You dish out backhanded compliments
So, what exactly is a backhanded compliment? It’s a term we hear thrown around a lot, but few may know its true definition. The folks at Psychology Today explain it with this example: “A colleague may pretend to give you a compliment, yet when you get a chance to think about it, you realize it’s really an insult in disguise.”
This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of expressing distaste, while remaining “friendly” enough to avoid a fight. If you find that you maneuver your way around heated arguments by masking your put-downs with courtesies, it’s time to start addressing exactly what you mean by those comments.