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 MirrorJessica Lange Beauty GIF by FeudGiphy
"I love how you'll just wear anything."
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."
"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!"
WordsRead Beauty And The Beast GIFGiphy
"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!"
"Not a compliment. At all. Lol"
"Related to that is, "You clean up nice". It's basically saying you usually dress and look like crap."
"With all due respect… [place rest of non-respectful sentence here]."
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 ByNo Way Wow GIF by Disney ChannelGiphy
"You look good for your age."
"That dress actually makes you look good."
"Good for you."
You & MeCbs Flirt GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Why am I weirdly attracted to you?"
"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."
You're not worth it...
"You have so much potential…. Meaning you ain't worth a f**k yet."
"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."
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"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."
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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