“I bet you can play piano with your toes!”
I hate my feet.
It’s not bad enough that I’m 5’5″ and my feet are US size 9, but my toes are like 1/5″ of their length.
They’re so long, they are their own fingers.
That’s right, I have “tingers.”
The person who said this, loudly, made everyone look at my hideously bare feet, and of course there was a hair or two growing out of my big toe knuckle at the time, because the universe couldn’t have made it any less embarrassing for me if it tried.
Also, the pinky tinger on both feet are deformed from years of wearing private school uniform shoes half a size too small.
So, while this person was genuinely awed and impressed, what made it a terrible compliment is it called out the part of my body I was most insecure about. It then made me very uncomfortable, which made the situation weird and burned into my brain.
Since then, I’ve realized that when someone is complimenting you, its not about you, its about them.
They are trying to have a connection with you somehow, and reaching out into something familiar.
For that person, maybe they had tiny feet and were annoyed at that. Maybe they had big feet but stubby toes.
Maybe they’d just read a book about someone who could play the piano with their toes and saw me and made that leap.
Who knows? Either way, a compliment is someone breaking out of their mind to create an emotional connection with you. I learned that, eventually.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-worst-compliment-youve-ever-received
Originally Posted On: 2016-05-11