Conversation is not a competition.

"And guess what happened next? Guess. You'll never guess..."

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 taleย she’s pretty darn sure will leave you speechless, just to shut you up.

๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.

6 Comments


  1. ·

    wow. I wish I could top that. My life is boring. In fact, it’s so boring that I never met anyone as famous as Jada. I mean apart from Sue Murphy. But of course, that means that you must be running in circles that mean that you aren’t focusing on what’s important. And boring.

    like I do.

    (well said, Kat.)

    Reply
  2. Kat French
    ·

    LOL… I never actually met Jada Pinkett… that was a little hyperbole (as was the whole “wiping out Iowa” thing).

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Believe me, there are a lot of days I wish I didn’t have quite so many “colorful” memories and experiences…they usually represent critical errors in judgment on my part…

    but they at least make for reasonably interesting stories.

    Reply

  3. ·

    I used to be that guy, but I’m not anymore. Now it annoys the crap out of me when I run into it and I call people out on it.

    Reply

  4. ·

    David – Loved the comedy bit! Especially the end about the astronauts.

    Charles – I think a lot of us have been that guy (or girl, as the case may be). It’s bold of you not only to admit it, but to call people out on it now.

    Mostly I just passive aggressively decide not to hang out with that person as often… ๐Ÿ™

    Reply

  5. ·

    Gotta come clean like Charles – I used to be that guy, too. Took me a while to realize how much of that need to one-up people was insecurity talking. It’s a shame, because one of the best parts of life is participating in other people’s adventures.

    Reply

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