After seeing the thread about backhanded compliments, I was immediately reminded of a similar situation I had with a former friend but somewhat reversed. I'd go over and hang out and he would always suggest that I play guitars with him, which wasn't really enjoyable for me at all because while he had no clue how to play the instrument, he was utterly convinced that he was keenly capable of expressing himself on it "as an artist". I would just do my best Ornette Coleman inspired freakout session, trying my best to listen and respond musically. He would then go on in kind of a guarded way about how I was the only unique guitar player he had heard in the city..... aside from himself. I'm not someone who fishes for compliments about my playing and I really don't like to hear it at all since I do think it is my personal responsibility to treat it as a craft because I truly care about music. Well, then he plays this psychological game by saying, "Man... maybe I suck, I really suck at this," looking at me as if I should say something. Well, as a matter of fact... he does suck! Every time he picks up a guitar he does the equivalent of taking a crap in the middle of the living room floor! Even after he finally gets tired after 15 minutes and stops playing, the stench remains tangible in the air for minutes afterwards! My take is that he wanted me to say that he stunk, so that it would give him the kindling necessary to angrily shed for awhile until he could one day triumphantly return to prove me, his anointed musical authority figure, wrong with his amazing ability. But, I immediately sniffed out that he was trolling me to troll him! So I said something along the lines of, "everybody thinks that about themself". On one hand, maybe I should have told him that he did indeed suck because it would have caused him to improve, albeit through this hateful unfulfilling way he envisions of eventually showing me up. On the other hand, maybe I should have complimented him and allowed him to bask in his own awfulness with my personal approval, which would completely cement his development into his current wretched state for possibly the rest of his life. I don't give out compliments and criticisms because I believe in a person achieving self-awareness on their own, instead of them creating their identity based on how others perceive them. I also don't believe in not being genuine, so I really couldn't flat out compliment him, but I'm fine with deflecting the question altogether. As a friendship though, the whole thing broke down soon after as it was clear he wanted me to take one of those two paths with him, and he must have been dealing with some bizarre "daddy" issues. And, I really don't like when somebody trolls me to troll them. Feel free to share a similar story, or situations where someone begged you to troll them, or basically begged for a backhanded compliment. I imagine plenty of guitar instructors deal with a similar situation weekly.