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the-practical_cat t1_jacuq3k wrote

Ignore them. They're just looking for attention, and they're jealous that you're getting some.

Before we went no contact with my in-laws, I used to enjoy telling them, "Well, that's nice, but right now it's (insert name's) time to shine," in a school-teacher-talking-to-bratty-toddlers tone of voice, and then immediately turn away from them. This only works in public, and it'll earn you hell once they get you alone, but its worth it to watch them react to being treated like a spoiled child.


Bryan_Mills2020 t1_jacnvap wrote

I would eliminate a toxic person like that from my life.


Quiverjones t1_jadfggo wrote

Actually, there's a better way. 1 /\ here. Most happiness is from finding that you must look within to find true enjoyment from the success from your achievements.


I_Want_In_Too t1_jad0yt2 wrote

They are trying *more to be your friend and you treat them as toxic and then abandon them? Hmm. I’d try talking to them about it first. Tell them you don’t appreciate them one upping all your stories.


the_original_Retro t1_jadcl10 wrote

This isn't someone trying "more" to be your friend". Dunno how you possibly spun that out of it.

This is someone that's either insecure, hyper-competitive, or a narcissist, and they think they have to beat you rather than support you.

Friends congratulate each other on their successes. Sure there might be some joshing or occasional trash-talking involved, but at their heart, if they're not toxic, they're HAPPY for you. They're not trying to outclass you unless they have problems of their own.


I_Want_In_Too t1_jadna2d wrote

You make great points. All I can think is, “it depends”. This is coming from a person that cuts people out of their life routinely. I don’t have time for negative people - but I do have a little time to help them. Maybe out of guilt from my past decisions.


jonandgrey t1_jacmlwg wrote

If that happens to me, I'll usually say, "Don't be that guy." And they'll ask what I mean & I can tell them not to be the guy who one-ups stories. That usually educates them & shuts them down.


adcThresh t1_jad1527 wrote

This is the perfect response. Helpful, not rude, to the point.


lesterfazwazzle t1_jaddasm wrote

I’d love to see more useful responses.

Just saying “cut them for your life” or “ignore them” or “<insert snide comment>” might work for some situations but I’d love a potential strategy for people such as work teammates, carpool buddies, relatives… for whom it’d be great to maintain/develop an actual productive relationship


lilmuskrat66 t1_jads4zv wrote

I mean the only other option is talk to them about it like adults should. Outside of that, you can't control their behavior.


TA_post_comment t1_jadlm20 wrote

I have a boss who does this. Even in situations where it’s not truly possible to one up, he still makes a huge effort. I’ve ignored it up to this point, but it really is aggravating. It doesn’t give me any opportunity in any situation to express any professional ideas or input in meetings, because he never allows for that in the conversations. It doesn’t even give me the opportunity to share what I’ve accomplished as part of team meetings where there is that stated expectation.


DingoFrisky t1_jad4nlb wrote

I really only focus on people who try to two-up me. It's silly you're worried about the one-uppers.

But seriously, I've had success just bringing them into the tent with you (if it's not a crazy toxic level or you can't cut them out). If you went on a hike but they went on a harder one...celebrate that you both like hiking! Most people doing that behavior are insecure about themselves, so help them feel secure and they'll not feel the need to do it (hopefully)


bretty666 t1_jad4tt2 wrote

tell them you went to tenessee, then ask if they went to elevenessee seeing as they one up everything, teneriffe and eleveneriffe works too, more so in europe.


StrangerThanWhat t1_jadbs88 wrote

Or, if you did ten years in Leavenworth, they'll say they did eleven years in Twelveworth.


throowaawayyyy t1_jadj322 wrote

Sometimes what feels like an attempted one-up is really just someone trying to find common ground and encouragement. Of course you're the judge, but just make sure your own insecurity isn't distorting your view of the world.


Favoniuz7 t1_jadikjq wrote

Talk to them privately, and ask why they're doing that. I forgot where, but I've read that sometimes people do unconsciously do that because they want to connect by sharing a similar experience. They may not notice what they're doing and not realize how that makes you feel.

