There’s nothing quite like a backhanded compliment: sure, on the surface, it seems like a nice thing to say, but there’s that little biting part of it that leaves you feeling worse than before.
These guys on Reddit came together to share some backhanded compliments they’ve received, and they might need some aloe for these burns.
It’s The Conditionality For Me
“‘You’re not the best looking but you aren’t ugly,’ and ‘You look nice today.'”
It’s like, at best, you’re telling him he looks average. At worst, you’re telling him that he looks bad most days. There’s no good in either of these compliments.
Did I Do That?
“I work with data as a career. And I dress pretty fashionably. Someone told me I’m like a real-life Steve Urkel/Stefan Urquelle from Family Matters. I didn’t know how to take it, honestly.”
Um, I’m A Guy Like Me
“‘I wish that I could find a guy like you.
“It insinuates that I’d be perfect, if it wasn’t me, just someone who was like me. It hurts so bad.”
What Does That Even Mean?
“You dress like a rich man from a poor country.”
I literally don’t know what this person means by this comment. Like, what does that even look like? Can someone give me a visual?
What A Nice Way To Say You Aren’t Funny
“My wife stopped coming to my comedy shows after our first kid was born, it was too much of a hassle. A year and a half into it, my aunt and uncle are in town, so they, my parents, and my wife all come down to see.
“After the show, my wife gives me a hug and says, ‘You got better.’
Nothing Like Knowing People Think You’re Dumb!
“It wasn’t said to me, but I once overheard my boss say to someone else: ‘The good thing about (my name) is that you never have to worry about him overthinking it.'”
Could’ve Just Left It At “Cute”
“‘You’re really cute for a short guy.’ I’m 5’5.”
Here’s a life pro-tip: if you’re going to give someone a compliment, never add “for a ______” to the statement. It’ll only end in tears.
Personality Means Nothing, Apparently
“‘Your wife is so beautiful, you must be a movie star!’
“In other words, they basically said I was so unbearably ugly that I must be rich to catch a woman like her.”
Ego = Demolished
“One of my best friends said this when I was asking if she’d invite some of her friends to a party I was throwing: ‘Of course! Me and my friends like you so much because you’re not a threat to our relationships.’
“I was in the middle of trying to improve my looks and I had a crush on one of her friends at the time, so it was safe to say that it DESTROYED any confidence I had. Party was a blast, though.”
Gingers Know No Peace
“You’re actually handsome for being a redhead.”
People with red hair really never catch a break: there’s always someone making fun of them for something. It’s an unfair burden they bear.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
“‘You’re a lot nicer than I thought you would be.’
“Look, just because I have a beard down past my chest, tattoos, and generally always looking annoyed or angry, doesn’t mean I won’t sit down and have a tea party with my niece if she asked.”
Okay, This Is 100% Just A Compliment
“My friend’s new girlfriend said I was ‘quite good looking, in a scruffy teacher kind of way.'”
Okay, listen up, though: how much did every girl in high school love the scruffy-looking history teacher? This is a pure compliment, and if you think it’s backhanded, that’s on you.
It’s Better Than Looking Smart And Being Stupid
“In college, I used to get, ‘You’re a lot smarter than I thought you would be.'”
Listen, as someone who also comes off as an idiot 98% of the time, I feel you. However, I think there’s power in people consistently underestimating you.
I Mean, It’s Generally A Nice Thing To Be Told You Look Young
“Not necessarily the best, but often when I get carded, I hear, ‘Oh my god. You look so good…for your age.’
“I always wanna respond with something like ‘Wow. Thanks. You look so tall…for your height.'”
Ouch, That Must Have Hurt
“A girl who was pretty popular on a social media app made this post about wanting to hook up with an ‘ugly dude’ and then literally tagged me in that post with a ‘hey :)’.”
Nice To Know I’m Awkward
“A friend of mine recently told me, ‘You are the only person I know that suits being awkward.’
“Everyone present agreed. Thanks for helping me get to know my strengths, guys!”
Nice Handwriting Is Rare In Men
“‘You have nice handwriting, for a man.’ This was 6 years ago in year 8 in school. I don’t know why I remember it.”
Okay, but can we address the fact that a large number of men have atrocious handwriting, even as adults? This is a decent compliment.
Didn’t Really Make Him Feel Youthful Either
“‘You’re not that old!’ randomly from an Uber passenger. She was a cute college girl that was maybe two years younger than me. That was her start to a conversation. I may not be super hot, but I’m at least I’m hot for an Uber driver.”
Um, Yeah I Do???
“I work retail selling hardware and paint supplies. After some back-and-forth with a church-lady customer trying to get her the right paint for her project, she finally took her paint, then gave me that holier-than-thou smile and said, ‘And I’ll bet you even think evolution is real!'”
Your Mom Is Supposed To Be Your #1 Fan!
“‘My goodness! I am not sure what she even sees in you!?’ —my own MOTHER remarking at how gorgeous my admittedly hotter girlfriend is when she first met her.
“I am the handsomest, MOM, remember?! You’re the one person who is supposed to have my back.”