My mom's side of the family all have PhD's in backhanded complimenting. I grew up getting things like:
"Oh my goodness would you look at those grades! You must work so hard! Your mom is so lucky, my daughter doesn't try hard at anything - not even her modeling career! Sure, she's gorgeous - but look at how much you try!"
Or my personal favorite: "You'll be so beautiful once you start to look more like your mother."
Spoiler alert: my mother has pale skin, straight black hair, and pale green eyes. I, on the other hand, am much more olive, have huge curly hair, and brown eyes. Unless we involved surgeons and some sketchy beauty practices, I was never going to start to look more like my mother.
Reddit user u/stellarscale asked:
And yeah, some of this sounds like exactly the sort of thing that they would say. So for those of you who have a "that person" in your life - be it a mom, a step mom, a mean friend, a boss, etc. - read this article with their voice in mind. It's weirdly therapeutic to realize you're totally not the only one who gets this stuff.
Faster Than You Look
After doing well in a 10 mile race, "you're a lot faster than you look." really means "Your fat @ss doesn't look like it could run 10 miles unless it was chasing a chicken wing on a fishing pole"
A judge told me it would benefit the community when I told him I was enlisting in the army. At first I thought he meant the overall world/military community would benefit from me being there.
Now I understand that it means "the community we're kicking your b*tch @ss out of will benefit"
Not If I See You First
When you say "see you later" and they say "not if I see you first." I just realized not that long ago that it implies that they will actively avoid you if they see you first.
Like when you see someone you know in a store, and you don't want to interact with them, you might even change aisles for a bit to not come into contact with them. That's like an example of what that retort means.
"This jacket is so awesome even you look good in it!"
"She is always dedicated to her principles, even in the face of policy and procedures that conflict with those principles." - my boss
The 5th Grade Note
In 5th grade, we had an end of the year going away party. We had beach balls that everybody got and we were signing them for each other and writing notes like you would at a yearbook signing. Most of the times it was something like
Hey have an awesome break -Signed Name
I passed my ball to a classmate that had sat next to me for most of the year. She filled up an entire section of the beach ball with a note to me. I didn't read it at the time but did later when I got home. It said something like this:
It was nice sitting next to you all year. You seem like a really cool guy, but sometimes you go over the top and are really annoying. Have a good summer and I'll see you next year.
I didn't realize at the time how annoying I actually was. It was kind of a revelation to me. Not only was it a genuine note, but it seemed like she knew I could be a better person. It was really on point for a 5th grader to write such a genuine note, I hadn't gotten anything like that before.
The subsequent years, I really changed how I was. I tried to be a nicer person that tried to make others laugh and be happy instead of annoyed. I was only ever an acquaintance with the girl that wrote it, but that note was actually a pretty pivotal point in my childhood.
So wherever you are, thanks neighbor. I needed that complement/insult that you wrote me on my beach ball.
Slave To Fashion
"I love how your style never changes. I wish I could stick with a look, but I guess I'm just a slave to fashion trends. I mean, would you just look at what I'm wearing? Lol"
At first I thought "Hey, I do have a nice, well thought out, classic look that I've taken care to cultivate. How nice of them to notice and take the time to say such a nice thing."
It wasn't until the next day that I remembered that the person who said that and I do not get along, at all, and it was probably an insult and a way to direct attention to their new outfit. I'm an idiot.
My ex's mother described me as 'voluptuous' and I felt like a curvy bombshell! Until the following week. I overheard her saying it was how you described someone when they were chubby but you didn't want to say.
Any compliment with the word "actually" injected in it. "You actually look good today" or "that was actually a good idea"
I'm just gonna go ahead and let everyone here know something. Southern people are assh*les. We are just really good at sounding sweet about it.
If someone from the south says "Bless your heart" they are telling you that you're being a p*ssy or that you got yourself into this situation.
If someone says to you "awh, Sweetheart" or "Sweetie" in any other way than romantically they are calling you an absolute idiot.
Last but definitely not least if you ever say something controversial or something you immediately regret and get told "Well, isn't that just Quaint" you basically just got told to shut the f*ck up and watch your mouth.
Think of Me.... Think of Me fondly....
