Pride and Prejudice: The Art of Compliments

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Giving compliments is something that has always come easily to me. There are so many lovely people in this world and I’ve always had the bravado to tell people how wonderful they are. Taking compliments however, is certainly not my forte and I think that is the case for many people, these days. Self deprecation is the pastime of my generation I feel. We use it as humor and to cover up the very real insecurities that we all have about ourselves: physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.

This month, along with the other hosts and some fantastic audience members, we headed to Chicago’s Pride Parade. For those of you who have not witnessed the parade or the atmosphere, it is a spectacle of some great parts of humanity and progress. The sun was shining, and the air was thick with pride– truly. People were walk the sidewalks and streets with their heads held high and beaming with some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. With little thought I felt my mood improve and a smile begin a long tenure on my face. It was so striking an powerful to me seeing so many people, so different and varied, but united with a common idea and bursting with respect and pride for all humans, most importantly themselves.

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As we stood on a sidewalk, we saw people of all shapes and sizes, genders, sexualities pass us by our little banner, some curious, and a few suspicious. Despite their evident self love, many were quite hesitant to come up to our “Complimentary Compliments” banner. As they came closer, we explained that all they needed to do was take a compliment–rip it off and go on their merry way. We yelled out compliments as well, “Amazing hair”, “Baller style!” “Sweet Shoes!”. The more I thought about our banner, the more I realized it was genius.

Many of us are awful at taking compliments. We don’t know what to say, and for many of us, that self deprecating side of us wants to tell our complimenter that they are dead wrong, but that’s just silly and rude. WE (myself very much included) need to take compliments and trust our admirers. They have valid opinions. Take the compliment and continue through life, give more out, take yours as graciously as possible. Trust is key and preconceived notions about anything or any person is useless.

I walked away from the parade wanting to continue complimenting the humans I see in everyday life even more than usual (which can be a little awkward, I think people think I am constantly hitting on them!). I have even been a little aggressive with strangers about how beautiful they are or smart or daring, but I like it. It’s passionate, and it’s caring, and much of the time, even if someone takes a compliment poorly, keep trying, they just aren’t used to it quite yet, and letting people know that they’re awesome is never a bad choice.

I’m going to try and be more like the people I saw at the parade. Proud, brave, united, happy, and open to love, compliments, criticism, and change. Taking a compliment is easy, giving one is even easier.  More PRIDE and less PREJUDICE.

We encourage you to come share your stories at the live show! If you post a story about the task in the comments here, you get into the show for free.

A Month Of
Stage 773 1225 W. Belmont
Wed 7:30-10:00
$10 free with a posted story or shared dish

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