I have a friend, and I like this friend a lot, but he has an annoying habit.
Whenever you’re swapping stories, he has to “top” your story.
If you once met Jada Pinkett, then he has to tell you about the time he met Will Smith.
If you got 10,000 pageviews on a blog post, he has to tell you about the time he got 20,000.
If you tell the story of the time you had too much to drink and fell over the back of someone’s couch into the unsuspecting lap of a total stranger, he has to tell you about the time he had too much to drink and nearly wiped out Iowa with a freak tractor/power plant accident.
It’s a shame, because after a bit, I quit sharing personal stories with the guy, because I got kind of sick of the constant one-upmanship.
When people share personal stories with you, they’re sharing little pieces of themselves with you. They’re saying “You’re such a cool person, I wish you’d have been there, even when you weren’t. So I’m giving you the next best thing.”
It’s not a competition.
But if you declare a storytelling war, don’t be surprised if one day someone throws down a tale she’s pretty darn sure will leave you speechless, just to shut you up.
😉 And no, I’m not telling what it was. I gotta keep my ace in the hole for that next person who thinks (s)he can win a “who’s got the most colorful history” competition against me.