Sunday, June 13, 2010

The One-Upper Syndrome

     The moon rotates around the Earth and the Earth rotates around the Sun. That is the natural course of the Universe. If you have paid attention in your 6th grade geography class, the name Copernicus will ring a bell. This guy suggested a model of the Universe that was centred around the Sun. I kind of bought his story, until recently.
     Yeah. Nature has thrown me away from the natural course and put me in an orbit that runs around a certain person who is so full of herself, that 5 minutes with her and you will find yourself forcefully drawn into her world, which again, is full of herself. If you have had the good fortune ( use a pinch of sarcasm here) of bumping into someone who thinks the world about themselves and expects you to think so too, you will understand my plight by the time I end this post.
     Let us call her The Queen. Not because she is one, but because, if she ever stumbles across this mean blog, she will at least give me credit for giving her a fancy name :P Now Miss Queen is someone I HAVE to stumble into everyday. A typical conversation with her, as expected, begins with her and ends (if it ever does) with her.
    Even when we are stuck in a large group, she has what it takes to divert the conversation towards her. Sample this
Person 1: “ Bush kept talking about Osama bin Laden. And now all of a sudden, the guy is forgotten. No one talks about him anymore.Wonder what happened to that guy.”
     Before Person 2 can respond, Miss Queen almost gets hysterical trying to figure out what she can say to talk next without giving the other people a chance.There she goes!
Miss Queen : “ Oh Bin Laden. “I” hate that guy. “I” think he must have shaved his beard by now and wandered into the US again. Btw, you know what, “I” hate men with beards. Does’nt it itch ? Wonder how girls can stand them. “I” would dump a guy if he ever grew a beard.”
      And just like that Bin Laden vanishes into thin air and the conversation is lost in an overdose of HER opinion. Not that I would care. Because I generally turn a deaf ear to all that she says.But it does get to me sometimes. Especially when she gets into “one-upper” mode. If “one-upper” sounds new to you, here is how the urban dictionary describes it.
One-upper : 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.
Picture this :
Girl 1 ( talking about her weekend getaway) : My husband and I drove down to County Resorts for the weekend. It’s such an amazing place. We had a great time there.
Miss Queen :  Oh County Resorts? My grand dad has a membership there. We get a free vacation there every 6 months. But we choose not to go. Such a cheap place.
      How mean is that? I have half the mind to punch her nasty nose and break it into two. If only I could get away with it!
     One week with that woman and I knew there was no stopping her. I did try to be politely tolerant of her antics. When that dint work, I resorted to plainly ignoring her. That’s the worst way to treat a person. Ignoring them. But such people just ask for it. And I give them what they ask for.
     Miss Queen is only a recent example. There are many such glowing examples of interesting one-upper personalities from the past who are freakshows of the first order ! The worst kind of one-uppers are the negative one-uppers. The ones who want to stand first. Even if it means standing first on the loser scale :p I mean seriously, what do you do with such people?
      If you tell them you got a cavity filled, they will jump and say that they got a root canal operation done. If you say your neighbour got a nose job, their neighbour would have got a nose job AND a boob job . If your friend downed 3 tequila shots at the party, their friend would have downed 6. And if you broke your ankle on your biking trip, they would have broken their ankle, their hip and their neck :-| There is simply no end to their bragging!
       How do you handle such jerks? Some of my friends try reverse-snobbing, which is aimed at making the one-upper feel guilty. If she brags about an expensive dinner, you talk about the hunger in Uganda. So basically you just burst her bubble right into her face. But again, that would mean stooping down to her level. And I am not too keen on doing that.
       But I must admit, it is quite challenging to just sit there and tolerate such freakshows. So on the most recent onset of her bragging session, I put a brake to her enthusiastic onslaught and told her I was having a bad headache. “Uh-ho” she said and stopped for a few seconds. I thought my trick had worked. Only until she blurted out “ I had a bad headache in the bus today. I felt like I would faint if it continued”. Inspite of it’s inappropriateness , I could not hide my grin. I simply picked my coffee up and walked away as I guffawed like a crazy cow. She is just beyond repair! So now instead of banging my head into the wall each time she does that, I simply try and find humour in her situation. I can choose to either get peeved or I can simply choose to chuckle over her mental illness. I choose to do the latter. And I see that I can stand her better now :P
       I am sure you would have come across one-uppers too. Trying to mend them or trying to beat them in their own game is an absolute waste of precious energy. It’s like rolling in the mud with a pig. Not only will you get dirty, the pig will actually enjoy doing it. Why give them the pleasure ;)
      Here’s a chuckle for you. And I take leave with that :)
There were three women sitting around the table, talking and bragging.
The first beautiful, dressed lady said "My husband bought me a new mink coat and a trip to Europe. "
“Oh !Thats nice!”.The second lady replied.
Trying to out do her and one up her , the third lady said "my husband bought me a 5 carat diamond AND that mansion up on the hill, Oh, and a Rolls".
" Oh !Thats nice!”. The second lady said again.
Noticing that the second lady was so quiet, the other two prodded her.
Finally she said, " My husband sent me to etiquette school" .
“Oh really? “ The other two women said. "What did they teach you there?"
"Well, instead of saying “f--- you”, they taught me to say “ Oh! That’s nice"
 The other two shut up :-D
Have a great week ahead ! :)


  1. :)
    I sure have had the good luck of the company of these one upper syndrome folks.

