Have you ever known anyone you are close to try to one up you all the time? These people, and I know a few, seem to do it without even realizing that they are pulling off the oneupmanship game on you. Most probably, they don’t realize it because it has become a habit for them.
You know, these are the people who say after you tell them you found a $5.00 bill on the street that they once found a twenty dollar bill! Or, that you have collected 200 baseball cards are excited about it until they tell you that they have 500 saved, and most are rookie cards.
Or, that they are better writer than you or a better listener, or a better talker or a better… you name it. Recently, in a conversation about architecture that was hundreds of years old, I said that I was amazed at the some of the churches in The Netherlands we saw in 2016 that were from the 13th century. Guess what? The churches they recently saw were older…from the 10th century! I knew it was coming. I just had to wait all of ten seconds for the “I’ll do you one better” phrase to be spoken.
I imagine one uppers to have been the people in high school that claimed their A was better than yours. Let’s face it, an A is an A. You know, they’d ask what’d you got on the exam and you’d reply, “I did well, I got a 95.”
And, then they tell you that they got a 97. Both A’s. What’s the deal?! Well, you were one-upped!
These are the people who have the largest collections, the best families, the smartest kids, the best kitchens, the biggest boats, caught the largest fish, etc., etc.. It really becomes hard to take.
I did some reading on how to deal with a one upper and the articles are linked below. Not surprisingly, one of the ways to deal with it is just stay away from this type of person. Duh! But, that’s easier said than done for most of us. Most of the articles state that it’s somewhat easier to deal with a one-upper if you understand what is causing them to do it. But, the causes seem to vary so there’s a lot of figure out there. Are they just naturally a braggart, a thunder-stealer, or is it really low self-esteem that causes them the need to one up you on everything? Or, are they super competitive and cannot bear to let anyone have the upper hand?
I delved into this because I’ve recently had trouble sharing a long awaited, hard fought, personal accomplishment with certain people. I cannot seem to get the words out. Maybe I’m just avoiding the inevitable by not sharing. I’m avoiding, the “you did that?” Well, I did this!”
And, if that’s the case, I think it’s okay to stay quiet. Sometimes things are left better unshared. Then, there is no chance to be one-upped!
How To Talk To A One-Upper Without Losing Your Damn Mind – Brittany Wong, 2021
Who is a One Upper and How to Shut Them Down – Kirti Bhati – 2022
On Saturday’s I’ve started a recurring series asking, “What’s up with that? This is today’s entry.