When I was in elementary school one day we had to write down positive comments and "room for improvement" comments about each other. It was a lesson in handling criticism and giving out compliments. We would then read all of them for said kid and talk about it. When it came time to be my turn, I got no "room for improvement" comments or positive comments. At first I thought it was a compliment that I needed to improve nothing. Then this popular girl came up to me at lunch and told me it's because no one ever thinks about me so they had nothing to say about me. In hindsight, I was very quiet and shy and it kind of helped me get out of my box. But god damn did it hurt for a while. Yoinkie2013
Not so Cool....
I was told I was an intimidating uberc**t once. I thought it was a perfect compliment to my hXc punk rock teenager lifestyle, now I cringe to think about the nihilist trash bag I'm sure I was to deserve such a title. IndustrialPigmy
Still a plus...Giphy
So this only kinda works, but in 8th grade we had to write down a compliment about everyone in our class. One kid wrote, "You're okay." Lovealltigers
NOW I see!
I lost 40ish pounds and my coworker goes "I never really noticed how big you had gotten until now." I laughed and agreed but looking back - that's only something I can think! ashlyn0912
"I'm like, weirdly attracted to you." Why does it have to be weird? gaykeyyy1
IE, a guy I dated, is one of the most attractive people I've ever met let alone dated, yet he ticks absolutely none of my usual boxes - if anything, he's the total opposite, both physically and personality wise... we both though it was surprising an unexpected and...well, weird! That doesn't make it rude or bad.
But, some people do mean it badly - the, 'I'm weirdly attracted to you ...considering how ugly you actually are' kind of thing. onlycatscare
Dad used to tell me I "drank like a thirsty sailor." Thought it was a compliment because I was in elementary school and I thought sailors were cool. Realized as a teen that I had just chugged absolutely every drink and he was trying to get me to slow down. cryptidkelp
All by yourself?
Had to bring a notebook to piano lessons. One day I forgot, and the teacher wrote down the notes on a separate piece of paper. When I got home, I taped it to my notebook, and the next lesson she said,
Her: "Did you do this yourself?"
Me: *All proud and happy little kid* "Yep."
Her: "Good for you."
it wasn't until recently when I was going through my old notes that I realized I accidentally taped it together with two other blank pages, making them useless. And when I think back to it, she said it in more of a sarcastic manner. TheAbominableBanana
But I draw real, real good.....
At the 8th grade commencement, my teacher gave a short speech about each of the students. In mine, she said she was impressed at the speed and quantity of my drawings, and listed a bunch of things she thought I drew.
She did not mention the quality of the drawings at all, and none of the subjects were things that I had actually drawn. I get the feeling she didn't know me very well and that was all she could come up with, so I wasn't too mad about it.
The real problem was that she didn't mention that I got my work done first, so my dad got really pissed that I was drawing instead of working, and good luck trying to convince my dad of anything when he's angry. At this point in my life, I was still pretty afraid of him in general, so that didn't help either. Aperture_T
Family can be brutal!Giphy
My boss telling a new hire, "We treat each other like family." Apparently I'm the ex-husband. ambermage
I'm an Artist!
I'm a musician/guitarist. One time at a large jam, I sang and played a song that I just kind of picked out by ear. Never actually looked up the chords or anything. Afterward, someone commented, "That was an interesting arrangement of that song!"
At first, I thought he was saying he liked it. The more I think about it, I'm pretty sure it was his nice way of saying, "I know the correct way to play that song, and that wasn't it." toonces
It's easy to get caught up in the past.
...so long as we knew what time of day it was going to be on.
What's something nostalgic for your age group?
Video games today are horrible!
Give us a 2-dimensional side-scroller of an Italian plumber fighting a dragon monster and nothing else good for many more years after that. Who needs all these fantastic releases, year in and year out, every year?
How Do We Enable "Big Head Mode?"
"Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start"
"My toddler son has a toy game controller that plays a little jingle if you put this code in. I loved that they put that little Easter egg into a kids toy and it makes my husband smile every time he does it."
When Was This Old? *cries in tired old man
"Anytime recently I've tried to get back into Minecraft it breaks my heart because the game just feels so different now. I played it from 2010 up until 2018 or 19 almost religiously, but the past couple years have really changed the game. I'm sure it's just as fun to play now, but it doesn't have that same nostalgia factor anymore like it used to."
Tests Of Parenthood
"Neopets in 2005"
"My girlfriend at the time made me take care of one as a test for being a father. Literally."
