Equipping Kingdom Women to Occupy

Everyone has been there. You hear a compliment that appears favorable at first look but leaves a bitter taste in your mouth upon deeper consideration. These so-called “backhanded compliments” provide an unflattering message that might undercut and devalue the recipient. In this piece, we’ll look at backhanded compliments, the necessity of assessing our communication, and how seemingly innocuous remarks may sever relationships. We’ll also go through the biblical foundation for being aware of our words and give a list of 20 backhanded compliments to avoid.

Backhanded Praise: A Double-Edged Sword

Backhanded compliments are comments that appear pleasant on the surface but send a negative message. They can gently undermine a person’s accomplishments or diminish their value.

Here are 20 examples of backhanded compliments:

  1. “You’ve shed a lot of weight! You look fantastic now.”
  2. “Your presentation was so straightforward that even a kid could follow it.”
  3. “You look stunning when you put on makeup.”
  4. “It’s incredible how you don’t care what other people think of you.”
  5. “You’re a lot more intriguing in person than on the internet.”
  6. “You’re so fortunate that you don’t have to worry about being intelligent.”
  7. “I like your willingness to wear the same dress several times.”
  8. “You’ve done a lot for someone your age.”
  9. “For someone who isn’t athletic, you’re incredibly good at sports.”
  10. “I’m astonished that you can keep up with everyone.”
  11. “You have a lot of confidence for someone with your history.”
  12. “You’re incredibly gifted for someone who did not attend a top institution.”
  13. “You have such a distinct sense of style that I could never pull off.”
  14. “You’re so well-organized; I wish I had your spare time.”
  15. “You must be quite proud of your modest company.”
  16. “I like how you don’t allow your lack of experience to stop you.”
  17. “You are brave for speaking up when no one else does.”
  18. “You must be relieved that your children are taking after your spouse.”
  19. “You performed fantastic, especially given the competition.”
  20. “It’s wonderful that you’re happy with your simple lifestyle.”

While some may claim that these statements are harmless or even hilarious, the fact is that they can leave the recipient feeling wounded, confused, or denigrated. Furthermore, they can show the speaker’s vulnerabilities, as delivering backhanded compliments is a method for people to feel superior or in control when they are threatened or envious.

Scriptural Instruction on the Power of Words

The Bible is rich in teaching on the power of words and the significance of choosing them properly. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will devour its fruits,” says Proverbs 18:21 (ESV). This scripture emphasizes our words’ power to affect others and ourselves.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” This passage urges us to talk in ways that raise and edify others rather than degrade and degrade them.

We may recognize any patterns of backhanded compliments or other negative language in our speech by examining it and working to replace them with real, heartfelt words of praise and support.

The Influence on Relationships

While the word calls us not to be quick to anger or walk in offense, it is important to remember that no one wants to be around someone whose language regularly diminishes or devalues their successes. Backhanded compliments may destroy trust, engender animosity, and harm relationships over time. A habit of such behavior may cause others to withdraw, leaving the one providing the praises feeling isolated and lonely.

On the other hand, offering genuine praises and words of encouragement may promote connection, strengthen connections, and create an atmosphere of mutual support and appreciation.

While backhanded compliments may appear harmless at first look, they can inflict hurt and ruin relationships. We may guarantee that our words are uplifting and life-giving to people around us by being attentive to our language, following scriptural direction, and participating in introspective reflection. As a result, we will build better, more meaningful relationships with people and contribute to a more pleasant, supportive atmosphere.

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