Are you a "one upper"?

So before I became a mother, I rarely ran into this type of person. You know, the person who always has it worse than you. I think it is basic human nature to want to complain, and I totally admit to doing it myself. However, I think there is a line that can easily be crossed.

Now that I'm a mom, I feel like I am running into this type of person ALL THE TIME. There seems to be some sort of need to "have it worse off" than the other person, and I'm really having a hard time wrapping my head around it. Let's look at some of the reasons we complain in the first place:

Venting: Sometimes you just have to let it out! Complaining really doesn't make any situation better, but it sure feels good to tell someone else.
Commiseration: Nobody wants to feel like they are alone in the world.
Advice: Sometimes we can't figure out what to do just by our-self, and we need to ask someone to get different opinions. It makes sense!

I really do think complaining, venting, seeking advice is really therapeutic, or I wouldn't have a blog! I feel that constantly "one upping" other moms though is very detrimental. We need to stick together, not make each other feel insignificant. Constantly having it worse than other people, especially when they are seeking advice or help just makes them feel like their complaints are needless when you "have it so bad."

As mothers, I think we really need to try and be empathetic to others, especially other moms! We all have different situations in life and need to support each other as best we can. Nobody else will really understand where we are coming from, and it is really important to support each other!


Jillian said...

This is a really good post. I hate when I complain about something and the listeners reaction is "well its worse for me cuz XYZ" and I think they're genuinely (usually) doing it to empathize with us, but the feeling it gives me is not "it could be worse": the feeling is actually "oh well I guess I shouldnt be complaining then. now i feel worse." This is a good thing to make people aware of. Well said.

Nila said...

I wish I could like your comment! This obviously applies to all walks in life, and not just moms. I feel that everyone is susceptible to doing this, it is easy to get in that "Wow, what the heck is she complaining about, I have it so much worse" mode. But in the end, it really does nobody any good and just alienates the original "complainer".

Brittiany@GLITZgm said...

Nila I was thinking the same thing about "liking" Jillian's Comment.

I feel like I used to do that a lot as a way to sympathize. When in fact sometimes I really just felt guilty for having it good, when one of my friends was in pain.

Good post.