We’ve all been taken aback by the moment when a person passively gives a compliment and then aggressively takes it back. You know, the ones that start with “I love your shirt!” *insert smile* but ends with “But if it was me I would have got it in a larger size.” *insert deflated smile* Or the moment someone says “Congratulations on your engagement”, followed by “But didn’t your last marriage fail?” It’s the attempted delivery of a compliment but once received we don’t quite know where to put the Thank You! I’ve witnessed and (sadly) experienced these moments way too often.
So why do people congratulate you in one sentence and then remind you of your failures the next? The reason is because everyone that says they are happy and acts if they are happy are NOT truly happy. *insert Oh No She Didn’t* Life is about living in your truth. Yes, I spent the grocery money on a new Michael Kors purse. Yes, my son ate cereal for dinner 2 nights in a row. These are all facts! They don’t make me better or worse than the next mother. What makes me better than my mistakes is by acknowledging them and living to see another day to make better decisions. Yet, so many people live for covering up their mistakes and portraying as if they don’t exist. Think of it like a person who covers their dirty dishes in the sink with a dish towel rather than cleaning, drying and storing them away. At first, a dirty cup and spoon are easy to hide. Overtime, the dirty dishes begin to mount and to keep them covered you need another dish towel and another. This goes on until one day you either run out of dish towels (lies) or run out of clean dishes (joy, truth & happiness). At some point you are faced with washing those dirty dishes (admitting wrongdoing, mending relationships) or throwing them away and starting fresh. But we all know some relationships you can’t throw away and others we aren’t willing to wash. So we leave our sinks (lives) filled with useless and dirty dishes (broken, toxic relationships).
Now back to that two-sided compliment you received. There are times where a passive-aggressive comment from a stranger can be chalked up to simply no home training. Seriously, some people just lack social skills and don’t know what to say or how to properly congratulate someone. But 9 times out of 10 that person knows exactly what they are doing, what they are saying and, more importantly, how those words will have a negative effect on you.
Resentment is defined as “bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly” Synonyms include bitterness, indignation, irritation, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement, discontentment....
A person filled with resentment and who refuses to clean up their act are always on the hunt for new, clean dishes to make dirty. Be mindful of a bitter person trying to steal your joy.
So the next time someone backhand slaps you with a bitter-filled compliment, turn the other cheek. Pray for them. Keep your distance. Protect your joy. And always remember to live in your truth and keep your heart pure.