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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Truth Behind the Backhanded Compliment

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
Likewise, if you think you're saying something nice but receive a head tilt and a, "Haha, thanks, I guess," you still shouldn't say anything at all and maybe recognize that you're a bit of an oblivious bitch.

I understand that some people don't grasp the concept of tact and have no control over what comes out of their mouths. I am one of these people, to a point, but my lack of discretion usually rears its offensive head in the form of telling drunken tales of yore at Easter dinner. Mama taught a girl right, and I'm extremely aware of my words when they could affect the personal feelings of others (unless I'm intentionally trying to snub you, in which case, prepare to cry).

Backhanded compliments are usually harmless, but just because you didn't mean it the way it sounded doesn't make you sound like any less of a jerk. Here's what your victim really heard:

"You look pretty in this picture!" = "Wow, you finally managed to find an angle that doesn't make you look like a disgruntled baboon someone smacked in the face with a soccer cleat. Only in this singular instance do you look decent; rest assured, none of your other pictures compare to this one and you should probably keep it up as long as possible, seriously."

"You're so brave to be wearing that" = "You look like a huge whore."

"I didn't know you had it in you!" = "I have literally always believed that you were a spineless sloth who would amount to nothing and could never put extra effort into any goal besides finishing his/her Qdoba in one sitting. I am really, seriously, genuinely shocked by this accomplishment. Give me a minute to process my overwhelming disbelief that you could do something substantial with your life."

"You look so skinny" = "Notice I did not say, "You are so skinny." See? Ya see that? Your wide belt and/or structured jacket isn't fooling anyone. A for effort, though." OR "I can't wait to text Catherine about your anorexia."

"Don't worry, you can date him" = "I'm giving you my unwarranted permission to get with my ex. However, by no means are you exempt from incessant Facebook stalking and you can be sure that whenever you casually mention him in conversation I'll be quick to jump in with a, "Oh yeah, I remember when he used to do that" or, "Does that lip smacking thing annoy you too? LOL eskimo sisterssss."   

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