Catty Remarks, Cloaked in Sugar

I usually call people out on backhanded compliments, though in a somewhat humorous way.
What you posted is not a backhanded compliment though. It's a straight-up dig. I wouldn't even know what to say to that. Your friend isn't obligated to find you beautiful, but there is zero need to tell you something like that!
Originally Posted by Saria
Yep. I ignore backhanded compliments. I'm pretty sure half the time I don't even realize it and don't care to when it's happening(I've been told by others this has happened) and that's great for me. For what happened to you which was a direct insult, I would be sort of shocked and would also ignore it. I mean, what do you say to that? I probably wouldn't go out of my way to be social or nice with that person anymore as well.
I only did one quick mean comeback in my entire life.

I was standing in line at CVS and a woman behind me said, "You know that make things to fix that?!" I said, "What?" She said, "Your hair."

So.....
I remembered I had a plastic surgeon's card in my wallet. A relative had their nose broken because of sinus problems. I was the hosptial transport person on the day of surgery and they gave me the card in case they had complications when I got them home.
Anyway...
I took the card out from my wallet and handed it to the woman saying, "Yes, and there are also things out there to fix your face."

I FELT LIBERATED!

Maybe, grab a couple magazines with the "stunning"
people of the world. Tell her, "I picked out my look but I was thinking of something like THIS for you!" Attach a plastic surgeon's card.
Originally Posted by curlylew66
Word, CL! Good one! No, great one!
No MAS.

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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,210
I was thinking some more about this and remembered a time I said something nasty to some old bat at work after she repeatedly berated and tried to humiliate me for years. Of course, the other day I heard her telling one of the new women how awful I was, and what I said to her that day...2 years ago!!! The woman had been dragging me down constantly before and after that one comment, and she brings that one thing up totally out of context.

Of course, new woman goes, "You should have totally slapped her in the face."

What's that saying...Don't argue with jerks, because onlookers can't tell who's who? Or something?
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Posts: 4,210
Third of all... very sad that she ties marriage to what others think of your looks. Doesn't sound very happy.
Yeah, I thought of this, too. It surprises me that people still think all it takes is being beautiful to find love/marriage.
Originally Posted by Saria
Not only that, but they judge how worthy a guy is by how beautiful his wife is. If she isn't stunning, they feel kinda sorry for him...like he failed in life.
I can certainly understand how hurtful it would be to hear such a thing. But I guess for me, my typical reaction to something like this would be less about defending myself and more of a confused shrug.

After all, it's really more about them than me, isn't it? And I cannot help but think that if a stranger or a work colleague has the ability to get to me like that, I'm going to choose to focus on what I can control, which is my own reactions and feelings about such a slight.

So rather than lashing out and trying to bring someone else down -- especially someone so clearly and blatantly insecure about themselves -- I would rather focus that energy on myself and do things to build myself up.

Getting a dig in feels good in that moment, but for me the satisfaction has never been lasting. I choose resiliancy and stronger personal boundaries instead. Make like a duck and let it roll off my back.
Banned
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 41,043
Third of all... very sad that she ties marriage to what others think of your looks. Doesn't sound very happy.
Yeah, I thought of this, too. It surprises me that people still think all it takes is being beautiful to find love/marriage.
Originally Posted by Saria
Yeah, wait till she turns 40...
Code:
I'm kidding...kinda
I usually call people out on backhanded compliments, though in a somewhat humorous way.
Originally Posted by Saria

This. Point out how rude they were by making a joke about it. Usually this will cause people to back peddle, and you'll know they got the message.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
I agree with calling them out. You don't need a witty comeback - just point it out. Like... "Oh, really? *stare*". Usually they backpeddle and make fools of themselves because you've uncloaked their pathetic game.

The worst thing you could do in this situation is take them seriously. Please, do not take it personally. Your feelings are understandably hurt. Just know that their comments are more reflective of themselves than you.

So rather than lashing out and trying to bring someone else down -- especially someone so clearly and blatantly insecure about themselves -- I would rather focus that energy on myself and do things to build myself up.
That's the truth, wild~hair!

Also, I forgot to mention that I am horrified by the looks=love mentality. Seriously? I kind of feel bad for these people, even though they are ridiculously annoying/offensive. I can't imagine how someone could be happy if they were SO insecure and shallow.

Last edited by Saila; 01-24-2011 at 07:50 PM.
I know this is a few months late, but I'd like to join in on this conversation.

Kindred...I'm sorry that happened to you. I've been there. People have said things like that to me all my life. I still remember some insensitive comments my husband, of all people, made about my looks. He said that there were prettier girls and I was "nothing special". The worst part is that I hadn't asked his opinion of my looks. I know he loves me but it still hurts when I remember what he said. I need to know that my husband finds me beautiful. It makes me sad to know that on some level, he doesn't.

