Five Cringe Compliments You Should Avoid Offering To People
You are probably showering someone with compliments with the purest intention, but you should check your words before uttering them.
Compliments should be well-intentioned to make the person on the receiving end feel good — to boost their self-confidence and to express your admiration for them. While this principle seems quite simple, people often miss the mark. Some compliments are not very flattering, and you should hold your tongue from saying them. Below are some cringe comments you might utter as a compliment but are subtly offensive.
“You look nice for your age.”
Beauty has nothing to do with age, and it is not always associated with youth, and no person would like to hear that they look nice despite some other factor.
“You look beautiful when you smile.”
Regardless of how positive this comment may be, what the person on the receiving end hears is: “you look ugly otherwise.” Besides, suggesting that the person does not look very nice with a straight face is a subtle way of passing a damaging and manipulating remark. It is undesirable to tell someone how they should be using their body and their smile. Offering unsolicited instructions on how a person should think, look or feel is considered rude and controlling.
“Your new hairstyle is making you appear younger.”
People love receiving compliments after getting a new haircut or makeover, but by adding anything unnecessary and extra to the compliment, you might unintentionally suggest that they looked bad earlier—for instance, in this scenario, you are implying that their previous hairstyle made them appear older. Keep your compliment simple, and try not to elaborate for good.
“You have lost weight.”
If you know that the person you are talking to has been actively engaged in activities to lose weight and has been vocal about their desire to work out more, and you share a close relationship with them, then this compliment may sound positive. But in almost every other situation, it is considered an inappropriate and rude remark. You are not aware of the cause of their weight loss – chances are, the person has a severe medical condition or is dealing with grief or some emotional issue. Furthermore, by congratulating them on their slimmer body, you are suggesting that they did not look very nice until they had lost weight.
“You look gorgeous in makeup.”
Are you trying to suggest that they don’t look pretty unless they smear their face with makeup to accentuate their natural features? Well, this sounds quite offensive. It is fine to compliment someone’s makeup, but do not make it sound like they look unattractive without it.
Always remember that backhanded remarks are rude and far from being compliments.