When I (Donna) was recently teaching a sportsmanship workshop at my center, the old idiom of stealing someone’s thunder came up in the conversation. We’ve all had our thunder stolen. I think it’s a thing that we humans frequently do to each other. Sometimes, on purpose, but many times, not really realizing this is what is happening. Don’t we all have people in our lives that if you tell them something fun or good that you are doing or have done, they have an even better or more interesting story about the same thing? What are the ways we steal each other’s thunder?
- One-upping. This is when you tell somebody something and they either have something or done something bigger or better.
- Hijacking. This is when you start to tell your story or idea and the conversation gets turned around to the other person’s story or idea.
- Put-downs. This is just plain old mean and belittles the other person.
For some people, this is a habit that they’ve gotten into. It’s something that we could all pay more attention to in our conversations and interactions with others. Instead of stealing thunder, we would do better by enhancing each other’s joy of the moment. Your story is for another day and another time. Today it’s someone else’s turn to shine.