How To Deal With One-Uppers? 4 Great Ways

Dealing with one-uppers is no joke, we all know someone that always has a better story than ours and a better life in general, or at least this is what they say, but is it true?

One-uppers are as annoying as know-it-alls, and many times, they are the same person, but as you can see in my article about know-it-alls, they often lie or exaggerate only to make sure you are impressed by them.

So this is an important thing to know about those people, they always think about how they look and how other people see them, and that is what you want to work on if you really care about them and want to help.

Let’s see what you can do to accept and help one-uppers. That is what dealing with them means in this context since I don’t want to encourage you to fight with them. Fighting it is always an option, but not a good one.

one uppers

Who is a one-upper?

First, we have to know who those people are, one-uppers are the people that always do or have something better than you because, for them, everything is a competition.

If you lifted 100 pounds, they lifted 150, if you ran 15 miles, they ran 20, if you went to a rock concert, they had VIP tickets to a rock concert, and so on, they never stop.

When they don’t have something better than you, they will one-up you with someone else story sometimes, for example, if you say that you run 20 miles and it’s obvious that they are not running, they will always know someone that runs 30 miles. This is weird because it is not about them and making them look good, but they have a habit of one-upping people no matter the reason.

Those people tend to always disagree with you, to say”Yes, but” and complete you, and to say”Yes, me too” or “I wouldn’t” way more often than needed without being asked about them.

Read Also: Is Being A Good Person Worth It?

4 Ways to deal with one-uppers

1. Understand their reason and don’t compete with them

The worst thing that one-uppers do is to make you feel unimportant while making them look good, which is why people don’t want to help or understand them.

When you try to understand why they are actually doing that, you soon realize that they are insecure, have low self-esteem, lack empathy, and constantly need to impress others.

Knowing this makes you more rational when dealing with one-uppers, which is crucial since their behavior makes you act emotional because they are very annoying and make you lose your temper.

This is the first step you must take to deal with one-uppers; otherwise, it is impossible to have the patience needed to help them.

2. Talk to them

Communication is the key to everything. However, communicating with a one-upper is as challenging as possible.

I would advise trying to help one-uppers only if they are your best friends or family members you care a lot about them. Otherwise, you will most likely not succeed.

When you have this discussion, you have to make sure that they will listen to you, so you will probably have to let them know that you want to talk about that and set a specific time when they can pay attention. Tell them that you want their best and tell them to listen first and talk afterward.

The chances of success are not so big, but it might be worth trying. What you have to do is to let them know that they are not making a good image for themselves by being one-uppers(They most probably don’t realize that they are), but instead, all they do is push people away.

Those people usually want to be appreciated, but this is the only method they have in mind. You might have to let them know that other things make people appreciate you, like being a good listener, emphatic, confidenthumble, and so on.

Let them know that their life and honest stories are good enough, they don’t always have to be better than others in order to be appreciated.

3. Hang out only with them

If you still want to hang out with them but don’t want to work that much on fixing their toxic behavior, the best thing you can do is to hang out only with them and try to avoid groups.

One-uppers tend to impress, when they start to feel comfortable with you, they will let it lose a bit, I don’t say that they will not try to impress you anymore, but they will try more when there are more people around.

This approach can be the best for circumstantial friends or casual friends that you meet every now and then.

Read Also: Arrogant vs Conceited

4. Ignore them

Unfortunately, ignoring and avoiding those people might be the best thing to do in most cases since you are not their therapist to work on fixing them, and trying might have some unexpected results.

This is why those people most of the time have a good time when they first meet someone because they think that everybody likes them for their amazing stories and how good their life is, but they soon get ignored.

One-uppers, know-it-alls, and arrogant people have the same faith and pattern when it comes to making friends. They might impress some people at first, but they do that by dragging others down, lying, or exaggerating their life. Once you spend more time with them, you realize that they are fake most of the time and are not as impressive as you might think, leading to disappointment and making you avoid them.

I was kind of a one-upper myself for a while, and I noticed that everybody seemed to like me at first because people are polite or even overly polite and won’t tell you that you are annoying, but then I had a hard time meeting them again.

Are one-uppers narcisist?

Being a narcissist is a bit more complex than being a one-upper. However, there are a lot of similarities, and many narcissists are one-uppers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a one-upper is actually a narcissist.

The fact that both of them want to impress people around them is a similarity, but narcissists are impressed by themselves as well, while a one-upper knows that they are not as they pretend to be.

A one-upper is a bit more aware that he is not honest than a narcissist.

Read Also: Why Does Power Play Exist In A Relationship?


Dealing with one-uppers is hard and requires a lot of time, energy, and willingness if you want good results, I wouldn’t waste all of those resources too easily, so make sure the person you try to fix is worth it.

If you feel that some person you meet is a one-upper, you better avoid them from the beginning and don’t make them believe you are impressed by them. Giving them what they want makes them more annoying by thinking that this is the best way to be appreciated and respected even if you are just polite, so when you are dealing with a one-upper, ignorance is better than politeness.