If you’re reading this, you probably know someone who is a “one-upper.” If that is the case: Please stop reading this post and share it with that person. If someone shared this post with you: You are a chronic one-upper. Stop it. Everyone hates it.

There’s no worse feeling that someone sharing a special accomplishment or personal feeling, and having someone completely and utterly discount it by one-upping it.

Here’s a typical one-up conversation:

Peter: What are you doing this summer?

Sara: We are taking a vacation… to Hawaii! We’re so excited to be going to Maui for a week and go snorkeling!

Peter: I’ve been to Hawaii 10 times. Usually I stay for 3 weeks, not 1. And I go to tons of the islands, Maui is small compared to most of the cool ones. And I’m scuba certified, which is definitely better than snorkeling. I’ve actually been to the islands so many times it’s boring…

Now Peter feels great, and Sara feels like crap. She probably walked away and found someone else to talk to (likely complaining about Peter). Peter leaves feeling superior, and doesn’t realize that all his conversations seem to abruptly end with a one-up comment on his part. After all, he knows he’s great at bonding with other people since he always looking for common interests and topics. He’s sure he’s so fantastic, but wonders why he often doesn’t get invited to things. Everyone must just not know how great he is… So he demonstrates it whenever he can: By one-upping. It’s a vicious cycle with no end.

So how can you cure chronic one-upness? Here’s my advice: Practice one-downing instead of one-upping. The next time you feel the urge to one-up someone, don’t. You can still bond with them by expressing a similar interest… But, instead of trying to prove how great you are, look for something unique in their accomplishment and praise them for it instead!

Here’s how that conversation could have gone:

Peter: What are you doing this summer?

Sara: We are taking our first vacation… to Hawaii! We’re so excited to be going to Maui for a week and go snorkeling!

Peter: Awesome! I’ve been to Maui… It’s beautiful. I’ve only spent a day or two there before. You’re lucky to be spending a whole week there!

And now the conversation continues on, with Sara feeling great and they are truly bonding over their shared passion for Hawaii. Eventually, they both walk away with mutual feelings of connection and warmth. They meet up again and again, fall in love and get married. The have 3 amazing children, grow old together and retire in a beautiful beach cabaña… on the white sand beaches in Maui.

The End.

The moral of the story? Stop one-upping everyone and choose to live happily ever after!

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