Tag Archives: #beyou

Am I a One-Upper?

BLOG one upper

You know a few of these kind. I know you do. These kind of peeps who always want to trump your story. They always have their 2-cents worth plus 20 more cents to add to the discussion. They always seem to be talking and not listening. Yes, we all know this person. This ‘one-upper’ individual.

Sitting in the coffee shop the other day trying to get some work done, I couldn’t help but hear the conversation happening at the table to my right. Several elderly ladies were visiting…or trying to anyway. One lady in the group dominated the entire conversation. I wasn’t eavesdropping—or I hope I wasn’t.

I have no idea what they were talking about. I just know that the ONE lady had better grandkids, better weddings, better children, better vacations, better pictures, better every single topic talked about.

After this happened, self-reflection came into play.

Do I do this?

Do I ever try to ‘out do’ my friends when they are sharing stories?

Oh dear Lord, I hope not! I pray not!

Sometimes when I am visiting with my friends and they share a story, it causes a thought to pop into my head which then causes me to share. Is this looked upon by them as me being a ‘one-upper?’ Oh good grief, I certainly hope it doesn’t.

But maybe it does?

I can sincerely say, without a doubt, that this experience certainly makes me more cognizant of my own habits when visiting with others.

It is easy to be annoyed with that person who tries to one-up us every time. That kind of stress is not needed by any of us so how do we deal with these one-upper folks? My thought is to take the high road and never ever stoop to their level:

Listen: The one-upper isn’t very good at listening so be a role model. Listen with an open heart and open mind. Then…pitch out a compliment or two.

Compliment: Give a sincere compliment to the one-upper. It will help build that relationship between the one upper and the rest of the crowd, and it helps the one-upper’s soul feel nourished. Mark Twain once asserted “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

Redirect: Remember back to the early days of parenting. We needed to redirect our children’s attention when they began a journey down the wrong path. This may prove to be beneficial when visiting with a one-upper. Be calm and ask questions that have the opportunity to turn the conversation around. Be empathetic and blend in conversation alternatives. Dr. Steve Maraboli stated it well when he said “every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.”

Walk away: If you reach the level of sheer annoyance with the one-upper, walk away. It wouldn’t be fair for anyone to receive the brunt end of your irritation. It’s not that you’ve given up, it’s just that you’ve realized your limits. That, people, is known as wisdom.

Yes, one-uppers can be infuriating at times, however, we are the bigger person in this situation. Be classy and set a good example for all the others who are feeling the same way you do.  Model the behavior that you want to see and experience.

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Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

Reunions…Serious Stuff

BLOG ReunionHow can this be? Twenty years have flown by since high school graduation. Each year goes by more quickly than the last. I remember hearing old people say that when I was younger. I guess I have joined the ranks because it is so true! I can also remember when older people would be asked their age, and in their response, would pause – some longer than others – as if they were counting the years. Oh my! It has happened to me. My sister who is 18 months my junior had to remind me of my age when I accidentally lied – no really, it was an accident! And yes, I have admitted it now publicly that I am the older sister – she just loves being labeled the older sister – not really …must be my mature behavior that throws people off or her added wrinkles? 😉 Just kidding, sis…
Anyway – It happens. What happens? Life happens! And really – aren’t we glad it does?!

This past weekend we celebrated our 20-year class reunion. This made me think a little bit about reunions… What in the world are reunions for anyway? Why did reunions start in the first place? Reunions give us a chance to catch up. With the addition of social media to our lives, reunions may not hold the same purpose of “catching up” with classmates as it once did. Because of this and the busyness of life, we didn’t have the best turn out. Okay- not a good turn-out by any statistical means. But since we didn’t really need to catch up with everyone, reunions allow us a chance to reminisce and laugh. We had fun! The more years that go by, the more level the playing field from our first days of adulthood in high school.   According to Clarence Page in the Chicago Tribune, “Reunions have a therapeutic value” (2011, para 3). Reunions give us a chance to relive the good parts of high school.

Now a word of advice that someone should have told me years ago…if you take away one thing from senior year in high school– don’t run for a class officer position…. You get to plan the reunions! Actually, we have a good time planning the reunions, and have every five years since graduation. Here is our class officer picture… it has been our official pose since our senior year. We are missing our VP – she moved to England so I guess she has an excuse to avoid us. 🙂


And if you take away one thing from reunions and life – Don’t take yourself too seriously. It doesn’t matter what your name is, what your title is, or what your bank account looks like… Drop the stereotypes from high school and just be and enjoy each other’s company. How – you may ask? Laugh – not a little but a lot. This is the reason I look forward to class reunions. We laugh so hard we cry – literally. We reminisce on stories that we survived to tell from high school. Something different this time is that we started to share our medical stories at this last one – from needing pig cartilage for someone’s knee to a mechanical heart valve to hearing aids. Not sure how it happened exactly – but we all aged and became those old people we used to look at sympathetically as they were past their prime. But were they? Are they? We know – and no need to vote on it either – life’s prime is where you are now. Make it what you want and don’t forget to laugh. ~SV


Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

Page, C. (2011). Why reunions matter so much. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-08-31/news/ct-oped-0831-page-20110831_1_class-reunions-high-school-band