General chatter - Why do people like to always top you?




Eliana
12-09-2010, 12:58 PM
I have a lot of stress going on right now...an unusual amount. Family life is not so great. I was lamenting this to a co-worker yesterday because, though I try to hide it, some of it blew up at work. So I laid it out on the table about my husband's depression. She proceeded to tell me all about her own depression. So while I was telling about how hard it is to go home and have to hear about my husband's depression ALL the time, she decided to use me as her sounding board too. My ears are filled! :dizzy: LOL!

It's like that with weight loss too. If you've lost 80, someone knows someone who's lost 100. And if you did it in a year, that someone else did it in 10 months. And if you mention calorie counting, I bet you get an earful that someone else did it faster and better with low carbing. :dizzy:

Sometimes a story just needs to stand on its own.


Lauren201
12-09-2010, 01:55 PM
I know how you feel. I hate it when people play who's life is worse.

goodforme
12-09-2010, 02:03 PM
I call it the one up game. I hate it, and I try to get out of it as much as possible. Sorry you're going through it. . .


beerab
12-09-2010, 02:12 PM
I think people try to make themselves relatable. And it sucks sometimes but at least they don't blow you off?

I told my coworker about the issues I'm facing with my husband's MS lately and it was nice to hear a kind word and a great suggestion (support group for people whose spouses have MS- as smart as I am I never thought about it).

Ashley777
12-09-2010, 02:14 PM
I have to say thank you for your original post here. I have to admit when talking to people and they share a story I may share a similar story but my intent is in no way to top them but to in some way say hey I have been thru a similar thing and understand what you are going thru.
I even did that on this site the other day when someone shared about thier stepdaughter and some issues she was having. I went on to share about my own stepdaughter and some issues I had that almost destroyed me. I in no way meant to one up them and if in any way I did that to NP I do apologize. I only meant to vent my ownself (as I still have some issues left over) and in some way encourage and say hey I understand it can be tough.
I will in the future be more mindful of my words and more careful to listen and encourage properly when someone shares something.

Eliana
12-09-2010, 02:18 PM
I have to say thank you for your original post here. I have to admit when talking to people and they share a story I may share a similar story but my intent is in no way to top them but to in some way say hey I have been thru a similar thing and understand what you are going thru.
I even did that on this site the other day when someone shared about thier stepdaughter and some issues she was having. I went on to share about my own stepdaughter and some issues I had that almost destroyed me. I in no way meant to one up them and if in any way I did that to NP I do apologize. I only meant to vent my ownself (as I still have some issues left over) and in some way encourage and say hey I understand it can be tough.
I will in the future be more mindful of my words and more careful to listen and encourage properly when someone shares something.

Honestly, I'm guilty of this too. ;) I think we all are. I sometimes catch myself and think, wow, I just one-upped that person. I never mean to, and I know my co-worker didn't either. I'm sure you didn't mean to do it. For that matter, sometimes it's fine and it shows a sympathetic ear. Sometimes it's nice to hear that someone else is in a similar boat...that you're not alone.

I don't mean that we should never relate in that way. It's often quite appropriate.

I guess when someone is lamenting that she's worn out, really worn out, by living a depression that isn't even hers...laying on more depression probably isn't the wisest form of support.

goodforme
12-09-2010, 02:22 PM
I try to commiserate (I think I spelled that wrong) with people, sharing similar stories to let them know that I'm on the same wavelength with them, I understand what they are saying, and that they are not alone. But, I try very VERY hard not to make it sound like I did it first, faster, better, or 100 times worse than what they are sharing with me.

A prime example, my friend has 3 children, I have 2 children. Our oldest 2 are close in age, and she has an infant. When she calls me crying (sometimes literally) in frustration and anger, I try to commiserate with her. She always always ALWAYS says, "Just imagine how you would feel if you had 3 instead of 2" or "imagine holding the 2 year old and leaving the infant crying on the floor" or something along those lines. As if whatever happens to her is worse than whatever happens to me because she has one extra kid.

Anyway, maybe OP's friend was trying to be helpful and didn't realize she was going the extra mile.

Harsdottir
12-09-2010, 02:29 PM
I have a lot of stress going on right now...an unusual amount. Family life is not so great. I was lamenting this to a co-worker yesterday because, though I try to hide it, some of it blew up at work. So I laid it out on the table about my husband's depression. She proceeded to tell me all about her own depression. So while I was telling about how hard it is to go home and have to hear about my husband's depression ALL the time, she decided to use me as her sounding board too. My ears are filled! :dizzy: LOL!

It's like that with weight loss too. If you've lost 80, someone knows someone who's lost 100. And if you did it in a year, that someone else did it in 10 months. And if you mention calorie counting, I bet you get an earful that someone else did it faster and better with low carbing. :dizzy:

Sometimes a story just needs to stand on its own.


Yes. I agree totally. This is going to sound strange, but therapy was one venue I used to be able to talk without someone "topping me".

Do you have any friends who don't engage in that? If I were you I would start prioritizing my time so that I spent it with the friends who don't engage in the "topping" behavior.
Its very hard to find people who don't automatically do things like that, but its worth the effort.

Next time she does that, maybe you might say something like: Wow your life is so much worse than mine, I feel sorry for you, and see what she says:p:p

Clydegirl
12-09-2010, 02:36 PM
The worst one is childbirth.

Someone always has a worse childbirth story than what you went through.

ddc
12-09-2010, 03:21 PM
That's why I don't talk to people about my personal stuff.

