16 Obnoxious Behaviors Of People Who Always Try To One-Up Everyone

16 Obnoxious Behaviors Of People Who Always Try To One-Up Everyone

Mature, well-adjusted adults recognize that there’s room for everyone to succeed in life. Sadly, not everyone subscribes to this idea, and there are plenty of people who feel the need to one-up everyone around them in order to make themselves feel better. Here are some of the tactics they use to put others down to lift themselves up.

1. They Hog the Spotlight.

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Some people always find a way to shift the conversation back to themselves, showcasing their achievements and experiences. This constant self-focus can overshadow other people’s contributions (which is what they want), turning group experiences into solo performances. It often leaves little room for anyone else to share and be heard.

2. They Brush Off Your Stories.

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When you share your experiences, these one-uppers quickly redirect the focus to their own stories, often with added flair (half of which is exaggerated or outright made-up). This habit can make your genuine shares feel undervalued and dismissed in the rush to outshine. It creates an environment where genuine listening and empathy are scarce, and it’s pretty miserable.

3. They Inflate Their Wins.

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Every achievement they discuss seems just a bit grander than reality. This exaggeration is just a vehicle to amplify their successes, often at the expense of a grounded and honest exchange of experiences. The truth often gets lost in their BS, making it hard to know what to believe.

4. They’re Addicted to Applause.

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Seeking validation for every accomplishment, no matter how minor, is a common trait of one-uppers. This constant need for acknowledgment can be draining for everyone around them since every conversation is turned into a “let’s praise the one-upper” session. It places undue pressure on their peers to constantly offer praise.

5. They Knock You to Climb Higher.

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To maintain their self-perceived superiority, they may subtly undermine other people’s successes because they’re insecure about their own. This tactic can create an uncomfortable atmosphere, as it places unnecessary competition over camaraderie. It erodes the foundation of mutual respect that healthy relationships are built on.

6. They Dish Out Advice Like Candy.

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Unsolicited advice flows freely from them. They love to show off their expertise even when it’s not warranted or asked for. This behavior can come off as patronizing because it overshadows the value of mutual support and understanding. It can leave the people around them feeling undervalued and hesitant to share their own insights.

7. They Twist the Topic to Them.

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Regardless of the discussion topic, they somehow manage to steer it back to highlight their own achievements. This redirection can derail meaningful conversations and replace them with a one-sided slideshow of how great they are. Ugh. It prevents an intelligent exchange of ideas and diminishes the diversity of conversation.

8. They Turn Whining into a Sport.

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Complaints become a battleground for who has it worse, with the one-upper always in the lead. This competitive negativity can sap the energy from interactions, turning even laid-back, positive conversations into negative moan fests. It turns potential moments of empathy into contests of misery, and who wants to deal with that?

9. They Downplay Your Big Moments.

woman talking to frustrated male colleague

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In their eyes, your accomplishments are always a step behind theirs. It’s not a competition, but they clearly didn’t get that memo, and it can really take away the excitement of sharing your achievements and cast a shadow over celebratory moments. You end up feeling like your milestones are less significant and undervalued.

10. They Always Get the Last Word.

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Conversations aren’t complete until they’ve added their final piece, often to emphasize their point or achievement. This need to have the last word is insufferable, especially since half the comments they make are unnecessary and add nothing to the conversation. It stifles the collaborative nature of conversations, leaving everyone else feeling unheard.

11. They Can’t Handle Not Being the Expert.

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Notice how they just have to be the authority on any topic? Even when they’re clearly out of their depth, they’ll scramble to appear knowledgeable. It makes learning or exploring new ideas together a bit of a challenge, as there’s little room for genuine discovery or admitting gaps in knowledge.

12. They One-Up Your Problems Too.

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Got a headache? They’ve had a migraine for days. Sharing problems with them turns into a bizarre competition, with empathy taking a back seat. It transforms what could be a moment of sharing and support into a contest of who’s got it worse, leaving little space for genuine connection.

13. They’re Relentless Name-Droppers.

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Ever notice how they casually drop names of people they’ve met, places they’ve been, or exclusive events they’ve attended? It’s like a constant broadcast of their social credentials, aiming to impress. This habit can make conversations feel more like a performance than an exchange of personal experiences.

14. They Rarely Give Genuine Compliments.

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Compliments from them often come with a backhanded twist or are so overstated they lose sincerity. It’s like they can’t help but add a layer of competition, even in praise. Genuine appreciation gets lost in their need to maintain a one-up stance.

15. They Interrupt to Steer the Attention Back to Them.

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Just when someone else is getting to the heart of their story, they’ll jump in, redirecting the focus back to themselves. It’s as if they have a radar for when the spotlight shifts away, prompting an immediate intervention to reclaim center stage.

16. They Measure Their Worth by Comparisons.

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Their sense of self seems tied to being a step ahead of the rest. Every interaction is an opportunity to measure up, making it hard for them to enjoy moments for what they are. It introduces an undercurrent of competition into even the most casual encounters, affecting the ease of interaction.

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Jeff graduated from NYU with a degree in Political Science and moved to Australia for a year before eventually settling back in Brooklyn with his yellow lab, Sunny, and his girlfriend, Mia. He works in IT during the day and writes at night. In the future, he hopes to publish his own novel.