Make Loud Noises
The only 100% effective way to survive compliments is to avoid them entirely. If you see a complimenter approaching, try scaring them away with loud noises. Bang pots and pans, yell, or fondly talk about the Joe Rogan Podcast.
Option: For extra protection shout your opinion of Joe’s opinion of Trump’s opinion of Kamala Harris.
No amount of preparation can prevent all compliments. As you realize you’re being told “that is a nice denim jacket!” you will freeze, your muscles will tighten, and your body will betray you with an audible fart. What you need to do is relax and remember the complimenter is just as afraid of you as you are of them.
Deflect The Compliment
As a byproduct of evolution, once the complimenter finishes complimenting, you will instinctively blurt out, “You too!” Afterward, you need to assess the situation. Are they also wearing a denim jacket? Yes. Phew! Is the denim jacket nice? No. Uh oh! Now you need to follow up by saying something quick: “I mean, maybe you have a nicer denim jacket at home?” Nice try!
Once the compliment attack has taken place, get out of the conversation as quickly as possible but running away won’t work. Complimenters are often as fast as the complimentees. Plus, the worst-case scenario is they are impressed with your speed and compliment your agility. Thus, beginning the whole complimenting cycle again. The easiest way to remove yourself from a complimenter is to fake a call for help. Make a ringing sound with your voice and pretend to answer your phone. The complimenter will either fall for this sound or begin to think you may be mentally unstable. Either way, you’ll successfully avoid another compliment.
Become An Insomniac
As a response to the stress, you will lie awake at night and wonder, “is my denim jacket actually nice?” The answer is difficult to ascertain. On the one hand, it’s a new jacket! On the other, it’s a denim jacket. Is it possible the complimenter was being sarcastic?
Develop Existential Angst
What is a nice denim jacket? Is it a nice jacket or is it nice for being a denim jacket? What is nice? How do we measure niceness? Is there a god? Is god nice? Can we have a relationship with the one true god? If I thought the one true god had a nice denim jacket would I compliment them?
You haven’t slept for 2 and a half weeks and you’ve neglected your loved ones as you ceaselessly wonder if you’d compliment god’s denim jacket. It’s time to get the complimenter back. You may be a novice at plotting revenge but the easiest way to start is to rub your hands together in a steeple formation and maniacally shout-whisper “yes, yesss, yesssss”. Shortly you’ll have a lightbulb moment!
Enact Your Revenge
Stalk the complimenter for weeks to learn their habits. What’s their work schedule? Do they go to the gym? What are their top five favorite Sufjan Stevens songs? Once you have a psychological profile of your complimenter, casually approach them and say “nice shoe…”
Learn Self Defense Tactics
After you’ve been complimented once, you are naturally going to be anxious about being complimented again. Learning simple self-defense tactics is an easy way to build confidence for when you’re out on your own. The most effective tactic when someone is about to compliment you is to lie still and play dead.
Live As A Hermit In The Woods
Once you effectively fake your death, you can scurry off to the woods for a life of solitude without compliments. Be sure to learn to hunt, scavenge, and on the cold nights it’d be nice to have your denim jacket.
- About the Author
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Michael Caves is a stand up comic and writer originally from Iowa. His writing has appeared in Weekly Humorist, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, and others. In college he created his own major studying decision-making and the brain. That was a terrible decision.