Epic Comebacks To Shut Down Serial One-Uppers

Epic Comebacks To Shut Down Serial One-Uppers

Tired of that friend or coworker who turns everything into a humble brag? We feel you. Time to defend your sanity and ditch those feelings of annoyance with comebacks that cut through the self-absorption.

1. “Interesting, but I think you’re missing the bigger picture here…”

Sure, those wins are cool and all, but life’s not just a scoreboard. It’s about the laughs, the hangs, and the high fives we share. This person needs to make sure they don’t forget to cheer for the team, not just the MVP. Remembering to celebrate the collective moments makes life so much better.

2. “That’s one way to see it, but let’s not overlook the fact that…”

They need to realize that there’s a whole world of views out there. It’s like looking at a kaleidoscope – the more angles you check out, the cooler the picture gets. Everyone’s got their own perspective, and that’s what makes life colorful and interesting. Why can’t they embrace the diversity of different opinions?

3. “Impressive, but it’s not all about one-upping, is it?”

It’s like, props for the achievements, buddy, but remember, life’s not a game of king of the hill. It’s more about the climb and the crew you do it with. Winning’s fun, but it’s the memories we make along the way and the people we share them with that really count. The sooner they see that, the better life will be for them and everyone around them.

4. “You seem to have a knack for making everything about you. Let’s shift the focus…”

You love hearing their tales, but how about they tune into the group for a little while? Everyone’s has something to say, and there are definitely some great stories waiting to be told that don’t belong to them. They need to learn to share the spotlight and recognize that not every conversation needs to be “won.”

5. “That’s quite a story, but let’s not forget about reality…”

They might be great at spinning a yarn, but they also need to remember that everyone has their own ups and downs — this person’s experiences aren’t any more extreme or exciting than anyone else’s. If they’re known for exaggerating or playing up the dramatic details of their life for effect, you might need to bring them back down to earth a bit.

6. “Your experiences are unique, no doubt. But let’s not make this a competition…”

Everyone’s journey is one-of-a-kind, and that’s awesome, but this isn’t a “who’s got the wildest story” contest (or at least it shouldn’t be). They need to be able to share without keeping score. Remind them that there are no winners or losers in basic conversations. It’s just everyone sharing a bit about themselves to encourage greater understanding of each other. Isn’t that enough of a prize in and of itself?

7. “I see you’re trying to outdo me, but have you considered this…?”

It can sometimes feel like you’re in a bit of a showdown with someone who always has to one-up you. What if you shifted gears and used your stories to lift each other up instead of clashing? Encourage them to create a supportive atmosphere where everyone’s story shines.

8. “You’ve achieved a lot, but there’s more to life than just one-upping…”

Kudos on the wins and all. but life’s more than just stacking trophies. It’s about the journey, the people you meet, and the laughs along the way. Pointing out that you recognize their behavior for what it is could go a long way in putting a stop to it (or so you can hope). Let them know you won’t be dragged into their immature and frankly unnecessary games.

9. “Your story is fascinating, but it’s not a competition. Here’s another perspective…”

Their saga’s gripping, no doubt, but is it really all that important for them to be telling it with such zeal? It’s as if they think that unless they come up with something more outlandish or nuts, they’ll somehow be missing out on an invisible trophy. In reality, they’re probably just insecure.

10. “You seem to have a lot to say about your own experiences. Let’s hear about others for a change…”


This is perfect for a serial one-upper who really doesn’t know how and when to pass the mic. You’re not undercutting their experiences or their desire to be heard, but you do need to point out that a conversation involves multiple people — it’s not a monologue. They need to learn how to let other people speak (and not constantly interrupt them when they do).

11. “That’s a great achievement, but let’s not turn this into a contest…”

Again, sometimes you have to point out that someone is getting a little out of hand with patting themselves on the back so much. You can let them know that you recognize their achievements and efforts while then letting them know that it’s time to move on a bit. Other people need to have their say too!

12. “Your experiences are noteworthy, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture…”

Each story adds value and contributes to a fuller understanding of the world. Keeping the bigger picture in mind ensures we appreciate different people’s experiences and perspectives, which is something one-uppers lose sight of pretty quickly (if they ever saw it at all).

13. “You’ve done a lot, but let’s not forget about humility and modesty…”

Humility is one of those qualities that’s in extremely short supply in serial one-uppers, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s noticeable and problematic. They can be proud of themselves for the hard work they’ve put in to get where they are, but they shouldn’t feel like they’re better than anyone else or that what they have to say is more important because they’re not and it’s not.

14. “That’s quite a feat, but let’s not make this all about you…”

Achieving something significant is always exciting, but remembering to share the spotlight ensures everyone’s stories and accomplishments are valued. This approach fosters a more balanced and inclusive conversation where everyone feels heard and appreciated. Zip it, one-upper!

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Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.