6 Foolproof Comebacks For Every Backhanded Compliment

By the time you entered pre-school, you knew the rules. It’s important to share. Always say please and thank you. And some things are better left unsaid. But that was the '90s, and in 2016, it seems like we could all use a refresher.

It’s true we’re not as polite as we used to be. In the sixth annual Civility in America report, a whopping 95% of the 1,005 adults surveyed agreed that civility is a problem and nearly three-quarters said basic manners are on the decline. And coming off of an especially nasty election season, it’s no wonder we’re hyperaware of it.

But the rudeness we’re talking about is not on the news. It’s with people we know: our friends, our colleagues, and our fellow wedding guests. So when they spew backhanded compliments or judgements — we’re not talking about blatant bigotry here — it’s not so easy to figure out how to stand up for ourselves, gently correct them, and maintain a positive relationship.

That’s why we teamed up with Lane Bryant, whose #ThisBody campaign is designed to fight negativity, and a group of etiquette pros. Together, we’ve created a guide to overcoming six common quips, politely and effectively. Whether it’s a food-shaming lunch date or a marriage-pusher, here’s how to proceed with grace, dignity, and a good feeling about it all.