The Complisult: What They Say Versus What They Mean
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The Complisult: What They Say Versus What They Mean

"You look much nicer than usual!"

The Complisult: What They Say Versus What They Mean

You’re wearing a brand new outfit and a smiling girl comes up to you and says “Wow! You look nicer than usual today!” You smile at first but then slowly realize what has happened: you’ve been hit with a complisult.

As the word implies, a complisult is half compliment and half insult. At first, it makes you feel good and you thank the complisulter and it’s not until hours later that you recognize the underlying insult and begin to question everything. Questions such as “Do I not look good every day?” and “Why was she so surprised?” swirl around your head and slowly chip away at your self-confidence. There’s no guaranteed way to prepare for a complisult because they can come out of nowhere and from people you thought were your friends. Here’s a list of common complisults and what they actually mean.

“You look nicer than usual today” -Sometimes this can be said with the nicest of intentions but still seems to fall flat. It makes the receiver question every outfit they’ve worn up until this day and will make them second-guess their outfit choices in the future.      

“You’re really pretty for a [insert race] girl” -I absolutely hate this one. It’s not a complement. AT ALL. It insinuates that you didn’t expect a girl of a particular race to be what you consider to be pretty. It also implies that you’re comparing her to an unachievable societal definition of beauty. Not cool dude.  

“You sound much smarter than you look” -Excuse me? This is supposed to be a complement? It’s implying that you assumed that a person was dumb until they started speaking.  

“You look so much prettier when you smile” -As a girl who suffers from resting b*tch face syndrome this one can get to be annoying. It implies that, unless a girl has a smile (real or not) plastered on her face at all times, she’s not pretty. Someone who smiles all of the time would get to be kind of creepy if you ask me.  

“You should wear make up more often” -This usually comes after the morning you decided to spend a little more time on your make up than usual. It implies that a girl’s natural look isn’t enough and she should work to cover it up more. What kind of message is that?   

Many times the complisulter isn’t even fully aware of the candy-coated insult they’ve just uttered and could benefit from a little coaching session. The only way to break a bad habit is to be aware of it. If you encounter a complisulter, let them know how their comment made you feel and how they can refrain from making back handed complements in the future. In the end, everybody wins.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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