If they still do it after, call them out in public there and then. You already did your part by being thoughtful and speaking in private. No need to keep that up if they still do it.


dctucker t1_jae9z90 wrote

Having been on the receiving side of being called out publicly, do this. Maybe do it gently and without malice, since the person may not realize that they're actually one-upping you with what they're saying. If they're anything like me they'll be a bit embarrassed, apologize, and try to correct their behavior going forward.


Favoniuz7 t1_jaedmh9 wrote

Yes, I agree. Maybe just reiterate what OP said in private. Without making a big scene, saying something like "Hey, you're doing that thing again where you're making it seem like you're one upping me, and you're making me feel diminished." There's really nothing to say to that, depending on their reaction, it'll show you whether to cut this person off or not


sparkj t1_jacu8wu wrote

You don't need to respond


Athlete-Extreme t1_jaf3xim wrote

Pretty sure this is a law of power. Nearly a superpower after a while.


JeromeMixTape t1_jad3b36 wrote

Just let it go. Some people don’t know they do it. Other people could be just trying to relate to you. There’s very few people who really do try to one up you because those guys are the ones that think life is a competition and are insecure. So express yourself and expect nothing in return. Just be the stronger person.


Tvmouth t1_jacte6p wrote

Stop talking about yourself. Add nothing to respond to in that way. You do not need validation for what you do, just get it done and be at liberty with your achieved goals. Personal satisfaction doesn't come from climbing over the faces of our peers, like that guy. Nobody likes that guy.


Sauerteig t1_jacvcn7 wrote

"Stop talking about yourself". I'm just curious if someone is happy about an accomplishment they just had/made and they have to not mention it because why? Like "I got a promotion at work today!" to their friends? Or "I bought a house finally!". Are you saying people should not share their victories in life because of "one uppers"? Personally I'm happy to share joy with people, and happy to hear their happiness!. But can't if they never share their happiness. Your post seem to say folks should just shut up about anything they are proud of. That's not the same as a one upper at all.


Tvmouth t1_jaddrnw wrote

Maybe I misunderstood, this is not a workplace issue where you have no control over the proximity to people that constantly require validation? People you choose to be around will have their own liberties, by all means, share your life in a way that isn't toxic, with people who aren't toxic. Duh? Are you 12 and still enslaved to family culture? Small Town mentality types blocking you into a defensive corner about your value to a small portion of the world population? Sorry if I misunderstood.


Substantial_Act3036 t1_jad18cl wrote

Don’t include that person in your achievements. They’ll hear it from someone else and be unable to counter it with pettiness.


caroudella t1_jadaavo wrote

“Look what you can do.”

Leave it there and and don’t engage further on the convo. Works every time.


famous_shaymus t1_jadks4k wrote

When I was younger, I was the one-upper, so here’s what hurt me: don’t give them the satisfaction of verbal/expressive-validation; apathy on the face of an audience cuts deep. Better yet, if they start their one-up story, don’t let them finish it — show them you are so uninterested in their antics that you’re distracted by something minute happening elsewhere.

Most importantly, if you are close to someone who is a one-upper, just tell them. Their future friendships and and relationships will thank you.


vqd6226 t1_jaco79z wrote

Let it go. It’s more about them then you.


redditfromnowhere t1_jadaas5 wrote

As a person who unintentionally does this habitually, I can say sometimes it’s not the intent of the re-speaker to “one-up” but to try to share in the positive environment being created in front of them.

I find myself in situations where no one asks me for my achievements or goals reached - a lot - and I unconsciously compensate for lack of asking by overly telling when (perceivably) we’re now sharing achievements.


FoldedaMillionTimes t1_jadpb5l wrote

>I find myself in situations where no one asks me for my achievements or goals reached

Buddy, most people never get asked that sort of thing.


spydersens t1_jadw719 wrote

''You never cease to amaze me.''


MASTERMINDBOMB t1_jad9nbb wrote

Do you live in a mutual combat state? Challenge them to a duel.

End this petty contest you didn't sign up for.


Dangercakes13 t1_jadjdn0 wrote

Since I usually have a portfolio or some similar notebook with me and I know the people who act like this; I just keep scribbling stuff in my thing and act like I wasn't listening or maybe passively listening, so then I can just be like "I'm sorry, what was that?"

