So I recently read a post by a blogger/columnist I deeply enjoy reading and greatly admire (The Good Greatsby). He wrote about backhanded compliments. Hilarious post as always!

It got me thinking and reminded me of this little nugget of a post that I had begun penning a while back but never got to completing. So here goes..

Back handed compliments are one thing. Leaving you wondering was that a genuine compliment or a thinly veiled insult? Should I be reading more into those words or look for the good and take that statement positively? Believe me I have been left pondering on several occasions. “Oh my! That hair cut is soooo much better”…wait what? Does that mean I looked crap all this time? “That tastes almost as good as what Mum used to make”….hmm decent cooking but you’ll never be the real deal. “your child is so…energetic”…..what have you fed her and why is she so hyper?

Which brings me to my next ponderification (if the word exists). Have you ever been at the receiving end of a statement that is so tactless or just so rude that it’s almost laughable?

The thing about such statements or actions are that they leave you so gobsmacked at that point that you are literally either left speechless or by the time the intensity of it all sinks in its almost always too late to react!

I present to you a few examples I have accumulated by way of eavesdropping, shameless staring or personal experience…(hey I don’t claim to be perfect!)

  • What happened to you… used to look much better before!
    Ohhh this one’s a winner! This means you look like a dog’s dinner currently. Are you even allowed to say that or do that to a person’s self-esteem? And why then hadn’t you been sincerely complimenting that person a lot more before if you felt they looked that good back then?
  • Only one kid…why any problems? Also often said in similar vein as …”no kids….why any problems?”
    Hmm yeah sure would you like to know the results of my pap test and sonography too with that?
  • Maybe you should check your thyroid?
    Underlying meaning – You’ve gained so much weight of late that if there’s no medical explanation for it then that’s just sad!
  • You know I’ve stopped accepting Facebook requests these days. I have too many friends already in real life.
    I don’t even know how to respond to that one. I just felt it sounded entirely much too arrogant.
  • Politically incorrect references to a particular religious sects or cultural roots of a person.
    Eg: He’s such a Malabari! This is often used in my part of the world. Ahem…is this a good time to let you know I am one too?
  • How much do they pay you?
    Really now…..unless you plan on sharing some of my bills or making me a stupendous employment offer that’s just none of your business.
  • Ohhhhh he’s on a business trip is it? *wink*wink*
    Why would anyone want to sow that seed of doubt into any relationship even in jest is beyond me.
  • When are you due?
    No unless you are absolutely sure…like seen-pics-of-the-baby-sonogram sure don’t ask this to any woman. That’s just an evil Pandora’s Box of emotions there waiting to burst.
  • Where are you going?
    Unless you are driving me there or coming along with me or are my parent/spouse I fail to see why those words even left your mouth.
  • Other socially unacceptable behaviours that need special mention….sneezing into your hand then extending it in greeting, adjusting your package in public…really men do you have to? Digging your nose, clearing an itchy throat with loud guttural sounds, chewing food with your mouth open, worse still chewing food while on the phone…remember the person on the other end of this line can hear each bite stereophonically, awful ciggie or coffee breath…please pop a mint, sending a text or email consisting entirely of acronyms, taking the liberty without being given it to address someone with a short form of their name, using the office microwave to reheat your pungent fish lunch …pong in the office! Violent cases of restless leg, not making eye contact when talking to a person, the list could go on and on.

Have you encountered any or more than the above? Feel free to enlist your experiences or gobsmackers you’ve experienced in the comments box below.



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