I'm learning a valuable lesson. It's not quite fully learned, but I'm working on it. It's this: when people try to one-up you, love them anyway. There are few things I hate more than being one-upped. Please, do not try to shove your imagined superiority on me. You don't have to try to prove that you're better than me. You're not. Just like I'm not better than you. We're both amazing at different things. We are unique people with unique skills.
"Oh, your job is hard? Well, at MY job we work overtime, but don't get paid for it." Cool, thanks for letting me know. Get a different job. "You'll understand when you're married." What? Just because I wasn't married, I didn't know how frustrating men can be? Hello. I do have brothers.... "You don't know what tired is until you've had kids." Stop. Just. Don't even go there. You have no frame of reference to know how exhausted I might be.
I tend to get so irritated about these things. Being treated as an inferior grinds my gears. Welcome to the real world. Most of us have jobs we don't enjoy, that doesn't mean yours is worse. Wow. You have kids? Congratulations. More laundry. There's a reason I don't have any yet. I don't want your life, that's why I'm living mine.
These are all of the things that go through my head when somebody tries to make me feel sub-par. But then my mom comes into the picture. That woman. She's brilliant (sometimes). She says things like, "Well, they're probably just really insecure in their identity." Woah. So. They're trying to make me feel low because of how unfulfilled they are? That totally switches my perspective around. I go from being bitter about the comments to feeling awful for that person. Are they really so miserable that they have to try to shift that misery onto someone else? That's rough. Maybe there is something I can do to help pull them from the mire. Now, God is really the only one who can fully pull anyone out of despair (Psalm 40:2). But having someone around to be your cheerleader absolutely helps!
The point is, when someone tries to make you feel less than you are, see what you can do to help that person. Be their friend, hold their hand in the slippery mess. Support them while their confidence is crumbling. Help to rebuild their foundation of confidence. Find ways to let them know how much you value and respect them, how great they are at the things they do, how much you enjoy being around them. Don't get angry and storm off, show Christ's love in a shaky situation. Live like 1 John 4:7-8.