Compliments are supposed to be good things, but they can easily go horribly horribly wrong. Backhanded compliments, or strange compliments, or false compliments all lurk in the shadow of the "good" compliment, just waiting to rear their ugly heads...
Here were some of the answers.
I was in town with my teething and grizzly youngest son in a stroller. He was tired and just generally DONE, so I knelt in front of the stroller and was soothing/stroking his cheeks and speaking to him in a soft low voice when a woman I've never seen before stopped and said "I wish I could trade places with him".
So I guess that's a compliment?
This Apple Isn't For Picking
A young Asian woman walked up to me as I was talking to a friend on an outdoor mall, in halting English she said "Nice Adam's apple." "Thank you?" I responded. "Can I touch it?" she asked. I was a little taken aback, so it took me a moment to say "Um… I'd rather you not." But by that point it was too late. I cringed while she awkwardly caressed my larynx while those who witnessed it stared on in horrified fascination. That was, by far, the strangest compliment I've ever received.
This Is CreepyGiphy
Had a date with a guy that told me my cheeks were so soft that 'he wanted to cut them off and put them in a jar on his bedside table so he could touch them anytime he wanted'.
He became my boyfriend for eight months.
A friend of mine once said to someone 'i want to cut off your face skin and wear it on my face'...
Everyone always mentions that my face is red. I absolutely hate it.
I actually had a lady ask if I was sick, and when I told her it was just my face, she offered to pray for me. All of this happened while at work, so being polite I said "yeah sure". I'm not really religious but I'm not gonna tell someone they can't pray for me. She reached her hand over the counter and wouldn't let me continue helping her until I held her hand while she prayed in front of me. And out loud. Talk about irritating and awkward. I'd much rather her have had your response.
The Land Of Prejudice
On my first trip to the United States, my mom accompanied me as that was my first time studying abroad. It was back in 2008, and we have to fill the I-94 immigration card. My mom filled for both of us as she was always done for our family when we traveled.
When we touched down the airport, I was nervous at that time. I heard many stories of people being interrogated for hours after 9/11 attacks and sometimes was denied entry. I am wearing a hijab, and so is my mom. The whole time during the queuing I was trying to calm my nerves and praying hard everything goes well.
The line went on and on, and we were lining up for almost an hour. Finally, it's our turn, and we decided to go to the counter together as a family. When the TSA officer took our passport, he took a hard look at our I-94 form. Then he asked if I filled it myself. I almost died at that moment thinking the first blunder I made when entering the US was to let my mom wrote for me. I told her my mom wrote it.
He looked at my mom and said, "Wow, that was really beautiful handwriting. It seems like you type on this form." My mom smiled. That was not the first time she heard that compliment. My mom has the most beautiful handwriting that I ever saw compared to all the people that I have met.
Also, that officer has changed my perception of United States.
This Is Past My Comfort LevelGiphy
When I was about eleven years old, I went to a flea market in Arizona with my grandparents. While perusing for knives and shiny things that eleven year old boys love, an elderly woman of about 70 decided she should tell me how nice my lips are.
The image of being cornered and told I have "such kissable, lickable lips" will forever be etched in my brain. On the plus side, my grandma didn't allow me to purchase a set of samurai swords that day, so that could've halted some sort of mall ninja trajectory.
Not So Smooth
Not received, but gave.
At 15, I was trying to compliment my then-girlfriend on her athletic figure and hairdo in one smooth swoop.
In extremely flowery language, I proceeded to tell her that she resembled "a purebred racehorse, but with a shinier mane".
Seemed pretty poetic in my hormone-amped head, not so much in reality. 0/5 wouldn't recommend.
Thanks For The Structural Notice
Casual conversation before class started. I said something and the one guy that was only half paying attention suddenly whips his head up with "that was such a wonderfully constructed sentence."
If we had been in a writing class it wouldn't have struck me as odd, but this was an entrepreneurship class.
Salt N PepperGiphy
I'm very self-conscious to be going grey when I'm in my early 20's. But then one day a (guy) friend I hadn't seen in ages walked by and said "hey girl! You're rocking that salt and pepper!" and it took me completely by surprise. It felt like the most honest compliment I have ever received.
I mean it's way better than the stranger walking by and just saying "you have a hot bod, weird face" as he passed me. Still don't know how that one's sitting.
This Is Not Appropriate
While ringing a customer up, she said, "You have really pretty teeth," with a very straight face. I started to thank her, even though her tone didn't really imply it was a compliment, but she immediately followed it up with a scowl and, "I bet your parents paid a lot of money for those."
Uh, I did have braces as a preteen, if that's what you mean?
A Celebrity Compliment
I work for a touring event for kids.In NY, I met Drew Barrymore eand was fixing one of our toys for her kid. Our company doesn't love us getting excited when famous types come and usually I do my absolute best not to make things weird... but, I'd literally been watching Santa Clarita Diet in my office maybe ten minutes before coming down. Figured whatever on if the company wouldn't like me fangirling when I was working and told her thanks for coming to our show, she's a fantastic actress, and that our performers would really appreciate it. She starts talking about how excited her kids were and saying all this nice stuff, stops, and says "you have like, the best teeth ever" and continues on with what she was saying.
I have a pretty decent sized diastema between my front teeth I've been low key insecure about my entire life (it can't be closed completely via braces, so I either have a big one or a clearly manipulated smaller one forever) and having one of my favorite actresses just be awesome and compliment me because she could pretty much made my year. I had to go to my office on the seventh floor, sit down, and call my mother I got so excited.
I'm a guy and I started growing my hair out when I was in high school.
While I was bent over, drinking from a water fountain, my hair covered my face and I heard a whistle from behind me. When I turned around to see who it was a guy audibly shouted and looked at me like I'd betrayed him and his friends couldn't breathe from laughing so hard. I had a smile on my face the rest of the day.
I've gotten the weirdest complements lately regarding the way I smell lately. Mostly people telling me I smell like fresh laundry, but not my clothes, me. Like my skin. It sometimes looks like a clip from those Gain commercials lol.
And then I had a girl tell me I smelled like "Ocean Roses", which threw me for a loop because I've never heard of that haha.
I often shower at night because I'm not much of a morning person. Sometimes my hair is a little disheveled in the morning because of this, and combing/brushing does very little to fix it. I also have very thick black hair that I typically like to wear long. My nose used to be a lot bigger on my face than it is now (I grew into it).
I was staying with a friend for a weekend during ACL, and the following Monday, I went to breakfast with some of his friends, only a few of whom I'd met previously. I was wearing a thick green jacket and hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, though I had showered. One of the girls told me, "You've got a very 'Adrien Brody' thing going on today." Not necessarily a compliment, but I happen to be a fan, and the comment has stuck with me even though it's been close to a decade at this point.
Interesting Turn Of EventsGiphy
The girlfriend of one of my good friends once told me that if she met me first, she'd be dating me.
It was awkward, but then he turned around confirmed that they've discussed it. If they ever wanted a 3rd, I was at the top of both of their lists.
That same male friend friend recently asked to suck me off.
That's Part Of Me...In A Jar....
The surgeon who performed my appendectomy was so impressed with my appendix that he saved it in a jar to show me at my 6-week post-op check-up.... apparently it was the most infected, not-yet-burst specimen he'd ever seen. He was pretty disappointed when I wasn't as impressed as he was.