Reddit user Squoody asked the r/AskReddit community a simple question. “What’s the most insulting compliment you have ever gotten?” You know, those back-handed compliments, often well-meaning (though not always) that have more rude-insult than nice-compliment to their genetic make-up.
We've had them, and there's a chance that you've offered a few up yourself.
Take this as a forewarning or an educational opportunity to the tune of "How not to be a huge jerk," and "How NOT to offer compliments unless I want to be a huge jerk," because these Redditors were all victims of huge jerks.
“Wow, you look so cute today! I didn’t even recognize you at first” —lazyginger
"Being awarded “Most Improved” three years in a row." —ToastAndASideOfToast
"I’m on a couple roller hockey teams and one of them has an obsessive captain that keeps a Google spreadsheet of stats for every player that he updates and sends out at the end of every season. I’m number one in seasons played and games played. I’ve been the record holder in these categories for a long time.
It’s like getting a participation trophy, but with a “#1” on it." —Brawndo91
"My friend was complaining about creeps hitting on her, then she told me “I wish I could be invisible like you.”" —meri_28
"“You actually look good!” The emphasis on ‘actually’ and the surprise in my friends voice still haunts me." —pat_patrol
"My mother is the queen of backhanded compliments. She is completely unable to say anything nice to me without it somehow being couched in criticism, and always indirectly. The latest one was announced loudly, in a room full of my friends at Christmas: “I can’t beliiiiiiiieve how beautiful my daughter can look when she actually pulls her sh*t together!”
Her mother was even more critical, so she comes by it honestly. I actively strive to make sure I don’t do this, but I sometimes f—k up. Moms." —Wicked_Creative
"Says someone else is super ugly, then “You’re even prettier than her!”." —The-Berger
“Wow you’re really good! I bet you could even play guitar if you wanted.” Said to me, after a gig. Im a bassist. —WastaSpace
"You’re so funny! Now I get why she’s dating you" —nails_for_breakfast
"“At least you don’t look like a boy anymore” – when I was growing out my hair more" —OkDuck1
"“I have a fat girl fetish” made me lose weight though so worked out for the best." —whatgray
"You’re so brave to be out and about as a lesbian in such a conservative city. (I’m straight, just had short hair.)" —tulip_n_chocolate
"Someone told me I have a voice for radio, I said thanks I have a face for radio too and they enthusiastically said Yeah, you do!" —motorbike-t
"I said hello to someone in what I thought was a perfectly normal voice and they laughed and said, “Wow! You do a great robot voice!”" —annasfanfic
“Wow your face almost makes up for (pauses) the rest” —alltheselittleones
Surprised this is on here yet… But anything ending in: “…..for a girl.” Even as a guy I cringe when I hear it.
As for me personally…“You speak so well…” for a black guy. —Junk4Brains
Oh, man. So a few years ago, I went with a friend who was bringing her special needs daughter to the dentist. She had 3 or 4 other kids at the time, so I went along to keep the other kids busy. We’re in the lobby after, and the girl who had the appointment was in her wheelchair and super happy. This lady leans over, fusses a bit, and then coos, “I like all sorts of people.” I was young enough to just be stunned into silence. Her mom was gracious about it, but WOW, lady, shut up. —siel04
“I can find something attractive in anyone, like Context, your eyebrows are really nice.” She genuinely thought that was a nice compliment —ContextIsForTheWeak
Ya know, you’d be STUNNING if you lost a few pounds! You’re pretty NOW, but if you lost the weight * Italian chef finger kiss * —Mrs_carroll
“I don’t know why everyone hates you and thinks you’re annoying. You seem okay to me!” High school sucked —dexterr96
“You’re smarter than I thought” helping my then BEST friend in a math class. —hardycash
“Don’t worry, I think of you as white.” A workmate trying to make me feel better after a racist slur was used against me. He thought it was a compliment…sigh. —MdmMedeux
“You’re still pretty hot for a woman with small tits” bitch what? —BABYPUNK
“It’s good to see you’re still trying.” From a rando on a dating site. —Brother_Boomstick
One of my older coworkers says ‘Good girl’ instead of ‘Thank you’ to me. —Bastion34
“You look better without your glasses.” Hmmmmm….that’s funny, you look better without my glasses too —kc-fan
After buying a couple new pairs of shoes at the Vans store: “You’re gonna be the coolest old guy out there.” Kid, I’ve been wearing Vans since long before you were born. —zJohnnyC
I’m not doing what I went to college to do (i’m probably not alone in this but I’m gainfully employed and have been at the same company for over 15 years. My sister told me one day “you are smart and someday you’ll be doing something that puts your intelligence to use” (paraphrasing). She has no idea what I do. I haven’t decided yet if that was an unintentional insult or a real one. —tooboredtobebusy
“Your hair looks really good, I like a little grey!” …I had no idea I had grey hair. —ryanino
When I was 16 I was told by an old lady taking my measurements for my prom dress that I must be German because I had such wide birthing hips. I mean I am German, so… —AggieChristie
I was talking to a woman online years ago, and when we were talking about going on a date, she casually mentioned that “looks don’t matter to me, and you have a good personality”. Ouch, I canceled the date.
I mean, I feel ugly but I couldn’t stand dating someone who agreed. —mkicon