Have you ever been in a conversation where you say something so innocent, so non-confrontational that you are thinking of high-fiving yourself for your awesome conversation skills, only to be brought down moments later by the one person who just had to “go there”?
And so have you.
We have all come into contact with this person. We have all rolled our eyes, held our tongues, and utilized stress balls as a direct result of this person.
So who is this person?
It’s the One-Upper.
Sound familiar? Sure it does. This is the person who, upon hearing that you think it’s hot outside, immediately says, “You think THIS is hot?? I used to live inside a volcano. You don’t know hot until you’ve lived inside a volcano.”
Oh. Em. Gee. That makes me want to pull my hair out.
Or how about this one: Do you ever complain about something to a friend, only to have him or her say, “That’s terrible! That’s almost as bad as the time I was attacked by a rabid mutant squirrel and lost all of my limbs.” Dude. I am just looking for a little support, here. Sorry about your limbs, though.
Here’s the thing: When I say it’s hot outside, or rainy, or silly, or rainbow-y, I am not throwing down the one-up gauntlet. Really. It is not a challenge. It is not a judgment. It is not a hat. I like hats. I wish it was a hat. It isn’t me accusing you of being a moron because you clearly don’t understand your surroundings.
I am just making a freaking observation.
Now, there are times when the One-Upper’s attitude can be useful. For instance, if a smarmy butt-face that you know says something like, “I beat all the levels of Mario Kart in two hours” and then smirks at you, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “Oh, really? Took you that long? I did it in ONE HOUR” and then walk away in slo-mo to the rock song of your choosing.
But in general, regular, everyday conversation, no. Just no. And this includes all your basic social media, texting, smoke signals, etc. It’s hard to resist, I know. When you see someone on Facebook complain about how hard math class is when you’ve just had a baby, or run a marathon with one leg, or fought off a manic zebra with only your wits and your trusty jackknife on you while simultaneously reciting the pledge to the flag because you are that dedicated to being an American AND you save a Girl Scout Troop from certain zebra death, it is hard not to write something, anything, to talk about your day and subsequent awesomeness.
That’s why you have your own Facebook/MySpace/Xanga/Word Document. Highlight your glories there. Don’t go deflate some college kid who has no idea what life is really about.
You don’t want to be the One-Upper, anyway. In person it’s annoying, but over texting or Facebook you just sound sad. And then people shake their heads and say things like, “Poor Susie. Still obsessed with her volcano. We’ll pray for her. Bless her heart.”
Listen to Kristen. She knows
more than you things.