Have you ever met a Topper?
You know the type – whatever you say, whatever you talk about, whatever you’ve done…they’ve done and done it better (or worse as the subject requires) than you. They’ve “topped” your story. No matter what.
I’ve known a few, and one in particular springs to mind. No matter what I said, she had a story to tell. Now, I don’t mind if someone wants to join the conversation and shows understanding and compassion by sharing a similar story, but when your stories are always – ALWAYS – bigger, better and grander, then you are doing it wrong.
Let’s call my Topper…Mrs. Knowitall.
Mrs. Knowitall and I would occasionally eat lunch together at a different job with a few other co-workers. She couldn’t bear to be left out of the conversation and had to constantly stick herself into each and every topic.
Example (may be highly stylized for the purposes of this blog):
“So last night I ate a big meal. Oh, boy, you wouldn’t believe all of the food I devoured. I probably had two entire pizzas’ worth at the Pizza Hut buffet and that doesn’t include salad and dessert,” I might have said.
“Really? I went to a different Pizza Hut last night and I was able to eat probably four entire pizzas with three full orders of breadsticks along with a head of lettuce covered in a one-inch layer of ranch dressing and croutons,” the wafer-thin Mrs. Knowitall replied.
The conversation would have veered off from there, but I would again say something else later.
“I’m pretty excited – I think I may have another job soon. I’m really looking forward to teaching,” I said.
“Teaching is pretty good, but I tried out for Apprentice with Donald Trump. Apparently he was so impressed with my resume that he gave me a job on the spot. He actually decided that I’m going to succeed him when he retires,” Mrs. Knowitall said.
I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but her final one may have done it.
“I found out last night that my cat has cancer. We’re probably going to have to put her down next week,” I would say, eliciting sympathy from most of our co-workers.
“That’s too bad. That reminds me of the time when my pet unicorn developed incurable Alzheimer ’s disease and then he grew wings and flew into the sun because he forgot that it was hot. We were all pretty sad about that for years at our house,” Mrs. Knowitall said with a smug look on her face.
Your life is more epic than mine. Hands down.
I eventually gave up and couldn’t even speak when I was in their presence for fear of being topped. Every time.
So ask yourself: Who is the Topper in my life?
And I guarantee you that my Topper is 1 million times worse plus infinity.