18 “Compliments” That Are Actually Kinda Insulting

Everyone loves to get a good compliment. You got to love that little confidence boost, the little happy tingle, the awkward “oh, thanks” you give in response.

But there’s nothing worse than a bad compliment. You know, the kind of comment that sounds positive at first but when you think about it you’re like… wait a minute.

Whether it’s intentional or not, there’s something about a backhanded compliment that just stings a little more. It’s like a raw insult wrapped in the insult that you wouldn’t understand it was an insult. The audacity!

The people of Reddit started sharing backhanded compliments they’ve either been the victim of or dished out themselves when user TheLoreWriter asked:

“What are some sentences that sound like a compliment at first, but turn out to be insults once you think it over?”

And wow, look how many words he used to ask that simple question!

Here are some of the top rated backhanded compliments according to the people of Reddit.

1. You look like crap.

“I love how you don’t care about your appearance”. –fedwood

2. You spent too much time on this.

“You obviously spent a lot of time on this.” –llcucf80

3. He did indeed work here.

“In Germany it’s not allowed to write critical stuff in the reference for an employee who is leaving. So often these letters are full of really bad compliments like:

“He was very active organizing social events… He tried doing this or that… He got comfortable with the concept of flexible working hours… He was able to follow the process…” –Psychological-Hat133

4. You are usually ugly.

“The one I heard was from my wife’s grandmother to one of the larger cousins…”I didn’t recognize you! You look beautiful!” Oof, Grandma. The cringe was palpable.” –DissociatedDeveloper

5. I’m surprised you are alive.

“Look at you smiling so brightly! Its so nice to see someone like you be outside of the house. Seeing you makes me feel so much better about myself! if someone like you can be happy at all then I have no excuse to be sad.”

Strangers have said that or something like it to me like 4 or 5 times since I got sick 10 years ago. They all thought they were saying something nice. They all smiled and walked away. I swear I can see their gait change like they’re appreciating their legs more.” –


6. You normally do not look good.

“You should wear a suit. Everyone looks good in a suit. Even you” My cousin to me.” –Advaith25

7. You are not fat anymore.

“A couple of years ago I saw a girl from high school, she was never fat or anything, but she during this years she got fit, and looked good. It was meant to be an honest compliment, but instead of saying “wow you look great” I said “you look thinner” she did an awkward smile. This happened like 4 years ago, I still cringe and feel like an idiot every time I remember.” – RedMageScarfer

8. Here comes something disrespectful.

“Not a compliment,but “With all due respect”can be an insult because there can be 0 due.” –Other-Apricot-5677

9. You should not live long.

“Getting old does suck, but with any luck it won’t happen to you.” –ActualMis

10. If you can, anyone can.

“You’re an inspiration! You show people that if you can do it, anyone can!” –Hopeful-Violinist714

11. I’m surprised I like you.

“I didn’t like you when I first met you…” –safT1st

12. You are stupid.

“You’re lucky you’re so pretty…” –MayBeANarc

13. The cutest thing about your baby is it’s clothes.

“I have a couple of friends who’s babies are really really ugly and my go to is “oh that’s such a cute outfit!” –shittinginthestreets

14. You are trash.

“A friend of mine used to say ‘you are a pauper amongst princes’ with such confidence it would often not compute with the person he just said it to.” –OutlandishnessOk3310

15. You are average.

“You’re right at the top of the bell curve!” –NuttyNatterer

16. Other people don’t like you.

“You’re alright, man. Don’t worry about what everybody else says.” –OneAndOnlyJackSchitt

17. You have bad breath

“Been offered a chewing gum which I accepted by saying thank you. The other person responded with: no, thank YOU.” –Environmental-Cold24

18. You shouldn’t be wearing that.

“Love your outfit. You’re so brave for wearing that!” –bangarang07