one’s personal abilities.  

A person tries to be good and behaves in a way the way others like the behavior and to accomplish this he tries to do many tactics.

He can try to first show interest in another person by asking questions, paying attention and making the person comfortable enough in order to make him feel special and important.

Then the person can help or assist the other person in things in which the help is required by the person.

And then showing support to the other person, emotional and moral increases the liability of the person. 

Smiling more often, being friendly, cheerful and positive can also increase the likability, expressing direct admiration by telling them what one likes or admire about them.

Finally, sympathy can be shown towards the people about the things have in common.


Some specific tactics of Ingratiation research are:

  • Complimentary Other Enhancement: It is known as the act of using compliments in order to improve the self-esteem of another individual.
  • Conformity in Opinion, Judgment, and Behavior: It is known as the expression of one’s personal opinion to match other’s opinions
  • Self-Presentation or Self-Promotion: It refers to the presentation of an individual’s own characteristics
  • Rendering Favors: It means performing helpful requests for another individual
  • Modesty: Being modest is another ability of Ingratiation
  • Expression of humor: It refers to the amusing events shared by an individual with another individual
  • Instrumental Dependency: It refers to the act of convincing another individual that the ingratiator is dependent upon him/her
  • Name-dropping: It refers to the act of referencing more than one individual in a conversation to increase attractiveness.


Ingratiation is commonly planned and used in the course of everyday social relationships in order to gain the favor in return, either from friends or family or both.

For example, a student in order to be liked by his classmates, he tries to be sweet and does things like sharing food, doing their homework or helping them in the basic things and perhaps receive what the same, though there is no guarantee of the same.

It has often been seen in politics, politicians often do things out of the box to make their votes, which is rare to be seen after the elections are over. 


  • Showing an Interest:

Showing an interest is only one form of ingratiation which suggests the one admires and respects the other person.

Acknowledging a person, greeting him with a smile and a firm handshake, showing small gestures works well and it depicts that one likes the other person’s presence.

Small gestures like good morning, smiling at the person and maintaining regular eye contact with the people while conversating helps in making a person being liked and respected.

We all like our own identities, our names, similarly the other person also likes it and it increases the trust, respect and gains favor. In researches, it has also been found that the teachers who remember their students’ names, the students have shown greater respect and gratitude in return. 

  • Compliments:

Compliments are another form of ingratiation, it builds the self-esteem of the other person.

Complimenting the positive qualities of a person is not a big deal, and everybody likes compliments.

People who notices others works are often appreciated by other people and their respect often increases.

It is often done out of flattery and it has been found as an effective ingratiation strategy even if the other person recognizes it as an attempt to manipulate them, it seems to be a sense of being observed and focused by other people in a good way.

It has often been seen in the marketplace where the salesperson compliments the customers in order to change or boosting their choices and which eventually leads them to gain tips and praise which ultimately help them in their further career perspective.

However, while complimenting the person should be aware of the slime effect, as a person who continuously flatters his immediate boss or customer and is disrespectful or critical with others, he often has a bad and negative image which ultimately will have a negative effect on him.

  • Reputation Management:

Well, reputation matters and it is true for most of the people in the world.

Many people are concerned with the impression that they leave about themselves onto others and always want to make a good first impression of themselves with strangers.

This is yet another ingratiation strategy or form.

People try to project or present their most likable qualities to others at first in order to gain favors.

Reputation Management techniques:

  1. Demonstrating knowledge in a subject according to the situation without being so obvious.
  2. Being modest and try to avoid giving any impression of arrogance.
  3. Using body language, facing and making eye contact with the participants in a conversation and tries not to interfere in somebody’s personal space. Sometimes mimicking the body language in order to look and appear similar is also common in this. 
  • Conformity:

Conformity is another form of ingratiation.

It has been found in people that they are a bit of bias towards the strangers who look alike or similar or familiar.

This type of bias is known as in-group bias and people in this group try and agree with all the opinions of their friends and families and ignoring the out-group (the strangers who are not familiar) ideas.

The Compliance strategy, therefore, can be seen as beneficial to make a request as a member of a person’s in-group member rather than an out-group member.

Conforming with the attitudes of a person’s in-group is one method of ingratiating oneself with them.

Letting people know that one understands and respects other person’s opinions and values and finding a common ground to settle in with shared interests and hobbies.

Finding more commonalities between each other is the key.

People also try and adjust to talking and that too in a particular pattern like the other people in a conversation in order to appear to look similar to the group.


In this article, we’ll give a brief idea of “Ingratiation”, tactics of ingratiation, it’s uses and forms of ingratiation.

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