Oh Sad. Well, I…

August 19th, 2011

We all have bad days. We all have misfortunes. We all lose people we love. We all grieve. We all get hurt. We all have our hearts broken at some point. We all cry. None of us live perfect lives. God didn’t make any one of us immune to any of these things. But, he gave us friends and loved ones to lean on when we can’t quite stand up straight on our own. Now, let’s talk about friends. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Friends are such a blessing. They are there to listen, give advice, watch your back, laugh with you and cry with you. But they aren’t always the friends they should be. Everyone possesses the “one-upper” trait. We, as humans, all want to be better than the rest. But the one-upper stories aren’t always good ones. Why is “having it worse” a good thing? Simple. Because each person also possesses the crave for compassion trait. And we all need compassion from others at low times in our lives. The good news, everyone possesses the ability to be compassionate. No matter how cold-hearted a person may be, their compassion falls on someone at some point.

Though we all have the “one-upper” trait in us, some people use it all too frequently. Their experience is either better or worse than yours, depending on the situation. They are constantly looking for compassion or praise. They dismiss your misfortune or success, and go directly to how good or bad their life is at the moment.

When it comes to one-upping a good story, why can’t you be happy for someone when something good happens to them? Be there to celebrate with them, whether they are a good friend or a stranger. Especially if it’s something they have worked hard to achieve. Don’t immediately start talking about how hard you had to work for something… Congratulate them and wish them well. I have found that the stories of one-uppers are irrelevant to the original story, and often aren’t full truth. Be happy for others without stealing the spotlight. It’s rude.

When it comes to one-upping a misfortune or loss… do I care that you are having a bad day? Absolutely. I’m sorry to hear that. But you have to realize when to talk, and when to listen. Like I said, we all have bad things happen to us. A constant flow of how bad your life is can be overwhelming to those around you. Each person has enough problems in their own life, and your life’s problems coming at them at a rapid speed is likely to push them away. They can’t handle worrying about your issues along with their own. You’re likely to lose that friend, because there’s only so much listening that each person can do if you never let them vent their misfortunes.

Do I think it’s healthy to keep your problems to yourself? Not at all. Talk with your friends about the bad things going on in your life. But like the quote says, “God gave you one mouth and two ears. Listen twice as much as you talk.” You may be hurting, but guess what? Those around you are, too. This world is full of problems… and you never know when a friend might need you to stop talking and listen.



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