Folks not every compliment is a compliment.
Growing up, I used to have people tell me all the time how pretty I would be if I grew up to look like my mother. My mom is pale skinned with straight black hair, dimples and bright green eyes. She also had a perfect pear shape figure.
I, on the other hand, ended up boxy, olive skinned, with a riot of curls and brown eyes.
In other words, nothing like my mom.
That's not to say I'm not a total baddy. I'm the flyest of fly - just in a totally different way than my mother is and growing up I had it drilled into my head that I'd be beautiful if I looked like her.
Like... I'd be gorgeous if I looked like Marilyn Monroe, too, but I don't. I look like me. That sh*t was not a compliment and it took me forever to see my beauty because I didn't live up to the standard that had been set for my brain.
One Reddit user asked:
Fam - I am not the only one out here living the salt life at people who pay them "compliments" - take a look.
Trauma Breeds Maturity
"You're mature for your age" thanks. It's the trauma
My mom passed away when I was 12. My dad practically checked out due to depression. It forced me to grow up fast and I often got this compliment because of it. I hated it. I didn't want it to be true.
Weightshocked bridget jones GIF Giphy
That I've lost weight. It triggers me and my perception of my body image is so off and I don't know what's real anymore
I lost 20 pounds over quarantine and I hear I lost wait a lot when I see people but it makes me ask "was I really that fat?"
I posted a selfie after surgery recently when I was still totally out of it and my face was all hollowed out from lack of food and water. It got so much positive attention that I genuinely worried for the people commenting that I looked good - I looked dead! Society's beauty standards are wack.
Years Of Service
Thank you for your service.
Came here to say this. There is no way to respond without sounding like an @ss. And besides, I did what I did for my own reasons, not for anyone to thank me. Even replying to this comment I sound like an @ss -_-
This makes me feel like less of an ass for never saying that to veterans. It feels so... performative. Everyone has their own reasons for serving and maybe they just want to be treated like a normal person when they're home. I dunno, maybe I'm out of my lane here. It's always strange to me as a civilian.
"You look exotic." I'm just tan, my eyes, lip, and nose look just like yours.
Duuuude. I hate that word. It should absolutely never be applied to a person.
A Good Talking Day
I've had people tell me that "I'm so good at talking today!" I have a stutter and some days are worse than others. People really feel the need to tell me I'm going well on one of my good days.
Don't f*cking mention my stutter even with good intention. I hate knowing that I have it and that you notice it. Just talk to me like a normal f*cking person.
Talent Is Workmusic video work GIF Giphy
"You're so talented. I wish I could draw too."
I've been drawing since I could hold those big fat pencils in Kindergarten. That's how I got so good. It was a lot of learning and hard work. Most creative hobbies are perfected by lots of practice and it kinda detracts the work you put in by chalking it up to just talent.
Keep Your Pride To Yourself
"I'm proud of you."
Unless you 1) raised me or 2) mentored me, then DON'T say that. It's condescending and a bit proprietary. You didn't accomplish anything; I did. Don't take credit for it.
A lot of people like to hear it, but not I. And a lot of people agree with me.
I always hated that compliment but could never explain why. You said it perfectly. This is how I feel as well. Thank you.
Not A Compliment
This only ever happened once but a man on the bus came up to me and said "I dunno if this is a compliment or not but I haven't been able to not stare at your chest since you walked on". It made me feel absolutely gross, not flattered whatsoever. I made a face and he was like "yeah I dunno if it's a compliment sorry"
So to guys that see a woman who's attractive and you just gotta say something, maybe try starting a conversation first before immediately commenting on their body because it's very uncomfortable.
"You're so smart". No, I'm really not. I know a little bit about a lot of things. I watch a lot of YouTube videos about random sh*t and enjoy general trivia. I can give a general run down about a lot of topics and concepts but can't actually become proficient in anything. My family and friends like to think of me as a smart person but at the end of the day, I'm no smarter than the average person. I just happen to spend a lot of time reading and learning about things that ultimately don't progress my any further in life.
"You are SO cuteee. "
This is something I have heard all my life, in basically all my Instagram photos. The closest is being called pretty. It is annoying at this point.
Like, okay I get it- short and a petite girls are cute but can't they be beautiful, sexy, smart, funny or anything at all other than cute? Okay, you don't find me attractive, how about you compliment my hair or something instead?
I would totally accept a simple "You are so nice!/ such a nice friend" over "Omg you are so cute."
For Your Age
I hate this one! There are 2....
1. "wow you look great for your age" ....I can't just look good? Always guys who say this.
2. "You're a sexy older woman" ...means I'm old but the guy would have sex with me. Thanks? lol
Don't Thank The Parents
It bothers me a bit when people finish a compliment about my personality/demeanor/achievements with a suggestion to thank my parents for how they raised me.
My father was controlling, paranoid, physically and emotionally abusive and my mother was manipulative, a compulsive liar and abandoned me multiple times. I can't really mention this though, because it immediately sucks the good feelings out of the interaction, so I just laugh and thank the person for their compliment.
For a while I wanted to punch people that tried to compliment my work experience by telling me what a great sales guy I would be. That's a weird thing to find out as an adult, that your work history can get you stuck in a certain kind of job like actors that get type casted in certain genres.
I hated doing sales, and I was more than qualified for the technical positions I was applying for. But hiring managers would take one look at my work experience and say something like "oh wow, we need to get you in touch with our sales team!"
They always thought they were complimenting me or doing me a favor; but in reality I knew they had just mentally ruled me out for the position I actually wanted since I also qualified for the position that brings in $$.
"Smart" Is Not Effortless
"I wish I was as smart as you"
Winning a competition I studied 2 hours a day, every day for a month.
Passing a course notorious for its number of flunkers. By studying my ass off.
Being able to ace a surprise quiz because I studied the material in advance.
I know it sounds pretentious, but it's plain frustrating to have your hard work, effort, and all the time you spent trying to improve as something as effortless as 'being smart'.
Hate / Love
Mature for my age: Yep. Childhood trauma caused that.
Anything involving my size: naturally thin, most of the time the comments feel extremely backhanded or they're just shallow making me feel my size is the only thing valued about me.
Absolutely love compliments regarding being smart, funny, kind etc. mainly just dislike compliments involving strictly looks or the high maturity old soul stuff.
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