The Male Playbook: The Show-Me State

I believe it was the great Nelly who said in his slightly popular song “Midwest Swing,” “I’m from the Show-Me state, show me 7 I’ll show you 8.” Well said Mr. Nelly.

One-upping is an art among circles of men. It’s an art that can leave you looking like the Alpha Dog in a social situation or a Douche Bag. The only time the latter is preferred is if you’re on Jersey Shore or if you’re simply from New Jersey. This takes place in the office, at the bar, in the gym, pretty much anytime there’s at least 2 guys present. Much like wolves in the wild, there’s a natural order of men in conversations, Alpha –> Omega. Let’s just be honest, a girl, your co-workers, everyone wants to hang out with the more interesting Alpha. He’s just more fun and his stories are just so damn good!

You want to see yourself as more Brad Pitt (I’m just gonna be effortlessly more interesting than you) and less as Donald Trump (I have to flash my money, suits, buildings so you think I’m interesting). Since this is a dangerous line to walk, I wanted to outline some do’s and don’ts (sp? dont’s? don’t’s?) of one-upsmanship.


  • Listen to the entire story of the lesser man and always acknowledge his story before starting your own “That’s awesome man. Yeah when I was…”
  • Stick very close to the truth on your story. embellish a little if necessary, but once you start lying it snowballs and next thing you know you’re story ends up with you riding unicorns and drinking magic beer with leprechauns. people will see through your lies.
  • Act it out where appropriate. Some people are more visual, you want everyone in your audience to appreciate your better story.
  • Have a solid punchline. I’ve heard a lot of stories that build me up, only to let me down with their weak, uninspired, pointless punchline.


  • Interrupt. If you interrupt, you’re gonna look like a D-Bag. End of story.
  • Use words to start your story like “Oh yeah, that’s nothing…” “I had that happen to me but it was way worse (better, stronger, etc)…” “Listen to how much better my story is…”
  • Try and one-up more than once. After that it just becomes a pissing contest and no one’s gonna win this. It’s just gonna get really awkward for all parties.
  • Tell your story first. Unless you’re absolutely sure that nothing can top your story.
  • End your story with “and then everyone just laughed” “i blacked out and don’t remember” or any iteration of this.

Follow these do’s and don’ts and you’ll be the largest Silverback Gorilla at your next company outing…the peacock with the brightest feathers at the bar…the most interesting M’Fer.

You might now be thinking to yourself, “who is this guy, and how arrogant of him to write on such a topic..?” Well guess what, do not try to out-humble me, because I have stories for days that will out-humble your humility.


One response to “The Male Playbook: The Show-Me State

  1. Dustin Riedesel

    I’ve talked to plenty of people about the art of one-upsmanship, but I didn’t forget to include this pertinent YouTube video on the topic:

    “You, my friend, have just been story-topped!”

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