Writing Prompt: What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?
I do not take compliments well, whenever someone complements me I feel weird so especially when it comes to my appearance I always have
Mean Girl” flash backs
But you’re, like, really pretty… So you agree? You think you’re really pretty?
But before we go any further, lets take a look at some research shall we? According to social psychologist Laura Brannon, who has studied the interaction between compliments and mood, women with high self-esteem may tend to reject compliments because they want to be seen as modest and self-effacing.. While Emma Gray says, “When being unable to accept praise is the norm, it makes it more difficult for us to take pride in what we do or what we look like. And frankly, when I compliment a friend or acquaintance, I genuinely mean whatever I say—I don’t want her to brush it off and insult herself as a result. Instead of downplaying our accomplishments, intellect, and looks, women should be celebrating those things that make us exceptional. Owning your awesomeness doesn’t make you obnoxious or arrogant. It makes you confident.”
It’s clear that I have an inner bully, you know a subconscious that taunts me and tells me that, “girl you know that’s a backhanded compliment, I am seriously working on that, I’m working on taking and receiving a compliment, but just because I’m doing that, don’t assume I don’t know a backhanded compliment when I hear one, because of my inner bully I think I can recognize one faster that most. I don’t have a problem calling someone out on their shit, I don’t have a problem asking someone to explain themselves… for example. I was at a family barbeque and my cousin Kim said something like, Gosh, you’re just like Ruth Jenkins”.. now Ruth Jenkins is my paternal grandmother, and anyone who knows her would tell you flat .out, she’s a hard, distant and very judgmental woman. so anytime someone compare you to her, it’s never a good thing. Apparently she didn’t think I was smart enough to recognize a back handed (and mean) “compliment” when I hear one. So (at least I think so) it’s understandable when I asked her to explain herself…she looked flustered and tried to scramble from something to say, so after 5 awkward minutes I kindly told her, “they next time you feel then need to compare me to someone, you might want to have some proof to back it up”. Now he sister who was siting next to me could hardly contain her giggles and later told me, “That was the best thing I’ve seen all week”. Complements that have a mean or hateful undertone will always cause me to respond. But there have been times when I’ve received an backhanded compliment and I don’t think that the person meant any harm… I just think that their ideals were misplaced. We will call her E.A. we were sitting in Geometry class and I heard her say, “Tyra, would be pretty if she lost weight” it gutted me (it stull stings a little bit). My younger self took that as I wasn’t good enough, but if I changed myself (for someone else) then I would be. My adult self still feels the same way, but I understand that she had a very skewed since of what beauty is. So to the 16 year old E.A., FUCK YOU!, I was pretty then, and damn it I’m pretty now! And to my cousin, well I’m totally satisfied with the way that ended.
I think it’s time we all quiet down out inner bullies, and make them speak out when someone tried to give us a backhanded compliment, we can always say, “Why, Thank You, it’s funny that you said that, because I was thinking the exact same thing about you” If noting else, it will shut them up..
Until Next Time….
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