While I appreciate straight shooters (because I can be very blunt myself sometimes), I believe in being tactful. I try to treat others the way I want to be treated. Some people are either very insecure or simply mean...they like to belittle others and put them down.

It sounds like your coworker is this kind of person. Maybe she is jealous of you and felt the need to put you down as a way of elevating her own self-confidence. This is what bullies do and it carries over into the workplace. It doesn't stop just because a person is older and *should* be more mature.

I've never been a very confident person. My self-esteem has always been very low. I grew up constantly being told that I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, or thin enough. I felt invisible and overlooked because my family devoted all the positive attention to my cousin, who is a year older. She has always been considered the beauty of the family, the one who can achieve anything in life. Me? I'm the one who was always ridiculed and made to feel like a Plain Jane. I've been called fat and ugly to my face, even when I weighed 95 lbs. at only 5'1". I've been insulted for my "nappy" hair and pretty much anything you can imagine.

At 27, I still experience a lot of rudeness and catty comments. I'm very sensitive. I will probably always be that way. I wish I could be as tough as some of the other ladies here...mad props to curlylew66, by the way.

But everyone here is right. Your coworker's comments were not about you. They are a reflection of how she feels inside. She is obviously unhappy in some way and she took it out on you by making a *****y, nasty comment. As females, we all know that if you really want to hurt another woman, you take hits at her physical appearance...even if she is absolutely gorgeous.

I have no idea why this person would want to hurt you like this but I suggest not dealing with her anymore beyond polite conversation at work. This won't be the last time she says something like this, believe me.

I once dated a guy whose mother was one of the most evil people I've ever met in my life. She was very pretty and had a nice figure, but the way she treated people was just...there are no words. She thought of herself as the Queen Bee and she had no problem with calling other women fat/ugly, or criticizing their fashion sense. I was subjected to this many times. My self-esteem was already low and her comments made me feel worse.

Try not to let this catty person bring you down. Just feel sorry for her because she obviously has issues.
BTW...I just had an incident the other day while I was out with my husband. We were walking down the street. This older woman was with two younger people. She had to be in her 60's. As she passed by me, she shot me this incredibly dirty look.

Seriously...it was the most intense stare-down you can imagine. She looked me up and down with this ugly scowl on her face. She looked up at my husband, then at me. I was just like, WTF? Who does that?

My husband said I shouldn't let it bother me but it did. That woman didn't even know me. I didn't do anything to her. It took a lot of self-control to keep me from saying something to her out loud. It hurt and it pissed me off.

It was clearly a case of non-verbal hostility, the kind of cattiness that only women recognize.

She looked at me like I was a piece of trash and it made me feel small. She didn't even have to open her mouth.

I love women, because I am a woman...I just don't understand why we are so cruel to one another.
I accidentally say things like that sometimes, my mouth runs faster than my head sometimes. The difference is that I don't do it on purpose, I can't even count the number of times that I've tried to express myself one way only for it to be taken the exact opposite of the way I meant it. Case in point, I recently accidentally called my mom fat when I was telling her about my weight loss that I was working on.

I usually end up kicking myself for hours afterwards, and can't ever figure out how to apologize without making it worse.

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I only did one quick mean comeback in my entire life.

I was standing in line at CVS and a woman behind me said, "You know that make things to fix that?!" I said, "What?" She said, "Your hair."

So.....
I remembered I had a plastic surgeon's card in my wallet. A relative had their nose broken because of sinus problems. I was the hosptial transport person on the day of surgery and they gave me the card in case they had complications when I got them home.
Anyway...
I took the card out from my wallet and handed it to the woman saying, "Yes, and there are also things out there to fix your face."

I FELT LIBERATED!

Maybe, grab a couple magazines with the "stunning"
people of the world. Tell her, "I picked out my look but I was thinking of something like THIS for you!" Attach a plastic surgeon's card.
Originally Posted by curlylew66
CurlyLew Bingo! Terrific!
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Sometimes try roller sets - classic glamor but I prefer my curls.
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On a totally unrelated note, how can a sinus infection cause you to break your nose?

I'm imagining all sorts of gross and seemingly impossible scenarios....and I'm just a teensy bit scared.
I just keep it simple and, whether it's a straight insult like you got here or a true back-handed compliment, look them in the eye and ask in a pleasant tone, "What do you mean by that?"

This gives them a chance to explain themselves (usually they backpedal so fast they fall off their bicycle) and/or apologize.

