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RayaHope's avatar

Have you ever been received a back-handed compliment?

Asked by RayaHope (5117points) 1 month ago

I was told once, “Looking at your education, it’s good that you are pretty.” It took a minute to sink in what they just told me. I was so angry.

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24 Answers

smudges's avatar

I’m sure I have, although I can’t think of an example at the moment. But I distinctly remember a back-handed apology I was given. It went something like this:

“I’m so sorry you took offense when I called you a bitch. I was trying to be constructive.”

rebbel's avatar

After I sneezed someone once wished me beauty, because I was already healthy.

canidmajor's avatar

Ha! My mother was the queen of those. “Aren’t you brave to wear pants that draw so much attention there.”
“Isn’t it nice that you are confident enough to tell people you have that awful job.”
“How nice that you can enjoy that cake so much when you still have so much baby weight to lose.”

A lifetime of that made me wary of any compliments, waiting for the zinger.

freguarUK's avatar

@RayaHope. Sometimes the beauty of people makes me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps by saying this, the person relieved stress from your appearance, clothes, movements and energy, or from everything in combination.
If such compliments are self-serving in nature, then you should furiously communicate with them as in the Wizengamot court!

RayaHope's avatar

@smudges That was so bad. How could he think his comment be constructive?

RayaHope's avatar

@canidmajor Oh gosh she is/was so mean.

RayaHope's avatar

@freguarUK I don’t think it had anything to do wth magic :(

smudges's avatar

@RayaHope It was a female, and she routinely did it.

@canidmajor That’s terrible!!

SnipSnip's avatar

When I was a kid I received a back-handed slap on the behind from my grandpa.

canidmajor's avatar

@RayaHope and @smudges, that’s one reason we don’t have contact anymore.

cookieman's avatar

@canidmajor: Yeesh! The queen of passive aggressive, left-handed compliments. I’m sorry. That sounds terrible.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Neighbor: ” I can hear you in my apartment”.
My reply: ” Well get your ear off of the wall and you won’t hear anything”.
Nosey neighbors

Crude remarks are just the other person’s insecurities. It has nothing to do with you so don’t give it any more power in that she/he wants to knock you down. Show them that it doesn’t phase you.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Another nosey neighbor interrupted a conversation that I was having with another neighbor in the laundry room as we were doing our laundry with..
“We can hear you two all the way down the hall”.
My reply: “Oh that’s nice”
then added ” Did YOU learn anything?” ( like minding your own business)

Brian1946's avatar

I wish I could say that someone told me, “Looking at your face, it’s good that you have an education”. ;)

RayaHope's avatar

@Brian1946 I’m not sure which one is worse, your or mine..grrr

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

My father would always give them.

“You are not as stupid as you look.”
“Try to get at least one or two years university before you fail out so that you can get a good job in the government as a clerk.”

smudges's avatar

@canidmajor I remember briefly messaging about this with you some time ago. With those details, I understand! Wow. I’m really sorry you experienced that. Children should receive love, not insults; and I’d bet that your examples are the tip of the iceberg.

canidmajor's avatar

@smudges Thanks so much. I was delighted to get out in the world and discover that more people are truly lovely than not. <3

Mimishu1995's avatar

@smudges @canidmajor sadly there are cultures in the world that enable that kind of behavior. It’s often praised as “clever” or “quirky” or “a good way to teach a lesson”. These cultures are vehemently against praising people because praise means making them cocky. Putting people down would help them more humble and willing to improve. I have lived my life around people who would try their best to avoid having to praise someone and try the hardest to put people down like that. At one point I thought it was an intelligent thing to do and I should learn to practise it.

It’s partly thanks to Fluther that I realized how toxic this mentality is.

kritiper's avatar

I was working a part time job to make ends meet while attempting to get my own private business off the ground. One day my employer asked “How is your little business coming along?” It took a while for me to realize he was putting me and my “little” business down.

smudges's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I’m so glad you found fluther and discovered the error in that mentality. We do have some of that in the U.S., like from parents who tell their child to “pick themselves up by the bootstraps” when what they might really need is an antidepressant.

@kritiper I was working a part time job to make ends meet while attempting to get my own private business off the ground.

That’s admirable and hard to do! Maybe he didn’t mean it as a put-down, but he sure didn’t think it through as to how it could be taken.

RayaHope's avatar

When I was little I was talked down to so often that I never even knew it was bad. I guess it was something that I was just used to until I got old enough to learn the difference. Even now I might miss one once in a while.

seawulf575's avatar

My M-i-L was the best at this. She told my wife one time “That outfit looks really good on you! You don’t look as fat as you usually do.” The obvious response was “So you’re saying I usually look fat?” Answer: “No! I’m just saying the outfit looks good on you.”

RayaHope's avatar

^^ Your MiL sounds like a lovely person (rolls eyes)

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