“One uppers”. We have all run into the practitioners of this annoying behavior. The people who ask about details of a problem or issue you may be having or have had – and they proceed to tell (usually by interrupting you) how they or someone close to them has dealt with something much worse and/or how it was dealt with better than you have. I have run into this so many times since my diagnosis of endometriosis and neuropathy it is shocking. I have been very surprised by who these people are.
As I have stated elsewhere before, my battle with endo has left me in almost constant pain of varying degrees. At some times, I am able to operate very well and can keep the pain at bay. At other times I hurt so badly that the best I can do is lay on a heating pad and rock to distract myself. It is just the way it goes. I have been one upped on this when asked how I was… I was plainly told how a mutual friend has it “much worse”.
Why this hurts:
- You ask me about me – not our friend
- It is a different issue
- People have different pain thresholds
- It totally dismissed my issues
Another more detrimental “one up’ing” came before my hysterectomy. A co-worker told me how their mother had a hysterectomy and was back at work in two weeks. Of course, as we discussed this more, it became clear that they were unsure what type/extent of hysterectomy their mother had and it was clearer that it was due to another issue – not stage 4 endometriosis.
While I was out during my recovery from surgery this person told one person – that I know of – how their mother was back to work in two weeks and made it sound that I was somehow “milking the system” being out the minimum time that my surgeon mandated. As to be expected with“office talk”, I heard about this almost immediately through a phone call. At this point I was only 3 weeks post-op. I was still in a lot of pain, my incision was still open and having issues healing due to the “Super Glue Incident”, my hormones were off the charts from surgical menopause and (unknown to me at that time) I was building up painful granulated scar tissue. I can not tell you how much this hurt. That someone I considered a “friend” was saying this.
Because of this situation, I went back to work at the first opportunity I had. The second day back at the office I took a tumble down the stairs.
Even though I have had these situations that emotionally hurt me and damage friendships, I will answer honestly when you ask me how I am or what I am going through. My hope is that someone may tell a woman they know about my experience and I it will help them. If you have realized that you may be a “one upper” try to remember that you are basically dismissing the person you are talking to. Just think about it…. Words can hurt.