Reverse One-Up-Manship…My Archnemesis

HAPPY BELATED INDEPENDENCE DAY! We were blessed to be able to celebrate on the 4th with our dearest friends and their sweet kiddos, eating good cookout food, swimming and just enjoying being together. As I was getting ready for bed that night, something hit me, though. My best friend is a beautiful, loving woman who is encouraging and sees the best in the people she loves. She’s also just about the best mommy on the planet. But when we are together, we seem to get in some kind of bizarre reverse 1-upping battle that goes something like this: Me: My house is a wreck. Her: Have you seen my house?? It’s awful! Me: Can’t possibly be worse than mine, I’m a terrible housekeeper. Me: I really wish I could lose some weight…I’m up a pants size! Her: Look at my legs/stomach/arms/butt! Me: NO! Look at mine! I have so much more to lose! Her: If I could only lose X number of pounds…I’ve been working out, though. Me: I don’t even do that! …And I could go on and on. We both beat ourselves up terribly over the ways we don’t think we measure up. It occurred to me on Friday night, though, that our sweet daughters (who are mercifully still too young to be soaking much of this up) are growing up hearing their strong, beautiful, Christian mothers berate themselves every time they get together. That’s not the example I want to set for either of these sweet babies, whom I love so much! And I don’t want them to think it’s OK to put yourself down in order to build someone else up–it doesn’t work that way. My goal from this point forward is to a.) stop putting myself down, and b.) start immediately lifting my friend up when I can tell she’s down, through prayer and encouragement. While I don’t want to gloat or be full of myself, I do want Little Lady A to grow up hearing her mother’s confidence, not her insecurity. I want her to hear me proclaim God’s sufficiency that bears me up in my weakness. And I want her to know it’s OK to have a few extra pounds to lose, a floor that hasn’t been swept and dishes in the sink. None of those things speak to her (or my, or my BFF’s, or YOUR) worth as a woman. Do you find yourself engaging in “Reverse One-Up-Manship”? How do you combat it? -B


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