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There’s Always A Little Truth Behind “I’m Just Kidding”

Let’s talk about two things, backhanded compliments and mean jokes. They’re in the same category after all. Both make the recipients feel really hurt. A backhanded compliment is a comment that on the surface could pass for a positive remark but when you sit down to think about it is really mean. It’s supposed to look like a compliment when it really isn’t.


Comments like “You’re really pretty for a dark girl.” Or “I love your confidence” on a plus size woman’s post. See what the first person really means is “Dark girls are usually not pretty, you’re somewhere on the map. Kinda gorgeous”. And what the second person means is “Plus size women don’t deserve to be confident. What are they confident about?” Things like that.

Learn to read in between the lines. Read the room when people speak. What are they not saying? What is the implied meaning of this statement?

You may have also seen the post that says there’s always some truth behind just kidding doing rounds on the internet. Believe it. When people don’t have the confidence in the spur of the moment to say unkind things, they mask them as jokes.

“Your dress looks weird. Just kidding” and other things people would say. They mean that. Believe them. Oprah Winfrey once said “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time”. It saves you from a lot of hurt going forward when you can just decode messages as is.

And to the people who often make such comments: Picture a broken wine glass, then you tape it with an Elastoplast and pour wine in it. A wine glass that was almost completely shattered. The wine will spill. You see that Elastoplast on the wine glass? That’s what your “just kidding’’ phrase is like. Perhaps apologize after you make such a comment? Know that even then the apology serves just as good as an Elastoplast that holds together the glass in a broken picture frame. Yet it is better than nothing. Strive to be kind and to show consideration.

Should you be on the receiving end, you can ignore these comments. Don’t let them dampen your spirit. Or you can bring it up politely or even change the topic. Most importantly, positive self-talk can be helpful to negate such comments.

Read Also: Just Kidding! says Uganda’s General Muhoozi following backlash from Kenyans


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