Have you ever encountered someone trying to give you a compliment and you think to yourself, “WTF are you saying to me?”
People genuinely try to be polite, but because we live in a world riddled with discrimination and negative stereotypes, things that are meant to be compliments turn out to be terrible insults.
Next time you feel the urge to say these below things to someone, stop dead in your tracks because you’re doing all harm and no good:
You’re pretty but…
But what? I’m too skinny, too fat, too dark skinned, too light skinned? So in other words, I’m not enough by popular standards of beauty? Great, thanks for letting me know and subsequently ruining my day.
You’re so pretty for a black girl!
Oh geez, thanks! It’s great to know that you think black women are naturally ugly and I’m the rare exception to the rule that exists because of prejudice.
Can I touch your hair?
Off course you can! I mean, my body is an object for your amazement or amusement, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you running your dirty fingers through parts of my body as if I were a rare creature and not a human being.
You’re not completely black are you?
By asking me that, you assume that I’m fortunate for not being black and therefore I’m better as a human being because I’m higher on the social hierarchy of importance. Are you seriously judging me based on the colour of my skin?
You know, I don’t like ___ people, but you’re alright
You know, that doesn’t at all sound like prejudice. I’m so glad you accept me as the exception to the rule that once again exists because of discrimination.
I’d love to volunteer in Africa and make a real difference…
Yea, because Africa is poor, dirty, backward and war ridden and needs a savior like yourself to rescue it? Okay then! Come along and save the poor Africans.
So do you know (insert random name here)? They’re also from Africa…
Off course I do! Because Africa is a country and not a continent with 54 different countries. Maybe try picking up a map once in a while.
You look so pretty today!
Oh, because on other days I look like a hot mess? What a great compliment!
I like you like a sister/ brother/ friend
I never asked you to explain to me why you don’t want to be in a relationship with me. Saying no would’ve been just fine.
I find that (insert racial, cultural or gender group) are so…
Hold it right there because you’re about to cast a stereotype and you’re going to look like an idiot.
The golden rule to not putting your foot in your mouth is to think before you speak. And remember that you don’t always have to compliment people, so don’t feel pressured to do it in order to be nice.