Why We Need To Stop One-Uping Each Other

Is it just me, or are so many people in our generation deeply insecure instead of being confident?

I don’t get it, but wherever I go, it seems that everybody wants to deflect their authority or power. It’s as if everything in this world is a contest. 

I remember walking with my colleague and another student employee to grab some free hot dogs. While we were trying to navigate our way around a confusing campus, we decided to pass time by talking about psychology

The topic was so interesting that I told her, “Wow, I’m so glad we talked about this. I really enjoy this conversation.” 

And she replied, “Yeah because it shows me that I know much more than you.” 

Come on, seriously? 

But that wasn’t the first time. Even one of my former colleagues, who was the same age as me, told me that she thought I was a year younger because “I didn’t succeed as much as the people around my age do.” 

Whenever I hear these comments, I’m shocked at how people act. Why are we being mean to each other? Why do we always feel the need to re-assert our power, even if we don’t have any right to? 

The answer: Whenever someone resorts to this behavior, they show their low self-esteem. Some people want to control others for pride. 

But why do we view control as a form of pride? 

When we are fed societal expectations and told by everybody that we should follow a certain timeline, we begin to feel bad about ourselves. Bad that we can’t accomplish the goals others can and bad that we don’t know what talents we can offer. So we often feel forced into a competition against others, which makes us only look out for ourselves. 

As a result, we want to feed our ego as much as possible because we believe it is the only way to be confident. 

But unlike confidence, which results from having faith in your own abilities, ego is highly motivated by self-interest. This is why some people reflect their power on others; they want to feel validated. So, when others listen to them and do what they say, they feel in control. 

So, whenever someone says such phrases to you, it’s more of a reflection of their own situation, not yours. 

But how can we stop this? 

The answer isn’t as easy as most of us may assume. Instead of ego, we should look out for each other by being confident in ourselves and our abilities. If we are confident, we don’t have to seek approval.

And if we’re confident, we’ll know our strengths and work to improve our weaknesses. 

They all say that self-confidence inspires others to feel confident. But to build confidence, we need to learn more about our own skills and take every challenge with a grain of salt. We need to forget about control and look for growth. Confidence is about ignoring all the attention, people-pleasing, and imperfections and focusing on valuing yourself and understanding why you are unique instead. 

By understanding ourselves, we can help others feel empowered to understand themselves. So, instead of one-upping each other, we should join hands and look out for one another. 

I know this is difficult in a society that prides itself on self-interest. However, by being confident, we’re not only getting ahead and reaching outside of our comfort zones, but we’re also inspiring others. 

So, whenever someone makes these comments to you, realize they have nothing to do with you. Shrug them off since you know what’s best for you. And stay confident.

Featured image via Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


  1. that’s why I just want to focus on myself, say that be a better version of your self tomorrow is just enough. People usually get stress on the succeed of the others but they don’t know that everyone has trouble and the important thing is getting over it and try to become a better one than yesterday


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