Monday, October 27, 2008

Always Worse

I've chatted about this before, matter of fact I am certain that you may have at one point or another been subjected to one of these "types" of folks, and quite possibly, you may have written about them.


For Example:
ME: "I recently found out that I have nodules in my thyroi-"
TOUP:"Oh, I have those, mine are all over, I have a cluster, they call it a goiter, they're not a problem and seldom grow bigger."

Another Example:
Me: "I swear the pain I'm having feels like what my sister went through with her gallbladder, I hope it's not a gallbladder issue because I feel as though I'm having one-"
TOUP: "It's not a gallbladder, it's indigestion, I've got indigestion, matter of fact I can't poop, besides you're too young to have any issues with your gallbladder, it's acid reflux, I have to take pills for that.

Another Example:
Me: "Jackson's been such a crybaby lately, all he does is cry, and Ben isn't talking at what is considered a normal pace, and Sullivan is easily frustrated with a temper-"
TOUP: "that's nothing, when I was a single mom, my eldest was such a cry baby, my other child fought me tooth and nail over every little thing that had to do with life."

Another Example:
Me: "One of my closest best friends and her husband just lost their first baby at only 23weeks old, it's awful, I just feel sick over it, knowing what pregnancy is like as well as having a child-"
TOUP: "Well, when I lost my two babies I didn't have enough money to have a proper burial and keep in mind I've lost two children and a husband and many many family members and friends."

Sadly I could go on and on with examples of the classical one upper or, The One UPper (TOUP).
Sadly it's not just one person, it's many people that are the textbook of one uppers, and it starts to impact your reactive words with other people that are clearly far from one upping. I tell you it can be contagious and this is not something I want to be a part of because eventually, and it has happened on some occasions, I, and anyone of you that are surrounded by one uppers, could become one of them.


There's a way to provide empathy to someone that is experiencing anything and everything, and there's a way to One Up someone. First off you must acknowledge what the other is going through, and slowly, like a fabulous seg-way, ease into an example that could help them understand that they're not alone.

Seems simple, right?
Not to the Classic One Upper it isn't. I wonder if they even realize how often they one up other people. Usually the worst of the one uppers experience a side affect of, "mine always and will always be worse and will always hurt worse."

You both could be delivering a child, but theirs will be worse, their sorrow worse, their pain worse, their experiences that took bad turns-yep, you guessed it, worse. There's no point in reasoning with them, or trying to get them to understand you, because it's not possible for them to do so. They're so wrapped up in themselves that they'll never be able to see beyond their own pain, because it will always hurt worse, even if the worse is going on down the block. Rest assured, theirs will be worse. It doesn't mean that they can't love you, or care about you, but they're the types of people that will never give you what you desire of them. They can only love and care for you with examples of them, and hurts worse. Besides, they absolutely LOVE talking about themselves, there are "a few" that represent a bit of narcissistic and sociopathic behavior hidden within, without the scary parts that is.

Then there are The Dismissives. No matter what you say, no matter what you've gone through, no matter how scared or happy you may be, they'll always dismiss your emotions, an act that if they're not careful, could cost them your relationship. The Dismissives don't one up, nor do they claim that it hurts worse. You will never have to hear about any of their past drama in relation to your situation, because all they'll do is react with a lackadaisical reaction like it's not that big of a deal. They're The Dismissives and until it happens to them, they will never be able to get out of the dismissive fog that they're wrapped up in. They will continue to provide you with the utmost in unemotional reactions.

The Shunning Acceptables:
These types can go hand in hand with The Dismissives that have yet to go through with what you may have gone through; a death, marriage, children, infidelity, college, parenting, sex, you name it--if you're going through it and they haven't, watch out, especially if it's something that is deemed unmoral. You can be sure that they will shun your actions, have all the answers as to what you're doing wrong, and how if they were in your shoes what they'd be doing differently. The good news for you is that generally the most avid of shunners are the ones that will be doing the same thing that you're doing "wrong" now, only down the road. Except then it'll be okay, and acceptable. Hence, the Shunning Acceptables.

Then we have the Ear Closers. They don't listen to you. They make the same mistakes over and over again, they don't hear you when you talk, they talk over you on a completely different topic, although it generally does have to do with them, it is still a bit of a distance from the TOUP's.

No matter, it'd be one boring ass world if we were all alike.

I have no idea where this post came from. Actually it started off in my head that I'd be giving tips on how to reduce your utility bills and easy Eco-friendly regular household products that you could use, plus how to give your kitchen or room a boast for under $50, but instead I got this.