If you make jerks repeat something out loud it throws off their rhythm. If they bother to repeat it, then you can just say "oh ok, cool" and turn back to your scribbles.


LuvCilantro t1_jaeeque wrote

I've said something like 'OK, you win. Happy?'. If they respond that it's not a competition, tell them it felt like one.

or respond with

Of course you did, I didn't want to insinuate that my achievements were equal to yours.


lesterfazwazzle t1_jads4sh wrote

I wonder if this could work: Think of someone else in your life who does this to you. (One-upper #1)

Then vaguely tell one-upper #2 about your struggle with one-upper #1. Then ask #2 how they would deal with #1.

Would this give #2 a chance to hear how this behavior can affect the listener, without putting them on the spot or embarrassing them? And maybe initiate some self-reflection?


Annie_030_ t1_jaduyii wrote

I present: blunt dutch responses


"Okay, but it isn't always about you, is it?"

  • Very sarcastically * "wooooow that's amazing!" You're kidding!"

What you can also do, which doesn't escalate the situation as much but what would make you always stand above the other person is just asking why they say that and how that hurts you. Something like "I notice you always talk over me when I try to say something, and it makes me feel a bit shitty. Why do you do that?/do you notice you are doing that?"

This way people instantly feel bad and it's still possible to talk about it in a normal tone.


ConvenienceStoreDiet t1_jadxqf6 wrote

You have how you feel to things and a stimulus that makes you feel things.

But you also have a choice. You know the pattern. This gives you a choice.

Remember when you first learned to ride a bike and how scary it was. Now remember what it's like now after you've done it a thousand times. It doesn't have to be scary every single time. Bike doesn't have to equal scary. You can certainly choose to make it scary. You can choose to go back to that time when it was scary. Remember all the ways it made you feel. Think and ruminate obsessively over the dangers. And talk yourself into being terrified of bikes.

Or, you can jump on and not give a shit and just ride that bike. Then you can play and do wheelies and go all over your neighborhood.

It's similar with a lot of feelings. Not every single feeling and every single experience. But for a lot of things you do have a choice. I kind of feel like crying from happiness every time I eat french fries. I don't. But I can certainly choose not to let it hit me like that because I'm in public or at the library or in a restroom eating french fries. And people don't need to see me be a sappy mess.

If you're like, "I made a good pizza last night" and your friend is like, "I got a handjob from Gordon Ramsey while he fed me pizza and gave me his recipe book and I made Wolfgang Puck cry from my awesome cooking" and everyone starts paying attention to him, then good. You got what you wanted. You shared your opinion. You know your friend is going to do that. They want or need attention or validation or may be going through their own shit or may just not know how to communicate and have ADHD or autism and is infodumping or is socially awkward or who knows. But that's how they act. Every. Single. Time.

So now you have a choice of how you choose to take it in. You can go in being afraid of that interaction, or disappointed by that action, or let yourself get hit by that action. But you know it's coming. Or, you can let it be something you're having fun with. It's hilarious. Keep a score card. Mess with him back. "I got a pizza." "I got an HJ from Gordon." "Oh, was that your first time?" Or just laugh it off. Because you know it's coming. I have that with friends sometimes when they do their silly things.

In improv, the term is called "Classic Jerry." Jerry is going to do the Jerry thing every time like fart when he's nervous or scream "boner" really loud when asked to do a math problem. Classic Jerry. Jerry is the weird one. And in the scene we're the one who gets laughs because we allow ourselves to fall for it and be led around by Jerry every single time. We, in turn, become the fools by being Jerry's companion. And it's comedy all around. In real life, we remove ourselves from those Jerry's if they're really irritating. Or, we surround ourselves with them and appreciate them in all their Jerryness and laugh at ourselves for putting ourselves next to Jerry. Kind of like how Tommy Wiseau is a maniac, but Greg Sestero has a sense of humor working with him because he knows what he's getting into and he knows it's his choice.

Most people when they one up you generally aren't thinking about you. In fact, most people are just not thinking about you in general. They're probably just excited to talk about whatever and be a part of the conversation and not feel excluded and share and that's what they do. They're not actively trying to diminish your accomplishments or even framing it like that in their heads. If they are, have a serious talk with them, but most people I know who do that are just trying to be included because they may not feel as valuable. So you can have some compassion and grace for that and help them feel that and use that moment not to take it as hurt, but to see an opportunity to help someone who needs to be heard. With awareness, you have a choice.

