We have all received them—the backhanded compliments. What exactly is a backhanded compliment? Well, it’s statement that is 50% bitchy, 50% nice, and leaves you feeling 100% confused. Did she just compliment me . . . ? Or was that a low-key, passive aggressive diss. . . ?
Backhanded compliments can be received from a surprisingly wide range of people: the mean girls in high school, your coworker, your snooty mother-in-law, or even your best girlfriend, and they are pretty difficult to maneuver. Honestly, if we all followed the golden rule of “say something nice or don’t say anything at all” this wouldn’t be an issue, but we don’t, and that’s what the So She Slays ladies are here for. Throughout years of backhanded compliment receiving experience, I have learned that though I cannot change, or “fix” people, I can only work on myself and how I handle these unfortunate situations.
Here are my 3 tips on how to handle backhanded compliments:
I am a sensitive person and I am not afraid to admit that. When I was younger and encountered backhanded compliments, my self-esteem would instantly get obliterated. I would get a sinking feeling in my stomach from the sadness and confusion. Instead of focusing on thoughts like, Wow, what’s her problem or What’s so wrong with me that she decided to say that?, I now try to empathize with the person giving the backhanded compliment. People who are not happy with themselves break others down to build themselves up and it’s truthfully quite sad. Instead of becoming angry or offended, I now try and focus on the why. Why is this person saying this? Backhanded compliments often come from people that are insecure and insecurities come from a place of immense pain. We must learn to empathize with those that are lacking inner strength and happiness.
2. Respond with kindness
No matter how people treat you, your reaction to a person or a situation is a true sign of your character. Even though backhanded compliments are annoying and hurtful, remember to continue to be the best possible version of yourself. Ladies that slay all day handle uncomfortable situations with grace. The next time you receive a backhanded compliment, try responding with genuine, kind words. Remember, empowered women empower women!
3. Address it
Now I know most people advise to ignore backhanded compliments or any “negative vibes” a person may give, but I’m going to play devil’s advocate and say address it! Unfortunately, I feel that most backhanded compliments come from our closest friends and family and they may not even be aware that they are doing it or of the pain it causes you. Remember to stay calm and open when addressing these types of situations, as responding in defensiveness or anger only adds fuel to the fire. A simple, Thank you for the kind words, but the last part of your statement actually hurt my feelings, can make people more aware what they say and how it is received; you may be surprised at the outcome! If the person does end up responding negatively, then you should ask yourself if they should have a place in your life to begin with.
At the end of the day, just keep on slaying ladies. For every backhanded compliment you receive, just know that the So She Slays community is here to give you twice as many genuine ones.
With lots of genuine love,