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Compliments can brighten our day, boost our confidence, and make us feel appreciated. But what if that “compliment” you just received was actually an insult in disguise?
Yes, it happens more often than you might think. From subtle jabs to outright criticisms, some people have a knack for mixing praise with insult. In this article, we’ll reveal 10 things that sound like a compliment but are actually an insult. So get ready to decode those sneaky backhanded compliments and avoid falling into their trap!
1. Wow, Your Spouse Is Really Good Looking
One man shared that he went to a family gathering with his girlfriend, where she met his family for the first time. Everyone was very kind and included her in the events and conversations.
Unfortunately, when his aunt arrived, she made the heinous remark, “Wow, your spouse is really good-looking,” implying that she was surprised that she would be dating him.
2. Wow, You Must Be a Really Lucky Guy
Another recalled attending a wedding where he wasn’t allowed a plus one. He had just begun dating his girlfriend, so he showed his cousins some photos.
Then, the man’s grandmother looked over his shoulder at the photos and dreadfully stated, “Wow, you must be a really lucky guy.” Though it could be taken positively, she used a sarcastic tone to mean he was not worthy of my girlfriend.
3. I Hope You’re Good to Her
One Redditor met his significant other’s female friends for the first time. So naturally, he was expecting questioning and long conversations.
However, he never expected one of her friends to imply that he wouldn’t be a good partner. So he was infuriated when she said, “I hope you’re good to her.”
4. You’re Smarter Than You Look
One of the oldest and most annoying sentences people are forced to endure is, “You’re much smarter than you look.” I have personally heard this phrase throughout my life, whether in school, at work, or even walking on the street. Many agree that they are tired of being underestimated by our looks.
5. You Look So Much Better Now That You Lost Some Weight
One man confessed he went through a health and wellness journey because he wanted to feel better about himself. So he would work out daily and eat balanced meals to start his day.
He even spent off-time running or jogging in his neighborhood. It took place over about a year, but when Christmas came around, he visited his family.
The first thing his grandmother could say was, “You look so much better now that you lost some weight,” which he admitted made him feel very uncomfortable and hurt his confidence.
6. You Could Get Any Man if You Lost Thirty Pounds
A woman explained that she appreciated her body much more when technically overweight. She was more confident and enjoyed life more.
Her only downfall was when she’d visit family, and they’d make remarks like, “You could get any man if you lost thirty pounds.” But, even when she married while overweight, her mother still told her she’d look better thin.
7. You’re So Brave for Wearing That. I Wish I Had Your Confidence
Nothing is less sincere than someone calling you brave for wearing an article of clothing. A teenager explained how she was often bullied in school by her friends.
They would subtly bully her so they wouldn’t get in trouble and gaslight her if she brought it up. A typical line is, “You’re so brave for wearing that. I wish I had your confidence.”
It was very discouraging for her because she felt like the article of clothing was weird and out of the norm since none of them would ever wear it.
8. I Can’t Believe How Confident You Are
Many agree that “I can’t believe how confident you are” is a passive-aggressive way to say that the person shouldn’t be as confident. However, it is a common sentence used when girls bully each other in school because it can easily lessen a person’s ego.
9. I Love How You Don’t Care What Anyone Thinks of You
Someone mentioned that many people use “I love how you don’t care what anyone thinks of you” to mean that the person is acting weird, and people must notice that.
Unfortunately, like others on the list, this is also a phrasing used by bullies to tear each other down.
10. Wow, You’re So Articulate
In the academic world, many people discriminate against others based on appearance. For example, a professor explained that because of the color of his skin, many expect him to be unintelligent and sometimes don’t believe that he is a college professor.
They elaborated that far too many people said, “Wow, you’re so articulate,” with surprised expressions on their faces.
We hope you enjoyed this Reddit discussion about phrases that sound like compliments but are really insults. This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Motherhood Life Balance.
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As a full-time working mom of three, I know what it’s like to feel like life is out of balance and out of control.
While I don’t have it all figured out, I am committed to sharing helpful tips and tricks with other mommas who are ready to break free from negativity, ditch mom guilt, & finally, live life on their own terms.