Profile 1 / One-Up-Oliver

by Rod Smith
One-up Oliver can be a real pain. His entire life screams “anything you can do I can do better” and he seldom hesitates to let you know. He’s rarely subtle but, with a little age, he can be. A tilt of the head, a wry or surly smile, can let you know he’s “been there and done that” and did it all better. It’s not just acquaintances who get the One-up Oliver-treatment. Even people in his most intimate circle get it.
For Oliver one-upmanship is his practiced strategy that keeps others at arm’s length, but he’s been living this way for so long he’s unidentifiable without it. It’s who he is. One-up Oliver is often lonely. His life is an endless egg-and-spoon race and winning really is everything and if perchance he does lose, he wins by losing and therefore loses with greater consequence than anyone has ever lost before.
Are there secrets to “reaching” One-up Oliver? Don’t try to compete – it’s his bread and butter. Recognize and affirming his strengths even when he tries to use his pushy superiority to move you out of his way. Don’t budge. As annoying as he can be, he’s going to test you to see if you’re up to it. And, if you are, you have a friend for life.


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