Jade Small
Jade Small
February 22, 2024 ·  3 min read

Weird Backhanded “Compliments” That Are Actually Insults

Have you ever received a compliment that left you feeling uneasy or insulted? Perhaps someone told you that you looked great “for your age,” or that your work was “impressive, considering your lack of experience.” These types of remarks are known as backhanded comments. While they may sound like compliments at first, they are actually thinly veiled insults. In this article, we have laid out a list of examples. This way, you can know when someone is truly being nice… or not.

1. Compliments like, “I Didn’t Expect You To Get The Job. Congratulations!”

Young Woman Discussing Problems With Counselor
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This one triggers a lot of nerves. It’s like they are giving you a compliment for getting the job. But, they underestimated your ability to actually land the job. they took your skills for granted.

2.“I Love How You Don’t Care How You Come Across.”

Two collegues in an office
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These compliments are as if the person should care about the way they come across. As if they are being rude, or worse, embarrassing! They are saying they love it, but it’s clear they are judging your choice of words or behavior.

3. “I Love How You’ll Just Wear Anything.”

Portrait of two european women adult mother and teenage daughter talking or discussing with interest and gestures standing isolated over white background
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This one ties in perfectly with the backhanded compliment above. They are kinda complimenting you on your choice of outfit. But, they are actually saying your clothes are ugly and your style of wack.

4. Compliments like: “You Look So Professional With Your Hair Straight.”

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This is one of the worst ones on the list. Girls, and some guys, who have curly hair will know the struggles. Their natural hair should be applauded, not disregarded for a straightener. Your friend is basically saying your naturalness is scruffy or unkempt.

Read More: 3-year-old boy heartbroken due to bullying from other kids because of his red hair

5. “You Look So Great In That Photo. I Can’t Even See Your Acne!

very cute smiling women drinking a coffee sitting inside in cafe restaurant
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Why did they need to bring acne into the picture? There was no need to highlight the blemishes at all. Now, all the receiver is going to see is their acne. they should just look great in the photoperiod.

6. Compliments like: “Your Instagram Makes You Seem So Fun!”

Two excited young girls using mobile phones while sitting at the cafe outdoors and pointing finger
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If your friend tells you this, it is a giant red flag. This compliment is backhanded because the person giving it is making it seem as if you’re a boring person in real life.

7. “I Wish I Was As Chill As You About All This Clutter.”

View of a untidy and cluttered desk
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This one is unnerving. It leads people people to think they are messy, dirty, or unhygienic. The person giving the compliments is saying they wish they were like the receiver, but they’re highlighting what they see as wrong.

8. “You Look Refreshed Today. I Almost Didn’t Recognize You!”

Two women talking in a room about problems
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So, what? Do I usually look dirty?” This compliment triggers the nerves of many. Your friend is saying you look good. But they are actually saying you usually look messy and stale.

Read More: Internet Backs Man Who Rejected Woman For Being Too Short

9. “You Look So Much More Awake With Makeup.”

two women in conversation at the office arbitsplatz
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Women all over the world will be rolling their eyes right now. Not only is this the age-old struggle that society has forced them through, but it is also downright mean. Your friend is telling you you do not look good without makeup. As if your natural face looks sickly and tired.

10. Finally, Compliments like: “You Look Great For Your Age!

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This is the worst of the lot. With ageism becoming more and more of a thing, the older we get, the more judged we feel. Why should one only look great for their age? Why can’t they look great just because they look great? There is no need to bring age into this compliment.

Read More: How Narcissists Play The Victim To Turn The Tables On Their Other Half


  1. 20 Backhanded Compliments to Make You LOL‘.” The Type Set Co. March 21, 2022
  2. 23 Backhanded “Compliments” That Are Actually Insults.” Bustle. Eliza Castile and Jay Polish. October 25, 2022.