In my family we call them Frenchliments, due to a dear yet caustic French friend who can turn any compliment into a sly jab. (I love what you're trying to do with your hair)
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When I was little I couldn't sing very well (and still can't). My grandmother commented one day 'As a singer, you are better still." I was an adult before I realized what it meant.
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Years ago when I was a student nurse, a patient told me I was very beautiful, then she qualified it by adding for a black woman. I'm sure she thought that was a compliment.
Of course! When I was little, I would tell my mom, "Your hair looks unusually nice today, Mommy". Little did I know, I was insulting her!
Oh yes - Years ago I can still see the look on my mother-in-laws face when she said to me, "You look so pretty (pause) when you wear make-up."
And of course the wonderful times in high school when told, "Oh your face is clearing up."
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