Have you ever known someone who surrounds themselves with things that only they dub appropriate? As if they have created their own bubble world filled with only the things they like and enjoy allowing nothing else in. I know a person or two like this and can often find it very frustrating to communicate with these people.
I call these people Oners (won-ers). They are Oners as they believe they are number one and have an insane ability to one-up you in anything. They will always have a better story, a better idea, be a better cook, a better friend, a better employee, and will basically just be better at everything and there is nothing that anyone can ever think about anyone ever thinking about doing that will top them. It can be infuriating. I, however, have developed some sure fire methods to help your recognize and deal with Oners whilst managing to simultaneously entertain yourself. Please read on.
Oners will often allow you talk or tell a story while politely feigning interest until their moment to one-up you is allotted. A simple way to identify a Oner is by the distant gaze in their eyes. This gaze means they are only half-listening and have already began to plan out the better thing they are going to tell you and are completely distracted by the awesomeness of it. Should you notice this gaze, you can simply stop talking. Once the Oner realizes the noise of your voice has ceased, they will begin their story, completely unaware of the fact that you did not finish your story or even finish your sentence for that matter. Should you be feeling creative, it is sometimes fun to “end” your story or conversation with an off the wall and unrelated instance. For example: “...and then the donkey sprouted a horn, told me he was really a unicorn and thanked me for the tea.” The Oner will not notice the farce verbal trail you have taken and will either nod their head in humored acknowledgement or use the word “Cool” before transitioning into their tale.
Please take note that the Oners tale will usually be completely unrelated to the subject matter you have presented. They are unaware of this fact as they truly were not listening in the first place. Should the Oner actually relate their one sided conversation to the subject, it will likely be long winded and will veer off in several directions before coming to an anti-climatic close. This time of solo chatter may be used wisely with practice. You may choose to perfect the distant gaze the Oner unconsciously develops. They will not notice as they are completely wrapped up in their own world. With the distant gaze you can do awesome things. Perhaps a voice over in your mind. Maybe the Oner now sounds like Yogi Bear as they weave their wondrous tale. You can also run down your grocery list, write a short novel, replay an episode of your favorite TV show and so much more. With practice, you can even sleep.
The key to the distant gaze is being aware of when the Oner stops talking. You must pick up key phrases so you can excitedly respond with something similar to this, “WOW! The next time I need new tires, I will definitely check into that wireless store where I can sweet talk my way into an amazing deal on a cell phone! Thanks pal!” The Oner will feel accomplished and you will now have recalled every spice in your cabinet and figured out exactly how to better organize them. WINNING!
One of the best thing about Oners is how utterly clueless and easily confused they can be. For instance, say the Oner has professed their love for the show “Hoarders” and has let you know that everything else is dull in comparison and how insanely stupid you are for not watching this show. Use this to your advantage. Make a comment like “Wow, the footage of the devastation this string of storms has caused across the south is heartbreaking.” The Oner will stare at you blankly. Continue with “I wonder if they are going to cover the damage on Hoarders. What if one of the Hoarders house got hit? Do you think they would pick up all their hoarded stuff and then find others people lost stuff and hoard that too?” Since the Oner only hears words of interest to them (in this case “Hoarders”), they will find themselves totally lost. Knowing they are to respond in some way the likely comment made will be something along the lines of “Hoarders rocks!” To which you can return a blank stare. Bonus points if this conversation happens in front of a group of people. You will then have successfully confused the Oner whilst making fun of them directly to their face in front of a group of others who have likely been victimized by the Oners narrow minded ways as well. High five yourself on a job well done!
A few other ways to entertain yourself via the Oner:
Create an email composed of fragmented sentences, random statements, and off the wall, highly irrelevant facts. Ask the Oner to respond with their thoughts.
Ask the Oner when their signifcant other, child’s, or parent’s birthday is. Watch as they panic thinking they have missed it.
Tell the Oner you have learned to fly. Listen to the story they tell to one-up you.
Ask the Oner who the President is and what democratic party he represents. Make sure others are present for this.
...and the list could go on....I hope, dear friends, these suggestions and tips help you to identify and properly handle the Oner in your life.