Some things you long for aren't actually possible to do anymore, leading to the reasoning this is why the nostalgia is at an all-time high. What's worse than missing something that no longer exists?
The Smell, The Sounds, The Sights, The Ambience
"Going to Blockbuster with my friends on a Friday"
"Renting cheesy horror movies and making fun of them with the group!"
You Can Miss That?
"Dial up modem noises"
"Kiiiiiiiiiiii…kiiuuuu…kiiiuuuu.. it was something like that right? I even forgot."
"And then I used to open yahoo login page and do some other work for few minutes and come back while it loads, and then enter id password, hit login and then get a coffee until it loads."
Illegal, But, Yeah
"I remember the really early days of mp3 sharing, before P2P came along. There were hundreds of FTP servers that you could connect to with huge libraries of mp3s. No domain name, just a raw IP address that you found somewhere on usenet."
"But they couldn't just give it away, because then everyone would take and nobody would give. So they had quota systems: you'd upload an mp3, and for every byte you uploaded, you'd get to download 2, or 3, or maybe even 5. And this was over dialup, so uploading or downloading a single file could take 30 minutes."
"But it was FTP. Very simple and dumb. There was no memory of your "credits" between sessions, so if you uploaded a bunch of stuff and then lost your connection, you were SOL."
"It amazes me to think how much time I spent getting a few songs that today I can play any time I want on Spotify."
For some people, this next section will sound silly.
For others, this was our childhood, which sadly (when you really think about it) revolved around a television schedule we had no input on, meaning we had to plan everything out around when the next episode of Power Rangers aired.
Cartoons After School Are The Best
"Anime on Toonami. Cartoon Cartoon Fridays"
"Toonami had really great western cartoons as well. I loved watching Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Teen Titans, and Clone Wars on Toonami growing up."
"Old Cartoon Network, spiky gelled hair"
"Old Cartoon Network" is an interesting answer because people are gonna have different ideas about what "Old Cartoon Network" is. I think of Ed, Edd n Eddy and Codename: Kids Next Door. Another commenter mentioned Gumball which is still well after my time."
When Life Revolved Around Someone Else's Schedule
"Born in the 70s, grew up in the 80s...I remember huddling around the TV as a family to watch certain things."
"For some reason, they would show The Wizard of Oz every year on network tv..and it was a big deal. My mom would make popcorn...in a pot on the stove (It was the 80's) and we'd sit on a blanket on the floor and watch."
Or Friday Nights....Dukes of Hazzard (when it was new). Mom would get takeout from Burger Chef...and we'd sit on the floor eating hamburgers watching 'dem Duke Boys at it again."
"Or in the summer....they'd show Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D on tv. 7-11 would give out free 3-D glasses."
"For the younger Redditors....this was well before any kind of streaming/on demand service...and back when cable TV and VCRs were still a luxury that a lot of people didn't have. So, you really only got to watch what was on the few channels that your antenna allowed."
"Another one is coming home from school to watch old shows like Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, The Addams Family, Batman, F-Troop."
"Or staying up late and at midnight....the TV would play the National Anthem....then show a control screen and just "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP" like this: https://youtu.be/Cnchea6LHN0"
The good ol' days.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
When determining how to spend our life in a way that feels worthy, many place a heavy emphasis on experiences. We want to die with scars and stories.
And sticking our necks out inevitably leads to a whole lot of struggle. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't do the same thing the very next day if we could go back.
Some things, though we'll never do them again, were too important an experience to pass up.
Redditor JackIrishJack asked:
"What should you do once, but not twice?"
Many people talked about the life experiences, big and small, that influenced their outlook. They recommend people go through some discomfort to gain important awareness.
A Capacity for Empathy
"Working in the food industry I feel like everybody should do it once so they can have a respect for food workers but it's also a hell I never want to go through again"
Paying for a Daydream
"Buy a lottery ticket"
"You're not going to win, but buying a lottery ticket gives you the chance to dream and pretend. Having a second lottery ticket isn't going to make your dreams more vivid."
Plenty of Implications
"Visit Auschwitz. I firmly believe everyone should go visit it so as to not forget what humans are capable of doing to each other. But no need to visit twice. Once was enough for me."
Others brought up things which, if done twice, would be a sure sign that something is very very wrong.
