I’m wanting to know if there exists a word to describe the following situation. Someone who finds a silver lining in something is generally considered a good thing. However, I am looking for a term or word to describe that same thing except in a negative way. Someone who finds the positive in something that then undermines the negative in the first place.

An example I could use would be if someone were to say “amputees have better problem solving skills due to their ability to operate normally with missing appendages.” Now, if someone were to do this that would generally be consider not very good and undermine the struggles of being an amputee in the first place. That is what I am looking to describe. Is there a word or phrase to describe the person who is undermining the amputee?

  • How are they undermining the amputee? They are saying they have better problem solving skills….
    – Jim
    Jun 20 at 23:35
  • I thought you were asking about something like: “That’s just great. I can’t see a thing with the lights out.” Hey, There’s a little bit of light over there.” “Yeah, and if we go over there our attacker will be able to see us too.”
    – Jim
    Jun 20 at 23:39
  • Is it a backhanded compliment? Jun 21 at 0:27
  • making light of
    – Xanne
    Jun 21 at 0:34
  • A snarky silver lining? Jun 21 at 1:58

1 Answer 1


The closest I can come up with in a single word would probably be quixotic.

Just so I'm understanding correctly:

In a silver lining situation, there is a negative situation where the positive perception leads to a better outcome.

In the opposite situation you're describing, there is a negative situation where the positive perception leads to a worse outcome.

Eg scenario would be: the people who say "I understand your struggle" or "they're in a better place now" at funerals, which would rightfully anger the mourners.

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