Top 5 Reasons Why “Sucking Up” is Stupid!

I just read a wonderful article over at It was a top 5 list of why sucking up to someone, especially in the work place, is a terrible idea. I have always lived my life as being an honest person, especially in the work place. I have never subscribed to the “suck up” method. Now, working in the industry that I work in, TV production, sometimes that has gotten me in trouble. This is an industry in which people love to be sucked up to (see number 3 on the list). Anyone that has worked in this industry knows that you are supposed to suck up to people that are ahead of you…Anyway, EVERYONE should take some time to read this. Whether you are just starting a job or a school year, or if you are a person in power who gives orders, take a moment and truly read this before you model you professional behavior as a suck up. You can find the full article here!

The message for today is simple: Never be a suckup. Ever.

I am sure we have all known a suckup or two (like the guy in the cheesy picture above). These are the people that run around trying to make themselves look and feel good by getting approval from their peers, and particularly from their mangers. They might even try to call it “networking” or “making connections” but most of the time these actions are just sucking up in disguise. They are especially prevalent in the workplace where individuals mistakenly think that by being a suckup (brown-noser, ass-kisser, whatever you want to call it) it will propel them further and faster up the chain.

Sadly for the suckups this kind of thinking is completely wrong. Sucking up does not get you anywhere good, and it actually has a very negative impact on your career and on your life in general. In fact, the more you suckup the more detrimental it is to your life. Here are five good reasons why sucking up is stupid.

5 Reasons Why Sucking Up Is Stupid

1. Sucking up makes you look insincere

Because you are! No matter how good you are at sucking up, everyone else around you will notice it. And when people notice sucking up they immediately label that person as insincere and fake. Even those you are sucking up to will think this.

Sucking up sends a very clear message about yourself: My own ideas, thoughts, and actions are worthless and I will blindly say and do whatever I need to to get approval from others.

People will get this message loud and clear and from then on they will see all of your actions as insincere, even if you do manage to grow a pair and actually decide to have your own opinion.

2. Nobody trusts a suckup

A suckup is never trustworthy.

Consider the situation from the perspective of a manager working with a suckup subordinate. If that person is constantly acting as a “yes man” and always trying to be on the manager’s side would that manager feel like they are able to trust them? Would the manager be comfortable leaving them to handle an emergency? Would that manager have confidence that the suckup would be a strong leader without the manager around?


Nobody trusts a suckup because they spend too much of their time and energy trying to impress others, rather than just getting stuck into the work and being productive.

3. A manager that encourages suckups is not a good manager

Sadly there are some managers who enjoy having people suck up to them and sometimes they even encourage it. But have a think about the kind of manager that would do this…

A manager who is swayed by sucking up is not a good manager. They obviously lack confidence in their ability to lead, and thus receive a small burst of positive reinforcement whenever a suckup comes along. So what do they do? They encourage the sucking up! After all we all like to feel good about ourselves don’t we?

The suckup might see this as a wonderful opportunity but it is actually very limiting. A poor manager that feels like they need ass-kissers will also feel like they need to sabotage their career progression. They will use these people to make themselves look (and feel) good, but never allow them to grow to their potential. A manager without confidence will forever be a negative and reactive manager. They will feel like they are fighting against everyone else to make themselves look good, and when it comes to the crunch time, the suckup will not be well looked after.

The irony of all this is that a manager that encourages sucking up, or is not skilled enough to even spot it, is not a good manager to work with in the first place. Instead of wasting your time with these people, move on and find a good manager that will help you grow.

4. A good manager is all about honesty

A good manager values integrity and honesty above all other traits. They respect the opinions of those around them and are open to, and willing to listen to, new ideas and even feedback on their own performance. This is the difference between being a manager and being a leader.

A good leader knows that their role is about guiding and supporting the team below them. A good leader knows that the people below them are the experts and the leader is there to ensure they get the best possible environment to thrive and develop their skills. And it is this thinking that means a good leader does not like sucking up.

These good leaders want a team of smart individuals that work cohesively as a team. A suckup breaks this team dynamic by attempting to make everything all about themselves – something a good leader will not stand for.

The result is that the suckup will generally move on to another position where they hope that their brown-nosing skills will be more respected. As I’ve already described, the only manager that will respect such behavior is a bad manager and the suckup ends up doing more harm than good to their career. Especially when they could have stayed and grown so much under the guidance of the good leader.

5 . People don’t make friends with a suckup

The final reason for not to be a suckup is that suckups do not make many friends. We spend a lot of our lives at work so it makes sense that we form close connections and friendships with our colleagues. But no-one wants to be friends with a suckup.

Sure a suckup might make many “connections” in the sense that they know a lot of people in the business world, but rarely will they develop close friendships. The suckup is more likely to have 500 connections on linkedin rather than 100 friends on Facebook. Not that the latter is important either, but the point is that a suckup does not make many true friends.

And friendship is a massively important part of our lives. Having great friends brings so much happiness and positivity to our lives. When you have truly close friends they become like a second family that you can share your life with. I know I am blessed with an amazing bunch of friends and funnily enough I met most of them in previous work environments.

Sucking up does not get you anywhere in life. It is a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-dont type of action. It results in nothing but negative outcomes, both in professional and personal contexts. It is time to stop sucking up and start being honest in your life. 

Is there anything else you would like to add to this list? Any annoying suck up stories in your life from your work place? Leave them in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  1. Reason #6: Being a suckup is a great way to get your ass kicked and your Corolla keyed…


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