Supposed To Be Permanent
"Learning how to walk. The first time - good on you. Having to
relearn a second time means something went terribly wrong."
Only Two Sets
"Lose all of your teeth" -- Outrageous_Cream_112
"Haha I had to think about this for a second" -- ApplesauceDoctr
Don't Wanna Find Yourself There Too Often
"Get beaten half to death breaks the concepts of your limits. Second time breaks the spirit. Third time is overkill."
Others apparently viewed the question as an opportunity for a little cleverness.
If You're Good
"Cut...you measure twice before." -- wxguy215
"For me its more like 'measure twice, make sure it's just a teeny bit too long then go back and shave it off little by little until it wedges in perfectly' " -- pistpuncher3000
As the Saying Goes
"Fool me" -- Thia_suzieUzi
"FOOL ME THREE TIMES FU** THE PEACE SIGN LOAD THE CHOPPA LET IT RAIN ON YOU" -- nixusthegod
Only a Couple to Work With
"Donate a kidney" -- RealisticDelusions77
"Donate one kidney, you're a hero. Donate two kidneys, you're a corpse. Donate three kidneys, you're a felon." -- Drach88
"Be born. Going through the birthing process again would probably kill my mother." -- cylonrobot
Here's hoping we can all find the healthy balance between living a full, experienced life and punishing ourselves a little too much.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Whenever I visit clothing stores, I make it a point to fold the clothes I unfurl. That is apparently my downfall as a customer.
Because of this, fellow customers often peg me as an employee and always ask me questions like where the bathroom is, or if the store has certain sizes left in stock.
Umm, no, I don't work here. I'm just a responsible customer. As you were.
Many of us make assumptions about other people just by looking at them. Who knew we were so presumptuous?
Curious to hear the experiences of strangers online, Redditor lilmizzvalz asked:
"What do people assume about you, based on your appearance?"
People often misinterpret moods based on how someone looks. That's unfair, wouldn't you say?
"That I'm caring and supportive. I have a resting nice face."
"That I am always mad. Nope just dissociating and staring off into space."
Not Meaning To Be Mean
"That I'm mean. I have a resting mean face for a dude I guess. Also lately it's worse because I'm bigger now. I don't really notice how my face appears but apparently, I seem angry when I'm looking at stuff."
"'You should smile' and 'are you ok?' comments followed me from busboy, waiter, bartender my whole career."
When it comes to measuring intelligence of others, some people are just way off.
Hard To Live Up To Expectations
"That I'm clever. People keep saying it to me, but I'm dumb and that sh*t is hard to live up to."
"I have glasses."
Eyes Full Of Wisdom
"I apparently have something similar going on mixed with looking like I know sh*t, because people come up to me in public and ask about directions, bus schedules and stuff all the time. Like, they'll deliberately avoid other people to ask me. Including when I'm abroad and should look a bit out of place."
"They assume I have an intellectual disability. (And also that I'm deaf, since I'm not able to speak.)"
"No, I am a person with two university degrees who happen to need a wheelchair because of a nasty neurological illness."
People don't always look their age. Some don't even act their age. But these Redditors have gotten their fair share of wrong guesses for their ages.
"That I'm 15."
"I'm 38 and a doctor. 'Did you just finish school?' EVERY DAY."
"This thread was depressing to read as I am 38 but often get mistaken for 50. I hate y'all and your youthful beauty."
Some people are typed out as certain types of people with just one look.
Watch Your Tone
"That I have a southern accent. Not one stranger has ever suspected that I have a 'New Jersey' accent (Born and raised in New Jersey before moving south)"
Not A Biker
"That I ride a Harley and/or work on them. I'm bald with a long goatee and tons of tattoos, but I'm in IT for a living and don't ride motorcycles at all."
Like others have expressed in the thread, I've also been accused of having "resting b*tch face."
You know, that neutral expression where you're not smiling the one time you're not in a situation where you have to be "on" for other people?
Yeah, that one.
If someone's resting face comes across as unfriendly, well, perhaps it's best not to upset them by asking them what's wrong all the time. Just sayin'.
Ideally, a teacher should take the job because of a genuine interest in helping students, furthering their education as well as their self-development. Of course, it's not as simple as that (administrative issues aside). Unfortunately, there are some teachers out there who aren't cut out for the job––and they even have a mean streak when it comes to their students. The effects this can have on the learning process are dire.