Also, some people don't have to be the people you share things with or get your validation from. Find those friends who are good at that. Not every friend or colleague or coworker is a one-size-fits-all. People can bring different things to you and if you find they're not giving you something you might like from them, then you know they're not going to be the one to give it to you. He's the "one upsmanship" guy. Your other buddy is the "listen, mirror, empathize, validate" guy. Your other buddy is the "let's go bungee jumping and bro out but not get too deep" guy. Not everyone can be a catch all for everything, even our spouses or significant others. Find your friend who is there to listen to your accomplishments or be that person for yourself. And next time you run into one-upsmanship guy, just wait for it to happen and make a funny sound in your head. Maybe that party horn sound. And it'll be awesome every time you hear it.


FloorSweets t1_jaeifur wrote

Say "its not a competition", or tell them, sincerely or otherwise, that "in life, when someone mentions an achievement, its common courtesy to not immediately talk about yourself". Make them look socially mal-adjusted and they may realise that the attention they get from their one-upping is not of admiration, but of mild disgust.


gurddon t1_jaevflu wrote

Agree with them immediately and every time without fail that their problems are far worse and accomplishments unquestionably more superior. Have tried and often highlights the ridiculousness of the situation.

Edit: spelling


sudsymugs t1_jaexv54 wrote

I have a coworker who does this and I’ve found saying ‘oh neat…’ is the perfect response. It’s positive, but only slightly. And if you use it repetitively it will become very obvious you don’t give a shit, but you’ll never get called on it.

I had a great weekend. I hung out with a friend and we went out to dinner.

Oh cool. Yeah I got out all the time. This weekend I went to this crazy place that’s super hard to get into. We got right in. It was awesome.


Works every time


keepthetips t1_jacmamv wrote

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macph t1_jad7jni wrote

I suggest a direct approach as a question: "how do you think I feel when you say that?" or "why are you diminishing my accomplishments?"

I guess it depends a lot on circumstances but this has worked well for me if it's a friend.


Content-Leopard9472 t1_jad9nvm wrote

It can be difficult to know how to respond to people who try to one-up you. A good approach may be to focus on your own accomplishments and avoid comparing yourself to others. You can also be honest about how you feel and let them know that you don't appreciate their comments.


Towerman420 t1_jadd0cn wrote

Cut them out of your life. Those types of people only care about themselves


TheJoanne t1_jaddqql wrote

I don't understand how these people can do it constantly if they should go fuck themselves right after their first attempt.


Edigophubia t1_jadk155 wrote

Lots of variations on "just ignore it" here, but that's harder than it sounds. Chances are you are hoping for positive acknowledgement when sharing something you're excited about, only to be rejected by the one upper. There's nothing wrong with wanting to share things, but you do have to know your audience. If the person you are talking to is an asshole, keep your expectations low. Save that stuff for your cool nice friends with basic human decency who will make you feel good about yourself instead. It's also not the easiest thing to admit to yourself that someone you thought was your friend, turns out to need special distance because of immature tendencies.


dangelem t1_jadnmhl wrote

Just look at them blankly and go “oh” and move on to the next topic


Birdo3129 t1_jadwdk9 wrote

Establish and enforce boundaries.

My mom is the worst for one-upping. If you have a paper cut, she has arthritis in her spine. She’d also one-up with other peoples accomplishments- if you got 100%, someone else she knew got 105% with bonus marks. I went through childhood feeling like I wasn’t allowed to be hungry, cold, tired, scared, hurt, happy or proud of my self.

Now we barely talk. On the occasions that we do, I leave when she tries to one-up.


Wyush t1_jadwmjo wrote

Also: request on similar note. I've been called a one upper when I've been trying to connect, so its obviously a problem with how im saying things. How does one better hold a conversation with the current topic without coming off as talking about myself over them? I just want to be able to have friendly talks like a human lol.


BunInTheSun27 t1_jaeu3z6 wrote

Disclaimer: I am a late-bloomer socially, but I do generally like talking with people when not under attack from weird forms of social anxiety.

