Lora Hogan > Uncategorized  > How to Deal with One-Uppers

How to Deal with One-Uppers

An off-shoot of the adult mean girls is adult one-uppers.

Urban Dictionary defines a one upper as:

“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.”

I have been having daily encounters with toxic one-uppers. OH NO!!

What do you do?!?

Remember that these one-uppers have low self-esteem.

Low self-esteem.

These people are one-upping because they need attention, are insecure, and they try to put you down and elevate themselves.

And really, one-uppers are giving you a compliment.  YOU make them feel insecure.  Okay, so we are nice people and don’t want to make them feel insecure. Well, it could be just YOU or it could be a GROUP but these one-uppers feel threatened. They feel out of place. They feel unimportant and are seeking attention.  So they one-up you to try and get a rise out of you and, by default, make themselves feel more important.

So we have to EMPOWER OURSELVES when faced with one-uppers. It is a personal choice to let them make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, give the one-upper a bigger smile, a nicer compliment, and let them know that you think they are worthy people. (Because everyone is worthy somehow, right?) Lead by example and diffuse negativity.  If it is a close friend you can try to explain the situation to them and how it makes you feel.  If it someone you don’t know well or work with—see if you can’t ignore them or spend less time in their presence.

But above all, remember that people are only being one-uppers out of insecurity and because you make them feel threatened.  Treat them with love, acknowledge their lack of confidence, and if they really irk you or make you feel badly–take a deep in hale and exhale LET THEM GO!!!

You cannot change other people but you CAN change how you react to them.  You are stronger than your circumstances.

Greet the one-uppers from a place of sympathy, a place of understanding, and a place from love.

And if they hurt your feelings–breathe it out and LET THE MOMENT GO.

Do you encounter one-uppers? How do you deal with them?


  • Flower

    February 28, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I loved this post and especially the advice, sometimes it’s hard to walk away and not say something but you’re right, it’s best to let it go.

  • Stacey Merrill

    February 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Too true. I will admit that I worked with an annoying whiny everything is so tragic kind of one-upper years ago. I eventually used to make up the most outrageous tales just to see what she’d come up with next. Not very nice but it was entertaining