Don't let people fool you. Shade is shade is shade. An insult wrapped in a buttery prose is still a knife meant to slash, no matter how fetching the vocabulary.

If it sounds like a barb, it was. That is not to say that the act of subtly jabbing others, particularly in public, isn't itself an art form. Some of the best people I know can throw scolding tea on someone and the recipient will still believe they're standing in front of the witnesses bone dry.

We've all found little ways here and there to let people know how we really feel, but the insult detector on the receiving end has gotten better over generations.

Redditor u/jrabbit33 wanted to hear best shade they've been sent or witness to, by asking:

What are things that sound like compliments, but are actually insults?

I love a good backhanded comment. Doesn't matter if I'm catching it (which I usually am) or throwing it. It livens up the day. So bring me to the savagery.

Mirror Mirror

Jessica Lange Beauty GIF by Feud Giphy

"I love how you'll just wear anything."

- SpooksD2

"I wish I were secure enough to throw on anything and call it an outfit."

- dantheman280

The Courage You Have

"Had an ex-manger say my haircut was "brave" because I shaved half my head because I thought it looked cool. "Brave" was really code for "Wow. I think you're stupid for doing that and I'm going to be an a**hole about it."

- KnockMeYourLobes

"One of my favorite CosTubers did that about a week ago--Morgan Donner. She was doing a video about the history of hairstyles and kept cutting her butt length hair shorter and shorter, eventually buzzing it off completely. And I was like, "OMG YOUR BEAUTIFUL HAIR!"

- KnockMeYourLobes

Words

Read Beauty And The Beast GIF Giphy

"I have learning difficulties. I've had people say to me when they hear I am a writer "Wow, I'm so impressed someone like you can read!"

- nwigervxzcfaq

"Not a compliment. At all. Lol"

- nimacleavsfsaa

Not Nice

"Related to that is, "You clean up nice". It's basically saying you usually dress and look like crap."

- KirbyBucketts

"Unless you mean "Normally I wouldn't have sex with you, but right now I would."

- thedankbank1021

"I thought this was a legit compliment lol. For like formal outfits."

- ExpectGreater

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

"With all due respect… [place rest of non-respectful sentence here]."

- cakefactory341

"Haha, for some, that may be accurate. As in "given the respect you're due, I'm not actually surprised that blah blah."

- StGir1

"With all due respect, and remember I'm saying with all due respect, that idea ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin getting it on."

- leadwolf32leadwolf32

Oh honey. I'm familiar with many of those. We as a society are a mess. I say that with all due respect.

Days Gone By

No Way Wow GIF by Disney Channel Giphy

"You look good for your age."

- dibschairenforcer

"And while putting down everyone else in your demographic. that's how all these "compliments" work. they're describing you as an exception and insulting everyone like you."

- SinkTube

Good!

"That dress actually makes you look good."

- cutebleeder

"I wore a new dress to visit a friend and she said "Wow! You look like you actually got dressed on purpose!". It was hilarious rather than hurtful though."

- dartingfrogs

"Good is better than normal but I know not everyone thinks like that so I've learnt to say something else rather than good."

- hubjump

Quite Nasty

"Good for you."

- JohnnyBuddhist

"After that Prius episode on South Park, I have not been able to take a "good for you" seriously. lol"

- incredibleflipflop

"This has been my favourite phrase for a while now… incredibly disrespectful but at the same time encouraging. I love it."

- Mancinisknittedscarf

You & Me

Cbs Flirt GIF by Paramount+ Giphy

"Why am I weirdly attracted to you?"

- Poycicle

"Say... I wonder too because I don't go for people like you."

- SPdoc

Precious

"Bless your heart"

- Blinky_

"Judging by how much I see this on reddit most of everyone here lives in the southern USA or something. Was going to stop scrolling in this thread when I saw it, turned out to be the top comment."

- velocity010

"I've found that, if it's preceded with a head tilt and a "ahhhh…" that's usually a sincere "Bless Your Heart". However, if someone says "well just bless your heart," you just got owned or are about to be owned."

- my3boysmyworld

You're not worth it...

"You have so much potential…. Meaning you ain't worth a f**k yet."

- Lrdoflamancha

"I had a manager who constantly used to use that as an excuse to be extra jerkish to me. He said "I can see your potential, so I'm pushing you to do better" like somehow berating me constantly would make me want to work harder. I'm not wasting my potential stocking out a freaking Big Lots taking home less than $10 an hour, Greg. You're not worth it."

- ThisIsKubi

Lucky

rude bon qui qui GIF Giphy

"It's a good thing you're pretty. One of my teacher's in high school liked to tell me I need to marry someone rich as an insult. I thought it was kinda funny actually."

- RedOps_3

This is why so many of us no longer have friends. Be nice out there and try to keep the savage chatter to a minimum. Or at the very least, just to those who deserve it.

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