Don't ask, or I may just accidentally one up you, unless of course I just dismiss you, ears closed because you're doing it all wrong and I'll never do it like that which is why I must shun your very poor decision making skills.

I'm fun when I'm spunky, eh?
Personally, I like One Uppers, because it turns into a game to me, I'll volley back a random sentence of b rated one upping, and the game will just go back and forth, but without the hotness of male or female tennis stars.


austere said...


Great analysis..LOVVED your description of the tennis game.

Confess- used to be a shunner, this is conservative India, okay? Then I grew up, fumbled some. Ah, life.

Kelly Jene said...

That's nothing, some people... just kidding. LOLOL

I can't STAND one uppers. I've noticed teenagers do it a lot. IrrItating!!!

Great post, I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gypsy said...

You see E, this is why I like animals better than humans. They never do any of those things you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Your column is a challenge for me to make sure I never do any of this! It's hard, though; I think there's a gray area where you just want to let someone else know you know what they're going thru- not competitive, just wanting to show understanding.

Tink said...

Hoop is one of those people on occasion. He got it from his Momma, who is not an occasional anything. I think that's actually her root personality. Fortunately, I've all but broken him of the habit. The times when it appears the most is when I'm complaining that I'm in pain. Then all of a sudden he's got ailments I've never even heard of that are a million times worse than whatever I'm experiencing. It's SO ANNOYING.

Brad said...

I'm afraid I might have been one or more of these on occasion. As I get older I'm thankful that my self edit feature is alive and well and in fact growing stronger. This could not be said for my mother but I digress.

I find that if I just shut up and listen things are generally better all around.

sorry for being such a bad blog buddy - I'll get my crap together soon - you!

fiwa said...

Girl, you are brilliant. Seriously. All the more so because you didn't set out to write this post.

Hi, my name is fiwa, and I come from a family of "Shunning Acceptables". I constantly question whether I am being empathic or a "one upper".

You forgot one, but I can't come up with the name for it, you'll have to do that part. The people who ALWAYS find something negative to say when you have good news. Example: "We're moving to Seattle!" Response: "Doesn't it rain there all the time?"
Come on, what is their name??


austie: I think we've all been some of these at one point or another, the question is, do we realize it and do we admit it and do we attempt to change it? :)



Kelly: Ha, I think Teenagers are exempt because they do a lot of things that just are irritating (I was one of those irritating teens).
Love ya back momma! :)



Gypsy: sigh...maybe that's why I've moved on from dreams of baby twin girls to dreams of golden lab puppies--because they're much easier to talk to, even when they're not listening. :) HAHAH..
Animals are the best--someday I'll venture down that road again---someday..

-not to make this about me ofcourse. :)


anon: You are a positive individual that has an excellent way of expressing the emotions without being rude, one upping, or dismissive whatsoever!!

Plus, when talking politics with you, you do a wonderful job in explaining it all! :)



Tink: Break that habit--or wait and see what type of ditty he pulls when you have a baby---then you can ask him, "Are you experiencing man pain or real pain?"

Nip it, or it'll grip you. :) lol.

:) wedding crashers here I come!!! :)


You know what Bradley? I love what you said about your "Self editing button" you see, that's why we're friends, because not only are you intelligent and hilarious but you're also willing to admit to silly labels that you've uncovered from your past.

Don't fret about not visiting me here--you're my friend, I can talk to you whenever I want! Although I do love your comments...:)

hi to jayandbear. :)


FIWA: false positives
that's all I've got to say about that. :) and far from brillant, just very distracted and all over the place..

i chop onions.

see what I mean? :)

where's my pumpkin?


Susan's Snippets said...

CB -

Coming from a large family and not always being heard unless something dire was going on - as an adult I have had to teach myself to be quiet and listen, really listen when friends talk. Hearing them and sympathizing with THEIR situation.

Sometimes I will tell a parallel story that I have lived thru as an example for them.

Although it is still not an easy thing for me to do since it does not come naturally – but I try.

and try


Susan: makes sense--i'm guilty of one upping and interrupting..

silence! :)

simonsays said...

This made me laugh. I hope that you find the answers and help you need, because we need our CRUSTYBEEF to be healthy and happy!

Thank you for your kind words. I don't know what I would do without my blogging friends.

Hugs. :)

Real Live Lesbian said...

You've nailed these folks in your descriptions! Perfect and hilarious!

These folks annoy me to no end!!!!

Mo said...

What about the know it alls and the have to be rights? Those are my favorites. You did a mighty fine job with your descriptions.

BTW, Monica is my first name. My closest besties and family call me Mo or Mon; Mo is preferred.