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Post in Besides Beauty

Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Almost every time I go out shopping or out to eat, whether I have only 1 kid or all my kids with me, I will get a question like, “How many kids do you have?” or “Are all those yours?” When I say, “I have 4” or “Yep, all mine!” I inevitably get told, “Wow! You look so good for having 4 kids!” I always give an enthusiastic “Thanks!” but it makes me wonder, what if I only had 2 kids? Would I still look good then? What if I didn't have any kids?


This statement is often followed by the question, “What do you do to stay so thin?” and an expression that implies they are waiting for some kind of epiphany. “I eat 3 pumpkin seeds and then do a somersault every day.” (I’ve never said anything like that but I’ve thought about it.)

If I try to keep it light and say, “Oh they keep me busy! I don’t sit down much!” Like the lady yesterday, I will get a story about how much running around she does and look at her… What am I supposed to say to that? Do they want me to agree with them or tell them they look great? If I give them the common sense answer,“ I don’t eat a lot of crap and I work out” I get a blank stare and a disappointed “Oh.”

Then I walk away feeling awkward and her probably thinking I’m a ______ (insert word that rhymes with itch.)


Thanks for listening to my annoyed rant. How do you handle similar situations? Any witty comeback suggestions?

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Ouch, those are no fun! It's like the days you come to work without makeup and people ask "OH, are you feeling okay?" um, yes I feel fine I just had no time this morning...

 

I think it's kind of sad how people seem so quick to judge and offer their (often not helpful) feedback when most of the time it's best to just listen. I don't have children of my own but I can only imagine how frustrating that must be! Smiley Sad 

Luv&Lipgloss, Diana

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I get that all of the time like we can't be slender or look good because we take care of ourselves and have 4 kids. I have had 5 and I always get that. I just smile and say Thanks, my kids love me too! If you eat right and take care of yourself there is no reason you shouldn't look good. So pack up all your kiddos and head out and know you are awesome!

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Yes! Thank-you!

 

Some "mom blogs" drive me nuts!  I read them for funny "been there too" stories but all of the "stopped shaving, don't clean, and wear sweats everyday" mantra of some moms drives me insane.  Not all of us are that way.

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I take the southern belle approach. Whether it's a compliment or not, I say "bless your heart."

 

My sense of humor is dry, dark and sarcastic so if someone presses me for personal details (which I rarely give anyone), I'll usually come back with something completely inappropriate and that usually shuts them up. ie.

-"How do you eat so much and stay so thin?"

-"Easy, I'm bulimic." ~or~ "I have a tapeworm."

 

Much of the time I find it's better just to not say anything. I'm not much of a talker anyway, and it's amusing to watch people squirm in the uncomfortable silence they've just created. Smiley Wink

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

YES!!!!  The "bless your heart" is always an appropriate answer. Because here in the South, it can really be sincere like "bless you" when someone sneezes.  Or.... it can be sarcastic like "bless your heart, you're an idiot!"  Smiley Wink

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I get these comments all of the time. i have 2 girls and a baby on the way and people just stop and ask "Wow are all those kids yours?" I'm relatively sure its because I look 15 so I just smirk and say "yes." Some really nosy people will ask how I old am I and depending on my mood they'll either get the real answer or that I'm 15 lol. 

The other comment I hate is people love to tell me how small I am for my pregnancy. It's not my fault I'm slim and don't have a huge belly. The rude ones will tell me "just wait until your 9th month, you'll blow up like a balloon." No I won't, this is my third kid, I don't blow up, my stomach just pokes out more, thanks, but no thanks. 

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

ah, i was the opposite. with my last pregnancy i was somewhere in my 6th month or so, when a random man on the street said to me, 'whoa, any day now, eh?' i just burst out laughing.

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Why are there so many morons on Earth? Several years ago when I was NOT pregnant, some guy at a deli checkout counter asked me when I was due. I have been in different levels of overweight my entire adult life, but REALLY?!!! So I calmly said that I was not pregnant and gave him my best stinkeye. He would have shrunk his body into nothing if he could have after that. I was so steamed and it bothered me for days. What the hell is wrong with people sometimes?!!!!