    I totally agree with you. It is an insult to stoop down to their level. Ignoring them is by far the best possible thing to do .

  2. Looks like no one is an exception and everyone is a victim of these one-uppers ;)

  3. Nice read :) And yea the first degree cure to sucj poeple would be to ignore them, then to confront them and to laught at them would probably be the highest degree. Some people can go beyond that, and for theam, well "Oh That's nice" ;)

  4. LOL! The mean girl in me wants to do all that ;) thankfully I still have the patience to ignore them...If it goes out of hand, I will definitely have to resort to "Oh!That's nice" in a not-so-nice way :P

    Thanks for dropping by,Snehith! Glad you liked what you read :)

  5. i wanted to say ur blog is "oh so nice" before reading it completely.. :P

    but now i change my words to good writeup..neednt at all tolerate em.. :) the best thing would be to "ignore kar yaar..ignore kar"

    and yea..even if i want to, i will not say "oh so nice" coz i havent been to etiquette school nor i have a husband who would send me there.. :P :P

  6. Thanks Adi! "Oh so nice" of you for all the good things you had to say :P You may not have a husband who will send you to etiquette school, but what if you end up with a one-upper wife? :D You would be one "competitive" couple..LOL

  7. The one uppers are in the same category as the "know-it-alls" and I try to avoid both of them. Nice blog!

  8. LOL!!!! I absolutely loved that last story! I find myself doing the one-up thing every now and then, not to be rude, but I can be so competitive that I just don't think about what I say! But this post is a good reminder for me to let other people say what they say, and appreciate it as well! :) Very insightful!

  9. @Katlupe : Oh yeah!! The "know-it-all" is yet another category that comes close to the "one-uppers"...Now that you remind me of it ;)

  10. @Fin : Thanks Fin!!:) And it so refreshing to see someone who can confess so candidly! Now that's a lesson I will pick up from you :) Proud of you girl!

  11. People like that can be annoying. I wonder, though, if they realize it. Like maybe they think they're making good conversation by trying to say they can (always!) relate to what's being said. Or maybe they're just self-centered jerks.

  12. True Deana...Maybe some of them are misled into thinking that they great conversationists, maybe most of them are absolute jerks ;)

  13. Hello friend,
    Thank you for following my blog on Google Friend Connect. I have also followed your
    nice and interesting blog.
    Let's keep in touch.

  14. Thanks Nizam! Keep coming back :)

  15. Ah. Now I understand why my colleagues take coffee breaks all the time, whenever I'm around. :D

  16. Loved your post especially the joke at the end. Will definately be following your blog.

  17. Oh yeah? Well I knew a guy that was SO OBNOXIOUS..." LOL!! JK!! ;p

    I CAN relate and I love your take on how to deal with it. 10 points for a positive approach!!

    I TRY to be patient... It all depends on my mood of the day and headache/migraine level as to how tolerant I can be. Sometimes I just have something "surprisingly" come up that I have to go take care of and DISAPPEAR because I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE... *sigh*

  18. @Sunny : Thanks Sunny!Glad that you liked it :) I read through your blog just now! Good luck with the stamo carving! :)

  19. @Holly : My sympathies with you for having to deal with that guy! :P

    Ho hum poor us :( No way out other than to act rude and walk away or just grin and bear it :D

  20. The best way to deal with jerks is to enclose them into beer bottles and thrown in arabian sea. Incidentally sharks love to eat jerk along with beer :D

  21. @Shiva : Sadly, some jerks dont fit into bottles..We will need barrels :P And just when you are about to throw them into the sea, they might pop their head out and say " Oh you know what? This is nothing. My grandfather threw a guy into a volcano" :P :D

  22. Wow was your grandfather a wrestler ? how come you became a boring software engineer !

  23. Ok, you have clearly missed the joke :P Good luck next time!

  24. I'm sorry to say that I just realized that I'm a one upper. So on behalf of all the one uppers out there; when someone sparks a memory of mine, I like to share my experiences with them not meaning to be a one upper but a way of sharing a past experience that brings back fun memories. So if thats a bad thing then fuck you!

  25. @Anonymous : Considering the kind of language you use,no wonder you are too scared to leave your name!Loser..

  26. I once wrote a blog about one-uppers. I had like a million comments!


  27. Penny from ky is a one upper know it all bully who is reaaly just jeslous and insecure because she is a beast


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