11 “compliments” people give that are actually rude

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a compliment that left us feeling a bit… well, less than complimented.

Ever heard something like, “You look great… for your age!” and weren’t sure whether to say thanks or feel insulted?

Believe it or not, these are called backhanded compliments. They might seem nice at first glance, but they’re actually pretty rude when you dig a little deeper.

Let’s dive into the world of 11 common “compliments” that are not as flattering as they sound.

1. “You’re so brave for wearing that!”

On the surface, this might sound like the person admires your courage.

But wait a minute, brave for wearing what exactly?

This compliment is often a sneaky way of saying that your choice of outfit is daring, unusual, or – let’s cut to the chase – not something they’d ever wear.

It can imply that you’re breaking some fashion ‘rules’ they believe everyone should follow.

So next time someone drops this ‘compliment’, remember – your style is unique to you, and that’s something to be proud of!

2. “You’re really smart for someone so young!”

This one might sound like praise at first, but it’s got a sneaky sting in its tail.

Why should age and intelligence be linked?

This “compliment” subtly suggests that young people are generally not smart, which is of course, not true.

Everyone, regardless of age, has their own unique set of skills and knowledge. 

3. “Wow, you’re so skinny! Do you ever eat?”

I’ll always remember the time I was at a family gathering, and a relative dropped this “compliment” on me.

At first, I laughed it off, but then it started to bug me.

The implication was that being skinny is only achievable by not eating, or that my physique was somehow abnormal.

It’s important to remember that comments about someone’s body size or eating habits are rarely welcome or appropriate.

Everyone has a unique body type that should be respected and celebrated.

So whether you’re skinny, curvy, or anywhere in between, you’re perfect just the way you are!

4. “I wish I could be as laid-back as you. You’re so carefree.”

While it might feel like a nod to your chill vibe, this backhanded compliment often implies a lack of ambition or drive.

The underlying message might be that you’re too relaxed about your life or work, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Easy-going individuals often have lower levels of stress and better overall health.

When someone drops this “compliment”, just smile and know that your laid-back attitude could be a secret weapon for a healthier life!

5. “You’ve got such a unique look!”

This one can be tricky. It seems like a celebration of your individuality, right?

But sometimes, calling someone’s look ‘unique’ is a coded way of saying it’s different, in a way that doesn’t quite fit traditional standards of beauty.

Here’s the thing: beauty isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s as diverse as we are and comes in countless forms.

You don’t have to fit into a particular mold to be considered beautiful.

So if someone tells you that you’ve got a ‘unique look’, take it as a reminder of your own special charm.

Because being yourself, in a world that often pressures us to conform, is the most beautiful thing you can ever be!

6. “You handle your kids so well for a working parent!”

I remember hearing this one at my son’s school event, and I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow.

The implication was that as a working parent, I was somehow expected to be less capable of handling my kids.

But here’s the reality – being a working parent doesn’t make you any less dedicated or loving.

In fact, juggling a career and parenthood can be a real tightrope walk.

So, to all the working parents out there, don’t let comments like these get to you. You’re doing an amazing job balancing both worlds, and you deserve a big pat on the back. 

7. “You’re pretty funny… for a girl!”

Alright, let’s put this out there – this one is just flat-out ridiculous. Being funny has absolutely no gender requirement, but this “compliment” suggests otherwise.

It implies that it’s somehow surprising for a woman to be funny, which is just absurd.

Humor isn’t tied to whether you’re a man or a woman. It’s about personality, wit, and timing.

So ladies, if someone tells you that you’re funny ‘for a girl’, let your laughter be the best response. You’re hilarious and that’s all there is to it. 

8. “It’s so brave of you to go out without makeup!”

Though it might sound like an admiration of your confidence, this backhanded compliment can imply that you should be wearing makeup when you’re out and about.

But let’s get real – no one should feel pressured to put on makeup unless they want to.

And anyway, going makeup-free allows your skin to breathe and regenerate itself.

So, next time someone tells you how ‘brave’ you are for not wearing makeup, just smile and let your radiant, natural skin do the talking!

9. “You’re actually really smart!”

I remember the first time someone told me this, and I was left wondering why they sounded so surprised.

This “compliment” implies that the person didn’t expect you to be smart, which can feel pretty insulting.

Intelligence isn’t something that can be determined by appearances or first impressions.

It’s a spectrum, and everyone has their own strengths and areas of expertise. 

10. “You’re not like other girls.”

This one might sound like a compliment, but think about it – what does ‘other girls’ even mean? The implication here is that there’s something wrong with being ‘like other girls’.

It sets up a false and unfair standard, suggesting that women should strive to be the ‘exception’ rather than embracing who they truly are.

The truth is, every girl, every woman, is unique in her own way. There’s no one-size-fits-all description for what a woman should be like.

So instead of trying to fit into someone else’s idea of ‘not like other girls’, be proudly and unapologetically you.

11. “You’re pretty cool for a nerd.”

This one implies that being a nerd and being cool are mutually exclusive, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Being passionate about something, be it books, video games, or quantum physics, doesn’t make you any less cool.

In fact, embracing your interests and passions is one of the coolest things you can do.

So if someone tells you that you’re ‘pretty cool for a nerd’, remember that being a nerd is part of what makes you cool in the first place!

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.