Flattery is excessive and insincere praise, oftentimes used to manipulate a person.
This verse makes a whole lot more sense once you define the word flatter. You’ve probably heard the phrase “flattery will get you everywhere” used in flirting, or light joking, in a positive manner. But there is nothing positive about flattery.
It is manipulative and coercive meant to “gently” get someone to agree to something or feel better about someone than what their conscience might be telling them.
It is destructive and it is a lie, but it the lie we all want to hear, and that is why it is so successful.
To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet.
Proverbs 29:5 NLT