Thursday, June 21, 2012

i'm doing my best to kill the one-upper that lives inside my soul...

"Wow, these Target shopping carts are SO cool."

"Yeah, well I've been riding in these things since before you were born ."

The urban dictionary defines a "one upper" as this:
An annoying person who responds to hearing someone else’s experience or problem by immediately telling a similar story about themselves with a much more fantastic (or terrible) outcome.


A person who always has a better story. If you killed six goats, he or she killed 23. 


A person that "knows" about everything. This person has done everything you wish you had. If you saw it on television last night, he did it for a family vacation 2 years ago.


Of or relating to a person always trying to outdo or claim                                 that their experience was better without regard to whether it actually was better.

When I review and analyze conversations in my life, I always come to this conclusion:

I am a one upper.


But I don't do it on purpose!  I promise!  It's just that it's the only way I know how to "relate".  It's the way I empathize….to share bits of my life.  It’s how I add to a conversation. {It doesn't help that I have diarrhea of the mouth...I can't. shut. up. EVER.}

I have realized, more and more recently, that this is not the best way to relate to my fellow mankind.

People usually don’t care if you’ve done it.  When people tell a story, all they really want is to share what THEY went through.

People who are telling a story are expecting validation from the person(s) they are sharing it with...not that you did it better...or even at all.  

Pause with me a moment.

Talk a walk into your memory.  Look around for those moments when you felt someone really cared about you.  Like really cared.  What do you find?  I guarantee this person gave you responsive statements such as:

“Wow! That must have been fun for you!”
“Oh my.  That must have been so hard.”

They may have even followed up with some related questions.  And it seemed that they were seeking additional information about YOUR story {not yours...ahem...}.  Like they wanted to know everything and anything about you.  You probably thought they were incredibly nice and wonderful.

Questions and responsive statements are KEY in making people feeling like you care.  It's a KEY element in connecting with that person.

Are you a one-upper?

Still not sure?

Let me ask you this,
Do you walk away from conversations thinking, "gee.  I know nothing about them.  But I'm pretty sure they know everything about me..."?

Then, I'm afraid, my friend, that you most likely are a one-upper.

But don't worry...I'm totally a better one-upper than you are.
I've been one-upping since I was, like...born.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I might be guilty of this, too... Especially where birth stories are involved (did you know I was in the hospital less than an hour with my fourth) :)


Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown