Does Everything Have to Be a Competition?

Why do some people feel the need to “win” everything?

Everyone has been “one-upped” at some point in his or her life. Maybe you told a friend about an accomplishment at work, and she bragged about her promotion. Maybe you’ve dealt with a mom in the carpool line whose daughter takes ballet lessons with yours, but also gets tutored, plays softball, and is learning another language. When did everything become a competition?

This week on “I Want to Like You,” Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop discusses one-upping with etiquette expert Lisa Gache and Amy Marella, a wedding décor and floral design expert. Gache, who lives in Beverly Hills, explains this behavior as a combination of insecurity, a competitive nature, and a need to overcompensate.

So how do you handle a friend—or group of friends—that consistently turn everything into a contest? The short answer: You just have to be the bigger person. It’s not the most groundbreaking solution, but it will work.

For more ways to gracefully deal with one-upmanship, listen to the full episode below. Don’t forget to subscribe and review in iTunes!