Massaging someone’s ego is worse than the ego itself, so why do we insist on doing it? Perhaps making someone think they’re better than they are is the very reason why we should refrain from giving them more praise.
That’s different to when someone struggles with confidence issues and we choose to praise them. To massage an already inflated ego, makes a person’s ego even more inflated. Massaging someone’s ego has a lot to do with our relationship with that person and how we’ve always responded.
But unless someone with an ego recognises they have one, it’s wise for us to massage their ego even less, or try to ignore it. It’s a relationship that doesn’t change, but is absolutely capable of change. It’s how we choose to deal with someone with an ego.
On our part, as long as we’re tactful and to the point with them, we can avoid talking to their ego in any great length. The more direct we are, the less ego driven our conversation with them will be.