Sunday, November 29, 2015

Compliment, or not?

Have you ever received what you THOUGHT was a compliment, and later realized that it was said in a way that couched an insult (falsely) as a compliment?

Southerners often will say "Bless his/her heart" to mean that the subject is an idiot, or completely clueless, or a hot mess.

There are plenty of other examples of this type of false compliment...."You sure are pretty...if only you dressed the part."  "You're a great player...if only you won some games."  "You're looking GREAT...but you'd look better if...."

There is a term for this, a backhanded compliment, or a lefthanded compliment.

No matter how it is labeled or couched, an insult is hurtful.  It is rude.  It is unbecoming of people who call themselves Believers.

So, when you are presented with/insulted using a backhanded compliment, how do you respond?

Usually, it takes me a while to recognize the insult...which is often the intent, so that the one doing the insulting is well out-of-range when the realization dawns.

My response after I see it is what I am questioning.  My normal first response is ANGER.  Not only was I insulted, but I was also tricked, and I MAD at the person, and at myself.  I am mad at myself for actually thanking the person for their supposed compliment, and I am mad at that person for their rudeness, and the residual hurt.

What I want to know is how to deal with this type of insult?

Do I confront the person?  Do I just drop it?  What if there is a pattern of this happening with a particular person?  What if that person is a family member?

What would be the best response?

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