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ILLUSTRATION: SKYLER ASH

Mastering the art of pathological lying

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By Skyler Ash

You’re going to encounter a lot of people in life who talk a big game and make you feel inferior, and who will one-up you with every chance they get.

But feeling inferior makes you want to go home and cry into your ice cream, so you must master the art of pathological lying.

It’s quite natural once you get the hang of it. However, nobody will believe you unless you assume an air of confidence (arrogance) and dignity (superiority) — in essence, channel your inner white-privileged male and everything should go just fine. Here are some practical examples.

Volunteering: “Oh, I just finished a 65 hour shift helping teach illiterate children how to read, I’m so tired!” says the girl next to you on the bench. Look her right in the eyes and say, “Oh, really? Only 65 hours? I just finished a three-week shift teaching deaf children to sing!”

As you’re saying this, shed a slight tear, wiping only one of your eyes, and place a hand over your heart, as if all your goodness is physically too much for your corporeal form.

Work Experience: The kid sitting beside you in lecture is telling you about their summer as an intern at some prestigious magazine.

Tell them about how you spent your summer interning at Vogue in Paris. Talk about strolling down the street with Annie Leibovitz at twilight and how she bought you and Ryan Gosling croissants that you ate whilst walking along la Seine, then glance off into the distance like you’re remembering it all. Give a light laugh for dramatic flair.

Current Events: The guy next to you on the train is talking about the Syrian refugee crisis. Chances are he just read a few headlines on Twitter. The easiest way to act like you’re better than him is to refer to obscure (fake) papers, studies and people.

Ask him if he’s seen Goldberg’s latest coverage in Hungary, and how he feels about what Klaussen has to say about the growing tension between Oglivy and Parnassus? When he looks confused, give him a slow once-over, raise a single brow, look him in the eyes with a smirk and say, “Oh, okay then.” Put your headphones in and shake your head in disbelief.

Although it might not seem nice to lie, it feels good to step out of the shadows. Everyone deserves their moment in the spotlight, and it’s not hurting anyone. And if it is, just tell them about that time you were legally dead for 10 minutes when you were in a life-threatening car crash, but that you survived against all odds. Hey, nobody has to like you — they just have to believe you.

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