April 12, 2009

One-upping the next man

It's weird that sometimes, the things I think about most are those that I have least to say about, so I don't know how much this will hit home, but hopefully you can resonate with this in the slightest bit:

We have a very natural tendency of comparing ourselves to others in that we need to one-up the next person in most scenarios. It's not easy to get rid of this mentality. If someone's flattering someone else behind their back, people, including myself, will agree and add a small bit about how great that person is, then they'll throw in a quick, subtle word about something they're doing that's great too (which will often be followed up by a downplaying of that great facet of him/herself to seem modest and totally). If that was at all familiar to you (be honest with yourself), realize two things:
  1. That habit will not change any time soon. It's normal, but...
  2. You can start being more cognizant of the habit. Realize when you're doing it. Take note of it.
What will that do for you? Naturally, you'll turn it down. You'll realize that there's little to no beneficial reason to throwing in that bit about yourself because, even when you're trying to add a little bit of cred to your rep, you're not the focus during that portion of the conversation so either your two cents about yourself was overlooked OR it was noticed and the person who noticed is fully aware of why you threw in that comment.

It's not that you're uncomfortable flattering other people. You probably don't have anything against the person that's being talked up at the time. It's probably because you crave that positive reinforcement too. However, the more you're aware of it, the more able you'll be able to embrace the positives of everyone else around you without needing others to acknowledge you so much.

Just a thought. Not sure if it made too much sense, but if you didn't get it, chances are it doesn't apply to you. If you do though, definitely try to be more aware of it. I do it all the time. I would say, "I wish I didn't," but why would you regret anything? I don't like to waste my energy on ish like that :).

Love you,

P.S. Sample dialogue where the above takes place:
1: Yeah, I saw person X at the gym the other day. Did you have any idea they're in such great shape? I had no idea he was so fit!
2: Mmhm, he's in really great shape. He started talking to me about working out a few months back and I gave him some tips about working out and whatever. It's really great that he's doing so well now.

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