One Word Suggestion: Insults

The truth is, putting other people down will not make you look better. In fact, putting other people down only makes you look worse.

Welcome to One Word Suggestion

Hosted by: Eran Thomson
This week's word is: Insults

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Thanks for checking out the show notes.

This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it.

The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one word suggestion, and there's no reason it shouldn't come from you.

As long as its not "dildo."

So give us your best, and in the meantime, thanks for listening.

Hey welcome to One Word Suggestion,

I’m your host Eran Thomson and this week’s word is… Insults.
Welcome to the podcast, for those of you who don’t already know, every week I take one word, suggested by you, and use it as a leaping off point to explore the benefits of improv as they relate to life on and off the stage.
This week’s word, “insults” was suggested by Roberto and you know what? Insults is a stupid word and Roberto must be a total moron!
I’m kidding, (Sorry Roberto, you’re not a moron) but I am surprised by this suggestion because as far as I’m concerned, with the exception of comedy roasts, which are done from a place of love and respect, there’s no need for insults in improv, or anywhere else. 
The truth is, putting other people down will not make you look better. In fact, putting other people down only makes you look worse.
Now I might be super biased because when I was a kid I received more than my fair share of insults. This was because I had what some considered to be a girl’s name, and because my parents moved around a lot and I was always the new kid at school.
Two things helped me get through it. One - the girls liked me. And, two - humour 
These days I love a good burn as much as the next guy - especially when I’m at the pub with my mates. But there’s no place for insults in business, or on stage. Or in the audience, I’m talking to you hecklers! 
So if you find yourself being insulted by someone, my advice is to cut that person out of your life (or edit the scene) and move on. 
Some improv teachers I’ve interviewed say insults are OK on stage, as long as they’re part of a character’s world view. And I do appreciate where they’re coming from. 
However, at LMA we teach our students to always strive to make their teammates look good - on stage and at work - because when they make their teammates look good, they look good. And we’ve found insults don’t typically play a role in that.
One thing I will say is that improv teaches you how to think fast on your feet, so with training, you’ll always be quick with a comeback. And you'll be less likely to walk away thinking about what you should have said. You’ll have said it! But usually, that’s a lose/lose situation no matter how good a retort you come up with.
The real secret is to never accept an insult in the first place. 
There’s a story about Buddha, who is well known for his ability to respond to evil with good, and in the story he is being repeatedly insulted by some guy, and finally Buddha turns around and says, “If someone gives you a gift and you don’t accept it, who has the gift?”
Or as I put it, “I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me, and sticks to you.”
So that’s my take on insults. Thanks for the great (not stupid) suggestion, Roberto.
If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments. I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz. 
And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team. 
You can learn all about LMA’s programs at
Thanks for listening! 
The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. 
I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.

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