i seem to be running into a lot of people playing the "one up" game now days. you know what that is, the game where the players each try to out do the others in some way, shape, or form? it's a game i used to play until someone pointed out to me how annoying another person and i were becoming with it. at some point after that i decided i just did not want to play it anymore. it took me awhile to learn when to catch it, and every now and then i find myself an unwilling participant. when i realize what's going on i tend to do the only thing i can think of that's polite: shut up.
i've been shutting up a lot lately.
there's a woman in the writing group who is like this all the time. either her life is or has been worse, or better, than yours. and she knows everything about everything. so you make a statement and she has to correct you. and it's constant. nearly every conversations becomes a "well, yea, but . . . " and then something better (if your life is good), worse (if your life is bad), or correcting (even if you know the subject inside and out). she would actually be a really neat person if she didn't have this apparent need to out do everyone on everything.
granted, there are people who have a lot of knowledge on a wide variety of topics. i know at least one person i would go to with almost any question because he is so smart and has spent his life studying a lot of different things (granted, on his own, but not having a college degree doesn't mean anything when it comes to this guy). but he's also quick to let me know when he doesn't have a clue. and he returns the same kind of respect - if he has a question on something i may know about, he asks, and then he either asks questions to clarify or he accepts what i have to say.
and i'm not running into a lot of people who seem to like the one up game, just a lot recently. i just joined a new forum the other day (forum junkie that i am) and mentioned how many seamless tiles i have available on the site. not two posts later someone is telling me how many more they have than i do.
so? am i supposed to care?
while i'm sure it sounds like i care, my annoyance has nothing to do with the tiles. it has to do with the attitude that seems to go along with the one up game. "i'm better than you, so there." "my life's better/worse than yours, so there." if this is a) our first meeting, or b) all you can do, how on earth can you expect me to care?
i accept the fact that there are times in all our lives that we need to play this game. i'm not sure why that is, i'm not sure i want to know why that is, it just is. but when it's all you do, or the way you introduce yourself to people, then don't be surprised when people walk away. any given point in our lives is better than where some people stand, and worse than where others stand. we each have knowledge that others don't have (even if you believe otherwise, you just do not know everything). and we all have something - whether information or "things" - that we share with others to either a greater or lesser degree. all the one up game does is point out the players' insecurity and annoy the heck out of the rest of us.
as i said, i usually just shut up when i run into this. i've just been running into it a lot lately and my tolerance is a little worn thin because of other things going on in my life. if the experiences of friends with their mothers going through menopause is any indicator, my pre-menopausal or fully menopausal state (we're not sure which it is yet) is a big part of the irritation. the stress of the move is another big part of it. and just being annoyed with the game in particular doesn't help.
and, as i mentioned, i seem to get sucked up in the game every so often, even when i don't want to. lately i've been finding out that i tend to get sucked up even more often when i'm irritated or annoyed. i usually manage to catch it within a statement or two, but i'd really rather not get sucked in at all. i just have to remind myself to stop.
i just wish other people would stop. it really isn't endearing at all.
to deceive by artful wheedling or tricky dishonesty, cheat, defraud; to beguile craftily or victimize by chicanery; delude, deceive; to bring about, induce, or obtain by artful wheedling or tricky dishonesty intransitive verb; to act with artful deceit; chisel