I think a backhanded compliments is about as useless as a fart in a crowded elevator in that once it’s out you can’t get away from it right away. And if you’re in a position where you have to deal with people in order to earn a paycheck, you have to take those ‘compliments’ if you want to keep your job. Personally, I think there should be a law that protects a person’s job if they return a backhanded compliment with a sarcastic wise-crack.
Case in point:
Last night I decided to treat myself to a Whataburger and eat inside instead of in my car waiting for a ride at the airport (a cold front was blowing in and I didn’t want to burn gas running the heater). A lovely young woman took my order and I made her smile by being nice to her, and then a little while after I sat down and was eating, a man walked in. I heard him greet one of the employees in a very friendly way and I thought he was a nice guy.
Then he gets up to the counter where the lovely young woman is waiting to do her job and I hear is him asking her why she wears glasses instead of contacts. And to add insult to the sewage he was spewing out, he then asks her if her glasses are ‘really needed’. I glance up from my meal and see this lovely young woman standing there with a plastered smile on her face just trying to get the guy to place his damn order and be done with it. He then goes on about how he wears contacts and such and that she should, too. So this guy went from nice-guy to major-jerk in one sentence.
I used to think a backhanded compliment was something I had to be guilty of inspiring in people, like I was a useless sack of shit on two legs for not doing enough to overcome my ugliness. But good news is I don’t feel that way anymore.
The old saying of ‘if you can’t say something nice then keep your mouth shut’ applies here because honestly, if you don’t like the way someone looks, what’s it to you? To me, someone can be wearing the loudest, most-outrageous get-up imaginable, or even showing crack I never want to see (butt and/or boob crack). But if they’re not spewing shit like backhanded compliments or being rude to customer service professionals, they’re good people. A person’s fashion sense, or their need or desire to wear glasses is not something that should be used to determine how people are treated.
If someone’s a jerk spewing crap like this then they deserve your silence, or resting bitch-face if your job or threat of arrest is at stake. If not, a witty, sarcastic, and delightfully wise-cracking comeback is more than worthy, even if it flies over the intended recipient’s head and lands like a turd in a toilet bowl.
So to anyone who is thinking of letting out a backhanded compliment like a fart in a crowded elevator, try and hold it. Your fellow passengers in life will love you all the more and you won’t be the subject of sarcastic blog posts like mine.