At one of my old barns, there was a boarder who had to get everything I got. One day I showed up with my brand new SmartPak Pipers. I loved them. They were the emerald and navy ones, and I thought they were gorgeous. Not even two days later, the same girl showed up with them. This same boarder was also constantly competing with me for attention from our barn manager and (I’m not joking about this next one) from my own pony.
Unfortunately, there is always going to be competition at a barn, and there is always going to be that one person who has to try and one-up everything you do. Guest writer Terise Cole has some tips on how to deal with the barn one-upper.
We have all been there. You walk into the barn excited about a new find and one of the other riders cuts you off with their own more exciting news. Whether it is about a new saddle, a championship ribbon, or an extra lesson during the week, a “one-upper” is someone who is compelled to be better or have better things than the rest of the riders. As equestrians, we are naturally competitive but what do you do when your own barnmate won’t stop trying to trump you?
Kill them with kindness. This is a phrase I have been hearing for ages and it is pretty easy to follow. Instead of getting envious of someone, simply be happy for them and share in their excitement. Starting an argument or going to their level by one-upping them back will only make the situation worse. Don’t be afraid to show that person that you are just as enthusiastic about their news and then share yours. That way you both can be excited for each other.
Everyone has different opportunities and receives different things, so be proud of everything that you have and don’t compare yourself to them. There is no point. It will only lead to jealousy or anger, not happiness. Instead, simply try to change the subject. Talking about something else will distract from the excitement and ward off any resentful feelings you may be getting.
If this is really upsetting you, just be honest with the person and let them know. More likely than not, they will understand and realize what they have been doing. You must keep in mind that they aren’t doing it to be mean. They are probably just as excited as you and don’t realize that they are overriding your news. If they are bragging on purpose, then that is your sign to stay away.
It is easy to get angry and jealous when someone is trying to one-up you, but it is important to keep those feelings at bay. Fighting with a one-upper is only going to fuel their fire to be even more better than you. Telling them how you feel and agreeing to be happy for each other are some of the best ways to handle this type of situation. Next time you are caught up in a one-up battle, don’t stoop to their level and stay strong.
Have you ever dealt with someone like this? Leave your tips in the comments below.