Maybe that's the only way they can relate though. By sharing their experience.
But, I have noticed that alot of people would rather talk about themselves than listen to another persons problems.

tytbody
12-09-2010, 04:58 PM
They are not very good communicators. People always want to talk about themselves. But when it's time for someone else, it's there time. Like it's your time now. Is it okay to say I know someone just like what you are talking about. lol.

I'm not trying to one up you but just want to say, I have been in the company of such a person as you described. I don't know why they do it. So but i think they like to be the lead or something, the know it all. Done it all, heard it all.

BarristerGirl
12-09-2010, 05:42 PM
I think its natural for people to communicate via comparison... to make themselves relateable, to offer advice, etc. As you can see, almost everyone has responded with a similar story/anecdote, but i think most of us can tell that no one here is trying to maliciously one up you. I notice I do it sometimes too (and I'm doing it now :o), but I've gotten better at consciously stopping myself and asking whether the person I'm talking to needs someone to vent to or is genuinely asking for help. Sometimes the conversation is more natural, less stagnant, and spicier when each person is adding something rather than waiting for the other to finish to politely ask questions.

Where it gets annoying is when the person literally cannot respond to anything you say without making it about them. I had a "friend" like that in college, and at some point I would just stop responding and let her have a conversation with herself. Eventually she got the hint, and we're no longer friends. (Although she does try to facebook chat me occasionally, to ask me how I'm doing, and when I respond? She tries to one up me. Some people never change.) I think perpetual "one uppers" are socially awkward, very insecure, or painfully self absorbed...probably usually a combination of all three.

goal4agirl
12-09-2010, 08:00 PM
:yes: Yep! I really am trying to be a better listener. I've noticed that older people are really bad about not listening. I guess it is because they have experienced so much and want us to benefit from their experience. But sometimes we just need someone to talk to and listen don't we!? :rolleyes:

VermontMom
12-09-2010, 08:12 PM
I agree with all the posters! It is a rare find to have someone who you can trust will just listen and give you sympathy. I finally had to stop trying to get commiseration from people when I told of my husband's motorcycle accident. No one would tell me what I wanted to hear so I just stopped.

SO Eliana, please feel free to pop in the Depression section here, a bunch of us would give you sympathy and support :hug:



Next time she does that, maybe you might say something like: Wow your life is so much worse than mine, I feel sorry for you, and see what she says:p:p

:rofl: I have done that, and it is SO effective :p When they think that you're a witch for saying it, it can be blamed on all the problems that are saddling us :devil:

Ciao
12-09-2010, 09:39 PM
http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Photography/divider-2.jpg
I had a friend like that. In 8th
grade I sprung my hip during track
conditioning. I was out the rest
of the season. He would ALWAYS
tell me about how he was able to
run 5 miles without stopping.

He's still a jerk to this day.
http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Photography/divider-2.jpg

jess jp
12-10-2010, 02:24 AM
I think its natural for people to communicate via comparison... to make themselves relateable, to offer advice, etc. As you can see, almost everyone has responded with a similar story/anecdote, but i think most of us can tell that no one here is trying to maliciously one up you.
This! almost everyone who responded did the same thing to help you realize you are not alone-it happens to them too, ect. i am guilty of this. in no way though am i ever trying to one up anybody. it's more like, 'yes, i completely understand that feeling, isn't it horrible/exciting/ect?'
with that said i think everyone of us has had someone who truly does want and try to one up and is not doing it UNintentionally. and that's just dumb.:p

tytbody
12-10-2010, 10:07 AM
Sometimes its how we relate to the deep feeling the other person is having. Sme conversations warrant you telling the other person that " I get it "

But that pregnancy one, wholly Molly Andy, I hate those conversations with a passion. I walk out of the room or to do something.

spixiet
12-10-2010, 08:27 PM
I had a college roommate who was particularly bad about doing this for absolutely everything (and not to commiserate, sorry to say). One time, after telling her about a particularly bad day, she started to come back with her story about what a horrible day she had...and I totally interrupted her, said "No, I WIN!" and walked out of the room...she didn't do it quite as frequently after that :)

losermom
12-11-2010, 10:12 AM
I recently tried to reconnect with an old friend. We had kind of drifted apart over the years and hadn't spoken in probably 10 years. She lives 1.5 hours away from me. The last time we spoke (10 years ago) I realized that she was a total one-upper about her kids--they are truly "perfect" children, especially her eldest, a son, who is the same age as my DS15.

I contacted her by email and her response floored me. Her kids are STILL PERFECT! My kids never were, and still are not, perfect. My point and I do have one is that this "friend" still has perfect kids and mine will never measure up. I thought that perhaps she had grown in the past 10 years. I was wrong.

ETA: Sorry if I came off as a one-upper myself. It was not my intention. I truly understand how loathsome it can be if you just want someone to listen.

astrophe
12-11-2010, 11:29 AM
Sorry to hear that.

I don't know her reasons for one upping you -- perhaps she was trying to relate. Or perhaps she's lonely and doesn't have enough listeners in her life?

Whatever it is... in my own life I've learned to state what I want up front. "I need a friendly ear who isn't going to judge or ..."

Or ask what is needed, "I hear you say ____. How do you need me to be? Like just an ear to listen or a sounding board or...."

Just my 2 cents.

A.

milmin2043
12-11-2010, 01:42 PM
Has anyone ever seen the skits on Saturday Night Live with Penelope the one-upper? Hilarious. Whenever I am talking to someone who habitually has to one-up, I think of Penelope and it instantly takes me away from being angry about it and into being funny. :)