And lets them know I "got" it if they are trying to be passive-aggressive.

If they act confused by the question, I repeat it with more emphasis. "No, seriously, whatever did you mean by saying that?"
"Tell me, are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all?"

"Honey Badger don't care!"
I know this is a few months late, but I'd like to join in on this conversation.

Kindred...I'm sorry that happened to you. I've been there. People have said things like that to me all my life. I still remember some insensitive comments my husband, of all people, made about my looks. He said that there were prettier girls and I was "nothing special". The worst part is that I hadn't asked his opinion of my looks. I know he loves me but it still hurts when I remember what he said. I need to know that my husband finds me beautiful. It makes me sad to know that on some level, he doesn't.
Originally Posted by curlyhoneyb
Wow, I can't believe he said that to you. I just died a little inside when I read that.
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Shrinkage happens.
i hate sugar coated daggers
My Mother is the Queen of this! She never stops with her dig's. Last week I invited her out to dinner and drinks with an older guy that I am seeing, and she never stopped. During a conversation she looked me up and down and said "I hate that top you are wearing". I said "thank-you, it's your grand daugthers she let me borrow it" she responded with "well it looks better on her" Funny thing she's been doing this all my life , I'm 55 and pretty fricken hot, but not is the eyes of my 77 year old, three face lifted Mother, who dresses like a homeless person most of the time. End of rant!
Ugh, who does this ish!! Seriously, WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE COME FROM???

I have no time for PA people and cut them out of my life VERY fast.

The problem with PA remarks is that it's so easy to let them slide because they can be very often under the radar. I spent my teenage years being picked on by a PA 'friend' and because she was like that only to me and was VERY good at it it was me who had the problem as I was obviously being 'sensitive'. Uh NO, I don't think so. At first you think, 'oh no, they can't possible have meant that' and before you know it it's a full on PA assault!

Call them on it and stand your ground. They must learn.
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,533
I can certainly understand how hurtful it would be to hear such a thing. But I guess for me, my typical reaction to something like this would be less about defending myself and more of a confused shrug.

After all, it's really more about them than me, isn't it? And I cannot help but think that if a stranger or a work colleague has the ability to get to me like that, I'm going to choose to focus on what I can control, which is my own reactions and feelings about such a slight.

So rather than lashing out and trying to bring someone else down -- especially someone so clearly and blatantly insecure about themselves -- I would rather focus that energy on myself and do things to build myself up.

Getting a dig in feels good in that moment, but for me the satisfaction has never been lasting. I choose resiliancy and stronger personal boundaries instead. Make like a duck and let it roll off my back.
Originally Posted by wild~hair
I understand where you're coming from, w~h, but some people will keep going until they realize you're not willing to be a target. Some people can express this with words, a facial expression, or a mild yet firm confrontation, such as what fig jam describes.

I hate seeing it let alone saying it, but some people perceive "rising above it" as weakness.
------------------
I agree with forbee re: dying a little inside.

I'm so sorry.
I can certainly understand how hurtful it would be to hear such a thing. But I guess for me, my typical reaction to something like this would be less about defending myself and more of a confused shrug.

After all, it's really more about them than me, isn't it? And I cannot help but think that if a stranger or a work colleague has the ability to get to me like that, I'm going to choose to focus on what I can control, which is my own reactions and feelings about such a slight.

So rather than lashing out and trying to bring someone else down -- especially someone so clearly and blatantly insecure about themselves -- I would rather focus that energy on myself and do things to build myself up.

Getting a dig in feels good in that moment, but for me the satisfaction has never been lasting. I choose resiliancy and stronger personal boundaries instead. Make like a duck and let it roll off my back.
Originally Posted by wild~hair
I understand where you're coming from, w~h, but some people will keep going until they realize you're not willing to be a target. Some people can express this with words, a facial expression, or a mild yet firm confrontation, such as what fig jam describes.

I hate seeing it let alone saying it, but some people perceive "rising above it" as weakness.
------------------
I agree with forbee re: dying a little inside.

I'm so sorry.
Originally Posted by ninja dog
THIS a THOUSAND times!! I too often 'rise above it' and just let things go - but people often things this means I can't stand up for myself, because on the outsdie it just looks like I'm 'taking it'. Put someone in their place so that they stop, and your life becomes a lot easier.
Grrr reading these posts just enrage me!

Nej, I'm so with you. When I meet someone passive aggressive I completely cut them out. Why would I need that in my life, to feel worse about myself so that they can feel better? Anyway, these little mind games irritate me like no other so I call people out on it right away: "Quit being manipulative. I don't deal with that sh*t, sahrry."
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