Have you ever met one of those people who's been everywhere and done everything and doesn't know anyone who hasn't?

Like no matter what you have to say they have to tell a bigger, better, and often longer story?

I usually chalk this behavior up to ego issues, but I don't really know how to respond to it when it starts to get a little irritating. I don't mind people who have interesting stories to tell, what gets me is the way some people feel the need to minimize other people's stories and experiences with this sort of self aggrandizing.

What's an appropriate way to get this kind of person to settle down, without shutting them down completely?

The specific person I have in mind is otherwise a decent human being, they just have an annoying habit that I'd like to address in a mostly polite way.

  • @WitanapDanu If you have an answer, please post it below. You don't need to ask the author if they will like your answer before you post it... unless you need a specific point of clarification. Thanks. Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


Like NVZ said, I usually move on from the subject as well.

Some people get hints easier than others, at the start I would simply not give back any positive feedback to their story if it's of the 'one up' nature.

A polite way of doing this is changing the topic once they are done to something completely different - Not another story because it might still seem to them like you're in the 1-up battle by bringing a better story to the table, but more like just general conversation.

A less polite way to handle it would be to walk away once they are done with their story, giving no positive feedback. Eventually, they'll realize that not only are they not getting the ego boost they are looking for but that they're alienating you in the process.

A more direct approach, I have had one good friend with whom I took this approach, was to be direct, say something along the lines of

Sometimes I get the feeling that you're not listening to me when I talk, quite often I want to share a personal story with you and end up feeling as if you're only waiting for me to finish to tell your own story on the subject.

I'm sure the intentions are not to 'one up' you, so by changing their position from a less talkative to a more attentive one might keep them on topic.

As a last resort, which I've also taken many times, simply disregard that friend as such a close friend, accept them for who they are and understand that sometimes it's not your job to change them.

Also be wary of your surroundings, sometimes (often?) the 'one uppers' will be more of the 'one up' nature when in a crowd but behave completely different in a 1:1 conversation.


What must be realised is that whatever you think you can do - you cannot change the way that people are, because it is up to them to change.

But you can change your own way of looking at this, and the simplest way would be to let this go. Stop it from mattering to you. Live in the moments of irritation and understand them - then try and conquer them by having no mind about it.

Because you value this person this is a very important step to take. Just wanting other people to be as you want them to be is a lost hope - but getting over your perceived story inside your own head is far more important to you, because you will be free, and can then move on. So my advice is to work on getting over this problem - in your own mind. And set yourself free.

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