Is it Rude To Tell Someone They Look Older?

Many of us have done it before, whether out of ignorance, a slip of the tongue (with no disrespect intended), or even out of spite (and perhaps a touch of jealousy); telling someone that they look older than their age.

But, is it actually rude to do so? Or is it simply honesty? Read on below and find out!

Is it Rude to Tell Someone They Look Older?

Generally speaking, it is quite rude to tell someone that they look older than their age.

The main exception to this rule, of course, is telling someone who is under 20 (namely children and teenagers) that they look older than their age (because they love it).

Folks that are older than 21, however, begin to worry about how quickly they are getting “old”.

That means telling them that they look even older than they are (even if it is just 27, or 32), is nearly a cardinal sin.

How Rude Is it?

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Telling someone that they look older than they do rates 8 out of 10 on the rude meter.

The truth is unless you are talking with a young adult, telling someone that they look older than they do is never ok because it has a negative psychological effect more often than not. 

The only reason this action doesn’t rank 10 is that it can actually be motivating and positive to tell younger people they look older. 

That said, even if your intentions are good, and you mean nothing but well things, avoid telling people they look older. 

You never can tell how a person may take such a statement, and you don’t want to be responsible for making someone feel bad about themselves or begin developing a negative self-image.

Why is it Rude?

It is rude to tell someone they look older because most humans are much more fragile than they appear.

Even if someone seems like the most confident person in the world, they may have a terrible self-image of themselves on the inside.

Telling someone they look older is, in some people’s minds, like saying they are ugly and old and crusty. Needless to say, no one wants to hear such things about themselves.

Other Options to Do Instead

Basically, skip telling people they look older no matter what, when you are not dealing with young adults under the age of 20.

No good ever comes from telling mature adults that they look older than they are.

If you don’t want to be seen as a jerk? Don’t tell anyone they look older. 

Just. Don’t. Do. it. 

Common Questions

Is it rude to say someone looks good for their age?

There is nothing about telling someone they look good for their age. What would be wrong is telling them they look bad for their age, or even worse; telling them that they look older than their age.

What does it mean if someone tells you that you look older?

When someone tells you that you look older, the meaning is obvious; they think you look older than your physical age. This could be a compliment if you are young, but if you are over the age of 21, it is likely an insult.

Is looking mature a compliment or a dis?

When someone tells you that you look mature, it could be a compliment if you are a younger person (under 21). But, if you are say, 55, and someone says you look mature, they might as well tell you that you are one step away from wearing adult diapers and being wheeled around in a chair at whatever nursing home your family dumps you at.