Who doesn't enjoy a compliment every now and then?
But have you ever thought you were complimented only to realize you've just been insulted?
For some people those backhanded compliments are unintentional, for some they're very much deliberate and for some people it's actually their love language.
Whatever the purpose, some of these veiled insults are downright clever.
Redditor Ad3quat3 asked:
"What’s an insult that sounds like a compliment?"
"My uncle once said to me 'Nice tattoo, did you do it yourself?'."
"It's on my back."
What do I usually look like?
"You clean up well."
"Wasn't sure if compliment or insult or even how to respond."
Pandemic or party?
"You really look great with this mask!"
Lord, it's hard to be humble.
"You are very modest and have much to be modest about."
"You look well... Fed."
"Did you REALLY do that?"
Stay home next time.
"Thanks for coming!"
"You know, you really didn’t have to.”
"No one could possibly think more highly of you than I do."
"I love how you just don't care how you look."
"I could never do that I'd feel too awkward."
Depends on the person, right?
"I hope your day is as good as you look!"
"I hope you get what you deserve."
"May your day be as sweet as you are."
While some may consider it passive-aggressive, others just find these insults funny and clever.
So what's your favorite complimentary insult?
I was once sitting around, minding my own business, when a customer––this was back when I used to work in retail––informed me that I had amazing fashion sense. That was nice. They then told me it looked like I "knew how to dress myself cheaply" which was true, just not necessarily so for the outfit I was wearing at the time.
How should I have taken that? I still don't know, but this person was certainly insistent on letting me know, beckoning me to listen from the top of the ladder I stood on at the time.
I'm far from the only person to receive a weird compliment though.
People shared their stories with us after a Redditor asked the online community:
"What's the weirdest compliment you've ever been given?"
"You have a really amazing posture!" by some random woman in an elevator at work a few years ago."
That's not bad! Time and place though... time and place.
"I had pink eye..."
"I had pink eye and the nurse was looking into the non infected eye. "You have beautiful retinas." Thank you...?"
If you manage to have beautiful retinas even while dealing with pink eye, you deserve all the props.
"My four-year-old son..."
"My four-year-old son told me I smelled like music. When I asked what kind of music he said “music you dance to”. Still the best compliment I have received to date!"
This is precious and it undoubtedly made your day!
"16 years later..."
"My high school best friend gave me the best compliment I have ever gotten, and I've never heard that phrasing anywhere else."
"When I first met you I thought you were like a shiny red apple, and I expected to be disappointed by a beige inside. But you are as bright and colourful all the way through."
"16 years later, I still remember that. (We are still friends.)"
Very glad to hear that your friendship has endured. This is lovely.
"One of my best friends..."
"My friends and I were talking about what kind of potatoes we'd be. One of my best friends told me "You'd be a loaded baked potato. People pay extra for that good s**t."
Now that's a friend! And this is the perfect material for a Buzzfeed quiz.
"I'm not sure..."
"I'm not sure it was a compliment but I had a cashier at Walgreens tell me (at like 1am) that I had the facial structure of a Druid."
I'm not too sure either but you might as well roll with it.
"I still don't know..."
"You're like a crow swimming in milk."
"I still don't know what they meant."
I'm not even going to try to figure this one out. Good for you, I guess?
"Used to work retail..."
"Used to work retail and my voice is surprisingly deep for my looks. Customer once explained it saying that I "sounded like I've been drinking whiskey since I was born."
Maybe you have! Is there something you'd like to share with us?
"Doctor told me..."
"Doctor told me my inner ear structure looked exactly like the ones in the medical textbook. So I guess I've got that going for me."
Go you! Your doctor probably geeked out.
"I was playing in a badminton tournament..."
"I was playing in a badminton tournament and had a woman thirty years my senior come up and tell me that I have perfect eyebrows (I'm a dude). Apparently she was a professional make up artist and had an eye for such things."
You might as well own it!
Some of these are actually nice... though I still don't know what in the world that person meant about a crow swimming in milk.
Have stories of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
Ever been in a position where you received a compliment... and didn't know what to say? It happens to the best of us. Not everyone takes compliments well.
But there are compliments and then there are... well, compliments that make you uncomfortable. Let's just say that some things just shouldn't be said. Inappropriate behavior is rampant and people's boundaries are ignored. That's not all the time, mind you, because some of these situations are rather humorous, but it is true much of the time.
People shared their experiences after Redditor Foolbasket asked the online community,
"What's the most uncomfortable compliment you've ever received?"
"I took my cat..."
"I took my cat to the vet and he says 'She has great anal tension!' as we're both struggling to get her temperature taken. To which I said, 'Thanks!'"
"I don't think it was a compliment but I cringe every time I remember it. Mostly because of my idiotic 'Thanks!'"
If only your cat could accept compliments!
"Coworker looked at my children..."
"Coworker looked at my children, then me and said I must have a really attractive wife."
Oh dear... well that's very, very rude.
"I was a 14 year old girl in a basement with a 50+ year old man who told me I look "pretty, young and fresh."
Hopefully you ran far, far away.
"Was told that..."
"'I'd sleep with you if you were a girl.' Was told that on two separate occasions, by someone more senior than me at my last job."
Sounds like you left that job – sexual harassment is never okay.
"From the dude..."
"'That's a nice watch.' From the dude at the next urinal. Honestly, it was so funny I've used it myself since just to mess with people."
Honestly, I agree. This is a great way to psych someone out.
"Said to me..."
"'I always hoped Sarah would marry you.' Said to me by Sarah's mom. At her wedding to my good friend. Who happened to be standing next to me."
Talk about awkward!
"The first time..."
"The first time my mother in law saw me in a bikini she said, 'I knew my son would end up with a woman like you by the way he breastfed.'"
"It was uncomfortable."
Oh dear... now I feel sorry for your inbox. The creepy messages you must have received...
"It was a drunk text..."
"I want to have sex with your brain's d*ck." It was a drunk text and kind of flattering, but also the weirdest compliment I've been given."
This IS somewhat flattering... but the execution could have been much, much better.
"One customer once told me..."
"One customer once told me I looked 15 and then proceeded to ask for my number while I was ringing up his items. He kept on with this for several days by telling me stuff like how I looked pretty or complimenting my hair. He was well into his 40s."
I worked as a cashier years ago and had a customer like this. It was not pretty (and he went through my line more than once).
"This was in high school..."
"This was in high school, but a female friend of mine told me I had nice genes. I was wearing sweats at the time, and was confused because I thought she said jeans."
"She clarified saying she meant my hair and skin color. I awkwardly said thanks and to top it off, she said “One day, I want to adopt a small little Asian girl who looks just like you.”
Why do people say stuff like this?? WHY??
They say that if you don't have anything nice to say, then you probably shouldn't say it at all. But then there are times when you should probably just... not say anything EVER. For the good of mankind.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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