Something along the lines of acknowledging what they said first would help. I.e, “Oh cool, you went to Paris!“

Then, ask follow-up questions: “I’ve heard there’s great food in France. What was a favorite meal there?”

Acknowledge again: “A simple croissant at the Louvre? Sounds lovely.”

Question more if you’d like: “Did you get to do everything you hoped for?”

Acknowledging again: “Ah, Notre Dame was still under construction from the fire. I heard about that, what a shame.”

Tbh you can do this for as long as you’d like. It gets easier the more you do it. Of course there is the chance of coming off as a interviewer, which is why acknowledging what they said and sympathizing (meal at the Lourve = lovely, missed out on Notre Dame = a shame) are important. But people like talking about themselves generally, so it’s easier than you’d think.

It’s possible to hold an entire conversation without talking about oneself. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Leaving them to want more is ok! Wanting to connect is a human trait, it’s an honor to be the witness to someone else’s sharing. Your time to share will come, and with practice you might find that if they never ask you a direct question themselves, you can decide how much energy to give then. Does that make sense?


Longjumping-Yellow-8 t1_jae0zyg wrote

Those people don't have your best interest at heart and you should avoid them. Surround youself with people who do.


tombom666 t1_jae6u5n wrote

Ill one up them instead


nevreknowsbest t1_jae879x wrote

I would start by simply pointing out they’re doing it. They honestly may not realize they’re coming off douchey.

If it turns out they do know, time for them to kick rocks and for you to move on with your life without them, if possible.


yogert909 t1_jaeg9oi wrote

Unfriend. Block. Avoid.


Zestyclose_Tea_3111 t1_jaegd9w wrote

Challenge them.

Often they want to shut down all the lights on the street, so they are only with light.

For example you say:

You : I was successful today at x.

They : Thats nothing difficult, i did that x time lalala.

You : Why you are saying that? You are not happy with me? (change it to them)

Or tell them, well it is important for me and i wanted to share this with you because i care about you, you should try that as well.

Dont be scared, if they dont know about their behaviour challenge them so they learn. If they know it, challenge them again, because they diminish people which are okay with that. If you fight back they will understand.


Usmellnicebby t1_jaej24y wrote

I always get into fights with people like that so I don't even try to be friends with them.


VoiceOfWater t1_jaekp4q wrote

Use very neutral statements that don't acknowledge anything beyond that you heard what they said.


cabalavatar t1_jaelju4 wrote

It's a red flag. I know I'm done with this kind of repeated behaviour. Sure, if someone does this once or twice, maybe they were just excited. But if this person persists in such behaviour, I just stop interacting with them or telling them any news.


Competitive-Ad7847 t1_jaesxpe wrote

Acknowledge what they are doing when they do it, feel free to bring it up in a joking way. Publicly or privately, doesn't matter. Give them an out in the sense that you do not seem overly offended while still bringing the issue up. This sets the baseline for you to establish a "here goes Alex the one up King/queen" joke if they persist which is a deterrent in itself. If they get offended down the road, it just makes them look even less self aware... Jokingly and assertively acknowledging things immediately allows a great deal of control over your interactions.


Mike_Hagedorn t1_jaev13s wrote

Reply to everything they say with “wow!”, “good for you!”, and the like. Don’t initiate a topic or build on their last statement; let the air suck up whatever’s left.


GeoGoblin t1_jaexj2u wrote

It depends on the situation


PHOTOPHLYTE75 t1_jad9bp0 wrote

I just let them talk for a long time then say ,”oh. You said something?” You’ll never hear from them again. They want you to be astonished and dumbfounded. Like it’s so new and how come you didn’t achieve it. Those people actually have wayyy less than they even claim to have at bare minimum


Pudding_Hero t1_jad9f6h wrote

Don’t waste your time around them. Even if they’re your boss you don’t have to listen or enable that gross stuff. Just say “I don’t engage with childish behaviour”


UnlikelyComposer t1_jadhj35 wrote

Call them "two poos" as in "If I say I had a poo xxxx says they had two poos".

Or "Elevenerife" as in "I said I went to Tenerife so xxxx says they went to Elevenerife".