Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back Handed Compliment

If there is one thing that makes me cringe, it's the back handed compliment. It usually comes from "well meaning" people, attempting to spread their unsolicited good cheer. Unfortunately, it comes off as condescending, patronizing or just a little snarky.

I know I 've mentioned it before, but I was not always this size. For a majority of my life, I fell into a "healthy weight" category, then one day, bad choices and years of being ever-so-slightly lazy caught up with me. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this "compliment" - "You have such a pretty face. Just imagine if you lost weight."

Eh hem...

Or.. if I work really hard to get the right angle, the right amount of light, and snap a picture - someone always has to say, "You must have a really nice camera." Umm.. no, it's a little Nikon point and shoot and maybe, just maybe, I worked hard to get that shot. Maybe I actually put some effort into it.  (PS - I don't claim to know what I am doing, but I assure you.. it's not just the camera that gets it right.)

I could go on and on and on...

Unfortunately for the person who dishes out the thoughtless compliments, I tend to reply with some snarky response. ;-)

My question to you - How do you handle something like this? Also, what type of "back handed" compliments do you receive?



Telisa said...

A well-timed "screw you" usually works :P

The Bipolar Diva said...

one that I get a lot, or did when the kids were young, was "those (mixed-race) kids are SO lucky to have you." Basically meaning no one else would have them. I feel, I'm the lucky one.

Leanne said...

Lordy, I sure have been the receiver of a number of backhanded compliments in my life. Still do get them. I heard a fantastically funny thought at the conference last week that I have to share with you - it seems fitting for this post. It originated from Brene Brown (do you know her? Google her and visit her site, if you don't already. She is a genius.) Anyway, her comment is something like this, "Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer". I love that.


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