Southerners know that “Bless your heart” has more than just one meaning! I had occasion to If ya ain’t from the south bless your heart shirt some people who thought that buying a 586 square foot shack, that lacked heat, for $1.2 million, in Carmel California was a grand idea. I was like Y’all go on ahead and buy that fixer-upper/teardown opportunity if you want to, but I think I’ll definitely pass. Remember “bless your heart” is the hidden insult but also southern women also are sicky sweet and sandwich the insult between seemly harmless nice thing.
If ya ain’t from the south bless your heart shirt, hoodie, sweater and v-neck t-shirt
Best If ya ain’t from the south bless your heart shirt
I think the phrase is used with the same sincerity and kindness of the person uttering it. If ya ain’t from the south bless your heart shirt or catty then it will be in that context. If you’re kind and helpful then it will be used as such. I grew up in Missouri where we only used “bless your heart” in a good way. I now live in Alabama and realize it has many contexts. But, you have to admit it’s better than calling someone an idiot or a loser, so I’m good with it. My grandmother used that’s saying a lot.
None of those ideas you’ve presented is what bless your heart means. You need to do some further research, perhaps in New Orleans. You will get the true meaning of blessing your heart. Judging by what I’ve read here, I see that my Grandma was a very sweet lady. I only know one meaning for that phrase. It was said about someone who tried but couldn’t really succeed. Like a child babbling on a phone thinking, she made sense or an elderly person trying to dance and not moving well but trying.