Teachers don't get paid well, and they're well aware. Many stick with the job because they have a passion for teaching; many others stick with the job because of the position of inscrutable authority it offers them over helpless students.
People shared their experiences after Redditor Ara-Rat asked the online community,
"What did your teacher do that made you call them 'the worst teacher ever'?"
"Questioned 5th-grade teacher's manner of pluralizing a word on the board. Got sent to the library to look it up in a dictionary and report my findings to the class.
Decades later and I'm still mad at that woman for trying to publicly humiliate a ten-year-old student."
That's awful. What is with adults who try to deliberately an example out of children?
"My old band teacher..."
"My old band teacher threw a projector at his students. He left the district later that year."
That was... probably for the best, when you think about it. (I had a teacher who threw a girl's pencil case out the window when she wouldn't stop talking; no, he was not fired.)
"My 3rd-grade teacher..."
"My 3rd-grade teacher got frustrated with a kid's stutter and started pounding the kid's desk with a closed fist while mocking his stutter."
Hopefully this teacher was disciplined and/or fired. That's the sort of behavior that thankfully would not fly today––it would go viral so fast.
"The worst were the teachers..."
"The worst were the teachers who would take books away from me and hold me up for ridicule because they disagreed or didn't approve of the genre or subject material. I was always into science fiction and horror genre's and many of them didn't consider it true literature worthy of reading. I remember my father getting into it with one of the teachers who disapproved of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, to which he pointed out it was on the required reading list of a lot of major universities. Dad was awesome like that, and chewed the teacher and principal out for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read, regardless of what the genre was."
Teachers who mock students for reading are the worst. Reading is one of the best things any student can do––there are so many benefits! Hopefully you have not lost your love of reading.
"When I'd instinctively try..."
"She tied me to my chair. I was hyperactive, and also 5. She would also hold my hand during formation in the mornings and squeeze so hard my tiny knuckles would crack. When I'd instinctively try to pull my hand away, she'd hold onto it and smile at me and ask me if it hurt."
The abuse here is almost incomprehensible. But it happens: a few years ago, a teacher made headlines for hanging a student by his coat on a coatrack. You can bet there were lawsuits.
"I was in the only dress I owned..."
"Tried to get me suspended for a dress code violation when I was 15. I was in the only dress I owned at the time because I was going to my best friend's funeral. She'd committed suicide two days before. I was crying and begging her to just let me stay till my mom picked up my remaining friends to go to the funeral. Said teacher then took me to the office and I had to sit in the front office under a tarp until my mom picked me up."
"My 8th grade English teacher..."
"My 8th grade English teacher never published grades and every time I'd ask her about it she'd answer with, "I don't know, what do you think it is?"
IF I KNEW WOULD I BE ASKING?!"
I've had a few teachers like this. Makes one wonder: Are you actually grading anything? WHAT are you doing, exactly?
"My biology teacher..."
"My biology teacher took my yearbook away right before the summer break. I didn't put it away in time.
That year my parents divorced and I was moving away. I told her this after class and she didn't care. She kept it until the last day. I didn't get any signatures.
Ended up throwing it away. What a witch."
"My university lecturer..."
"My university lecturer was the most incompetent bloke I've ever met. He taught I.T and for the life of me, I can't figure out how he got that job.
- In the first lesson, he got us to sign up to Twitter so we could share lesson content, tweet at each other so we'd get to know one another, and also tweet him. Everybody, including the lecturer, used Twitter once. We just used the university intranet to share stuff.
- Again, during the first lesson, he announced he was going on holiday for four weeks during our first term.
- All of his lessons were PowerPoint presentations, each slide had about a paragraph of text written on them which he would read out loud while awkwardly looking over his shoulder. Once he was done doing that he would essentially repeat what he had just said.
- One day he asked us for help in booking his airline tickets online because he couldn't figure out how to use the website.
As sad as these stories are, consider that these teachers are very much the exception to the rule. The majority of the teachers I have known over the years genuinely care for their students, work tirelessly on their lesson plans, and would never tolerate a single moment of the behavior featured here. Thank you to those teachers for doing their jobs––we appreciate you. (And ya'll deserve a raise, it's honestly messed up how little lawmakers understand about how hard your jobs actually are.)
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.