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I haaaaaaate it when total strangers (or even, sometimes, friends and family) feel the need to comment on something about you in a non-complimentary way. 

 

It is one thing if someone you don't know pays you a true compliment
"I love those shoes/that necklace/your hair!" 

 

 

It is quite another when people start implying/prying for personal information/ judging you.

 

"Why don't you have children?"  "Why do you have so many children?"   "Oh, you have such a pretty face if you just lost/gained some weight you'd be perfect"  

I have no good way to deal with these people.  I pretty much ignore people or just stare at them blankly.

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

The worrrrst for me is: "Do your kids have the same dad?" Are they implying that I look like I sleep around? Maybe if one was white and one was dark, I would understand, but they look exactly alike! It always makes me feel bad even though it shouldn't. Should I walk around with a shirt that says "I've been with the same guy for 11 years and we will get married when we feel like it."?

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

omg who on earth says that?????

 

rude people.... ugh!

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Oh I get the... "you've been together for over 8 years, why aren't you married yet? You're 30 and you don't want kids yet?" Because I don't think marriage will lock in our relationship. We bought a house together... that's our commitment Smiley Tongue & We'll have kids when we're ready. If I have a rock on my finger, or not... it won't change how we feel about each other & it won't change how we raise our children. 

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I agree. Especially when I know at least 10 married couples who have split in the past year. The only thing that doing so would be a last name change, which I actually do want so that I have the same last name as the kids. Whenever I take them to appointments or anything, they don't assume I am their mother because my name is different.

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

@nebel - ask them, "why is it you need to know _____? or, to save you further embarrassment, we will pretend you didn't ask me that question and walk away with a super fake smile.

 

If it is someone i know slightly i will say, "i will give that some thought, while you are working on shoring up your personality."

 

hope that helps - FYI, the pic of your puparoni make your behind look waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too small Smiley Tongue

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

 My poor Glory Mamma!! She had ELEVEN babies and yes they were ALL HERS!

 

LOL i will work on pumping up my meager behind to acceptable beauty standards.

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

@nebel - to quote my dear Pops putting me in check, "Your battleship mouth is overloading your canoe hind end!" - he was full of 'em and i love 'em all

 

You and Glory are both sweeties - xo

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I get annoyed with people like that and end up with an "itchy" comment.  a few years back the air conditioning unit on my side of the office was out.  since it was so warm my boss was way lenient on our dress code because they needed to order something to fix the unit and it would be out for 4 days.  I twisted my hair up, wore Bermuda shorts, a cute top and some strappy sandals.  I was also having allergy issues so I wore my cute librarian glasses instead of my contacts. I looked pretty cute.  One of the older women who worked on the other side of the bldg came into my office and asked me if I was feeling okay. I looked at her like she had 2 heads.  She said something about me with my hair up and glasses.  I said nope, just dressing up for a **bleep** with my boyfriend.  She about choked and left my office.  She never mentioned anything to me again.  That may have been the reason why, a few weeks later, I didn't tell her that she didn't draw on her left eyebrow.  I know I'm a little evil. 

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

I hate when people do this, no i don't have children but i got engaged to my boyfriend when i was 18, and EVERYONE decides at this point i'm too young to do anything but be a child, but yet when its time for me to pay my own bills and live on my own and work thats when i'm an adult....smh.

 

people do that one to me too @nebel! "oh honey your goregous, if you changed your diet and lost weight you'd be a model!"

 

i can't even deal with people sometimes

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

Congrats!

I got married at 18. (And no, I wasn't pregnant.  Shocking how many people ask that.) 15 years later we're still married!  I'd like to go back and smack everyone who told me we'd be divorced in 2 years.

Re: Backhanded compliments and how to respond

i have that responce from everyone, including his parents! i mean you probably know better then anyone that its HARD but its worth it, people are so petty you just have to brush them off Smiley Happy 

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