No offense

You’ve no doubt been paid a compliment by someone.

But have you been the victim of the backhanded compliment?

You know — a comment that starts out flattering or kind, and then takes an unexpected turn, becoming cutting or cruel?

And the whole thing is delivered with a big ol’ innocent smile, which makes the insult all the more sneaky.  Sometimes you don’t even realize you were dissed until you’ve walked away.


Some friends in my neighborhood and I were discussing ‘favorite’ backhanded compliments received over the years during our regular evening walk.

Like the woman on the set of a television commercial who complimented my raincoat saying, “I love your jacket. That is a really hard shade of green for people to pull off.”

Or a fellow dog owner who was told in the park, “Well, I like your dog…I don’t care what all the other people say.”

Or my personal favorite: “I love your red toenail polish. It matches your fake red hair.”

Yes…yes, it does.

Funny how ‘compliments’ like these stick to our brains for years…whereas heartfelt good wishes fall away forgotten.  (Probably because they’re more clever, and we wish we had thought of them ourselves.)

Do you have any good zingers to share?  Leave them in the comments section for us all to enjoy.  But, no names, please.  Remember —

We wouldn’t want to offend.

13 responses to “No offense

  1. You are a really nice person, ……

  2. Get ready for this: “You look so cute in that dress! You must have lost weight. It looks so much better than the last time you wore it.” True story.

  3. Very funny: good post!

  4. “The guy you’re dating looks so young! Like a fetus!”

  5. Here is a good one I am still trying to figure out:

    Her : “I love your eye brows, who does them?? You always look suprised and so animated.”

    Me: ……… blank just blank……….


  6. Oh I knew that was no compliment, I just enjoy reminding you of what you said about my then-future husband! But trust me, after 11 years and two kids, he no longer looks like a fetus!

    • He still looks young for his age, but he’s ‘matured’ nicely. Does he have facial hair now a days? I like the beard a lot. (I’m sure that sways his style choices.)

  7. I don’t know if this counts, but I always personally hated it:
    “Wow, your hair looks so much better curly!”
    …when I’d spent the past 5 years straightening it every morning.

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