by Beth Castania 25 days ago in friendship

Definitions: being in a position of advantage; having a psychological advantage over someone (source:


Have you ever told someone a story about your day or just been venting, only to have them one-up you with the "oh yeah, well, what happened to me was way better or conversely, way worse?" It always seems that whatever the case, however it happened to them was more significant in some way than whatever happened to you. That, my friends is always the case with the 'one-upper'. It's as if the stories are somehow in competition with one another, or maybe somehow you both are, unknowingly? I'm sure we all have at least one in every group of friends. Whatever the story, theirs was bigger, better, faster, stronger, something to make it just somehow more than whatever yours was so that they stand out for either better, or worse. If you had a good day, theirs was better. On the flip side, if you had a lousy day, theirs was the worst day ever. They cannot seem to just listen to you talk without making sure theirs was somehow over the top.

Now, I have a Bachelors degree with a minor in behavioral studies, and I can't for the life of me figure these people out. Yes, I actually have more than one friend like this. Yes, this person does this to me all the time. I find it extremely frustrating to talk to them, because every time I do, it feels like they're not even listening to me, but rather planning out which story they are going to tell me to make sure I know how their day was either better or worse than mine, or whatever we happen to be discussing. It just feels exhausting to try talking to someone who makes you feel like you end up in a competition every time you open your mouth. Especially, when you're supposed to be friends.

It never matters what type of story it happens to be either. Everything from the normal, 'hey, how's your day' type of story to the reminiscing about childhood type things seems to become a competition about whose was better, worse, funnier, or otherwise. It really does make my head hurt trying to figure it all out.

I kind of see it as a way of putting another person down, subtly. Not so much in an open way, but a slight on the other person to boost the other person's ego. Granted, that is just my opinion. We all know what they say about opinions and how they all stink, so I don't need to hear that. However, it does seem to be a subtle way of 'I'm better/worse off than you' even though it really should not be a competition. When did having a friendly chat turn into that anyway? Sometimes I wonder if they even realize that they're doing it. Even more so, how do you go about pointing it out to them without coming across like a complete bitch? Sometimes, I wonder if it comes from having siblings? But, I also have a sister, a younger sister, and we don't talk to each other this way. So, maybe it's just a family or a relational thing?

Whatever the case, I am way over it. I don't think that every sharing of events needs to be a competition. If I wanted to compete, at my age, I would still play adult sports in some league somewhere. There are plenty of them. We, as women spend more than enough time finding ways to rip each other apart without doing so in simple conversations, needlessly. We should be building each other up instead.

How does it work?
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