I'd like to find a word to describe someone who, in no matter what situation, wants to be the best. Even if the topic is something negative (such as being told he is insane) he will want to be considered the best at displaying that negative trait (he would want to be the most insane person around).

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    Type A (personality) – Drew Feb 19 '17 at 2:44
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    @Blue Not a single word, but how about "first at everything"? – Gustavson Feb 19 '17 at 2:44
  • "I'm the best at (everything)" -- paraphrasing Trump. – NVZ Feb 19 '17 at 2:52
  • Are you looking for a word with bad, or negative, connotations? – NVZ Feb 19 '17 at 2:54

That person is a one upper. Courtesy of urbandictionary:

one upper

An annoying person who responds to hearing someone else’s experience or problem by immediately telling a similar story about themselves with a much more fantastic (or terrible) outcome.

Person: I got to meet James Hetfield before the concert and I got his autograph.

One Upper: Yeah, well my cousin knows the head of security for Metallica, and he got us front row tickets to the show and then we went backstage and met the whole group. Then they invited us back to their hotel room and we partied with them all night.

Person: I have a a dislocated knee.

One Upper: Yeah, well last summer I broke my leg in four places and had to have a steel pin inserted. I also had to have surgery done on my knee to repair the torn ligaments. I was on crutches for almost two months.

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  • Good find. Congratulations! – Gustavson Feb 19 '17 at 3:04

How about competitive, hypercompetitive, or driven?


competitive: having or displaying a strong desire to be more successful than others.

hyper-: over; beyond; above.

driven: (of a person) relentlessly compelled by the need to accomplish a goal; very hard-working and ambitious.

Hypercompetitive probably best captures the sense you're seeking: over-the-top competitive.

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  • I like hypercompetitive. I think it would be easier to understand this in a sentence that one upper. – aparente001 Feb 19 '17 at 3:35

Perfectionist comes to mind: a person who is only satisfied if what he is doing is perfect. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/perfectionist)

As a psychological trait, perfectionism can be a compulsion to do everything perfectly, regardless of whether it's positive or negative.

(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfectionism_%28psychology%29)

Perfectionists are driven by internal standards. If you mean relative to others, competitive might describe that:

If you're competitive, you want to be the best.


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  • "perfectionist" will tend to be always positive. The person described by Blue should be the "best" even in regard to negative traits. However, being the BEST at BAD things does sound like a contradiction. – Gustavson Feb 19 '17 at 3:01
  • @Gustavson, trust me, perfectionist is not always positive. In fact it typically refers to a compulsion. A perfectionist doesn't care whether it's positive or negative. It accurately describes your "contradiction". – fixer1234 Feb 19 '17 at 3:06
  • I understand the compulsion part, and that is obviously negative. What I mean to say is that the perfectionist will always try to make things as best, not as worst, as possible. That is the essence of perfection. "perfect" only couples with negative concepts in oxymoron-like phrases like "perfect fool" or "perfect stranger". – Gustavson Feb 19 '17 at 3:22
  • @Gustavson, I see what you're saying, but that's not how perfectionists view it. Good and bad is in the perfection. For example, most people would consider being obese bad. If a perfectionist decided to be obese, they would strive for perfect obesity, and their satisfaction would come from how well they achieved that goal. – fixer1234 Feb 19 '17 at 3:31

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