24 Times Well-Meaning Words Were Actually Crafty Criticisms

We've all been there when you feel great because someone complimented you, but then, self-doubt seeps in, and you start wondering if it was really a compliment or whether the person didn't have the best intentions. People on a popular internet forum recently discussed some compliments they had received that felt more like insults. 

1. You're Smarter Than You Look 

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Of course, everyone wants to be smart, but what are you implying here? This is a very backhanded comment because the person uttering this basically says you don't look bright at all. 

2. You're Just Like Your Mom

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Maybe your Mom is a lovely person, and maybe she's not. “You're just like your Mom” could be a compliment in the right context, but it all depends on how you want to take it and how the person paying the compliment views your Mom. 

3. You're Such a Perfectionist

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This could be a good thing, right? In many cases, people on the forum felt this was actually a disguised insult, implying that the person was wasting too much time on getting all the details correct. 

4. You're Looking Solid

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This one is very familiar. My mother often told people this in front of me, and I learned to despise it. It's along the same lines as “she's just big-boned.” In other words, they're calling you fat. 

5. A Prayer to St. Jude

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If someone offers a “prayer to St. Jude” for you, they don't have a lot of faith that you'll succeed. One forum member says this is common in Ireland, and St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases. 

6. You're Not Like Other Girls

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Contributors felt that this compliment had a more sinister connotation. Several say that they've had ex-boyfriends use this line to make the listener think they were unique in order to manipulate them. 

7. A Face for Radio

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This one is obvious. “A face for radio” is calling the person unattractive because no one can see you when you're talking on the radio. 

8. Nice Parking Skills

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Parking easily and quickly is a good skill, but when someone follows it up with, “you'll make a good valet one day,” they're probably not paying you a compliment. If someone says this and adds that you'll make a good valet, they're most likely jealous. 

9. You'd Be So Pretty if You Were Thinner

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This is the opposite of the very horrible “butter face” saying that's popular amongst Gen Z. In other words, it's saying that you're fat, and despite your attractive face, you won't be counted as pretty unless you lose weight.

10. Works Well When Supervised

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One person secretly saw this written on a work evaluation and was devastated. The hidden meaning here suggests that they don't work well when there's no one watching. 

11. You've Got an Old Soul

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This one was confusing because I've taken it as a compliment in the past, it meant the person saying it thought I was wise. However, some forum members felt that it meant they were telling the person was “well-behaved.” In other words, the person was so anxious about doing something wrong they were behaving themselves. 

12. Bless Your Heart

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“Bless your heart” is a common saying in the South; if someone says it to you, they're possibly not paying you a compliment. This one all depends on the tone in which it's said. 

13. One of The Good Ones

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The implication here is highly racist and discriminatory. While the person saying it probably thinks they're paying a compliment, they're actually saying that they consider very few people or your race or profession to be good. 

14. You're Pretty for a Black Girl

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This is another racist comment, and why the person commenting doesn't understand that is confusing. Several people say they've experienced this and find it incredibly insulting. 

15. That's nice…for You

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What starts as a compliment ends up sounding like a jealous statement. This implies the person doesn't think it's nice because they're not getting the same benefits as you. 

16. Have The Day You Deserve

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Why anyone would say this instead of “have a nice day” is confusing. Unless, of course, they meant they didn't think you deserved to have a good day.

17. You Have a Pretty Face

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You have a pretty face instead of “you're very pretty” does seem to imply that the user thinks that that's the only thing attractive about you. 

18. You've Turned Into Quite The Swan

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One forum member says they had a nun say this to her after meeting up after many years. In other words, the nun thought the person was an ugly duckling when they were younger. Not nice. 

19. You Have a Healthy Appetite

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I've seen this one used to shame people for overeating. It's often said in jest, but the damage is done, and their opinion of you is understood. 

20. You'd Make a Great Lawyer

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You like a good argument. You may have turned everything into a debate, and people couldn't express their opinions. All these may have contributed to someone stating that you'd make a great lawyer. It's just another way of saying someone is argumentative. 

21. Aren't You Special

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I can't even read this without it sounding sarcastic in my head. This statement is usually used by people who think your ego is too big or want to cut you down to size. It's very cutting, especially when you have accomplished something unusual, and it should be a pat on the back. 

22. You Throw Like a Boy

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When a girl is told this as a compliment, the implication is that girls don't usually throw that well. There were several different variations of this on the forum. 

23. You Did The Best You Could

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I heard this one on America's Got Talent after one person's performance. In other words, they didn't want to tell the person the act wasn't that great, but they also believed they couldn't have done any better.

24. You're So Brave!

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I've heard this at least twice now as I've gotten older. It usually comes from shop assistants who think they're being nice when you pick an item of clothing they feel is for younger people. You're so brave for wearing that!

Source: (Reddit)

Journalist at Wealth of Geeks | + posts

Ree Winter is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle journalist. She is an Australian who enjoys traveling the globe and currently calls New Orleans home. Her byline appears in The Thrillist, Inside the Magic, The Streamable, Mashed, The Daily Meal, Apartment Advisor, and Weekend Notes. Fellow Australians may have seen her printed work in The Geelong Advertiser and Docklands News. Besides this, she follows her passions in history and travel plus will gladly admit to being a crazy cat lady.