Writing prompt


Daily Prompt: What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?

The first things that came to mind on reading this prompt were a couple of compliments paid to me over the years which were actually very genuine. But a little misguided.

One is from my lovely Grandpop and other from my Great Aunt – both would have been over the age of 75 at the time.

I can remember my Grandpop saying to me:

“Abbie, you look lovely, you’ve put on so much weight”.

Ummm, sure, thanks Grandpop. Not! Seriously, he wasn’t trying to hurt me, or be mean, I don’t think Grandpop had a mean bone in his body. He was just saying it how it was. He maaaaybe should have considered his audience – a 20-something girl (need I say more?!). I didn’t actually take offense. I’ve often remembered it over the years when my weight has plummeted (a stress reaction for me) and remembered it’s good for me to carry a few extra kilos. So it really worked out well.

The other one, delivered by his older sister, one of the loveliest, most charming, charismatic ladies you could EVER meet.

“Abbie dear you’d be such a pretty girl if you didn’t have the mole”.

I did have a mole, a large one, right between my eyebrows. It had been there from birth. Again, I don’t think for a second this was a criticism but all I heard was I wasn’t pretty. I’d heard a lot about my mole over the years at school (kids can be so cruel). This was the comment that pushed me towards having that mole removed. When I look back at photos now I’m so glad I did that – my self-confidence has improved so much.

Funny, the two things I remember, are both to do with my appearance. Maybe I should look into that!

Seriously though, it’s good to look at the heart of the person when you hear the words. It might prevent an unnecessary over-reaction. And you never know what the spin-offs of those comments will be later – there is often something to be learned.



  1. I laughed at the mole part, I’m really sorry. It was just the way you said it!
    Fortunately for me, the only people I’ve ever met are the ‘insult you to your face’ type, so I can’t add any thing.


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