How To Deal With Know-It-Alls
If you know it all, you’re essentially a god, right? Everyone has people in their lives who act like know-it-alls – people who appear as though they have endless knowledge of every scenario.
They are constantly putting their input as though they are a professional of the particular subject, even though it is clear that is most definitely not the case.
They often lack introspection of their own faults and false ways of thinking while being critical to others. Apologizing is non-existent for them, because if they believe they are right, why would they ever say sorry for being wrong?
Dealing with them can be frustrating, and it can be difficult not to become evidently aggravated by their personality or inappropriate input.
There are ways that can potentially help you deal with the know-it-all personalities in your life, and what’s most important is discreetly backfiring it onto them. Here’s how.
People who believe they know it all want to flex their “knowledge” and show how much of a better person they are than everyone else in a professional sense.
Their ego far exceeds their talent, intelligence, and likeability, and they are clueless about these facts. In that regard, their ego again takes over their ability to see the blind spots in their nature.
Capitalizing is essentially taking advantage of this character-type. You can look at it as annoying, or you can view it as an opportunity to gain an advantage – the “upper hand”.
As hard as it can be, it’s time to start acting. Act oblivious and as if you were an idiot to pry for further knowledge. See just how far they can go before they crack. The result? They end up as the biggest fool in the room.
When you backfire someone’s character type onto themselves, you are also redirecting your aggravation into your own benefit and thus emerging that person’s true character.
Put Their Money Where There Mouth Is
The easiest tactic to use against know-it-alls is to put their money where their mouth is.
Know-it-alls generally take pride in engaging in arguments, debates and winning, even if it is over an opinion where there is no right or wrong answer.
If they are providing suggestions or solutions on how you should move from, for example, point A to point B, treat them as the person they think they are and ask for their help.
This will give you the chance to make them embarrass themselves. If they are willing to boast about how seemingly knowledgeable they are on a topic they probably actually have no clue about, then why can’t they be proactive and benefit others more with their strengths?
Asking them to put their money where their mouth is telling them to spend money to improve the bad situation rather than just “talking” about improving it.
For example, if you were trying to beat a puzzle, and they are telling you how to do it, ask them to show you then. If they know it all, then they can beat it, right? Let them prove it.
2. Consider Their Personality
It’s important to remember that we are all human beings and whether we like it or not, we sometimes fall into the trap of becoming a know-it-all ourselves.
Consider their personality and have empathy for them. “The loudest one in the room is often the weakest one in the room” (Frank Lucas). This saying could not be more accurate.
You can be loud and brag to your friends about how much you know or your current status, which will make you stand out but will only create more problems for yourself.
If the know-it-all remained quiet and spoke only when the moment was right, or if they do indeed have the relevant knowledge, they will be more respected, listened to more attentively, and believed.
So, with this in mind, have empathy for them. If they are so arrogant, combat it with empathy. Understand where they are coming from, share their feelings, gently insert your opinion and thus transform it into cooperation rather than a battle for who truly knows it all – which is disastrous.
3. Everyone Is Different
When people understand that everyone has different attitudes, beliefs and values. Their opinions are not universal law – they are simply narrow opinions as a result of arrogance.
If you look at people who love to argue politics, this is a prime example of inevitable arrogance. They are arguing with limitations, and even the same political parties believe that their opinions are viable.
This is due to different values, attitudes, principles and beliefs. Everything in life can impact them – from the way you are brought up to what you learn at school to the company you have around to the job you are currently working.
No two people think exactly alike, and their opinions are influenced by a variety of factors. It’s important always to remember that everyone is different, and no one can change how one thinks and feels.
What Not To Do
It is essential not to insult these people. Not only is it impolite, but remember that they are right, you are wrong, and you are viewed as the moron in their eyes – not them. It is highly unlikely that you will change this perception of theirs. Maintain your cool, calm and collected mindset.
Another critical understanding to have is that life is the greatest teacher of all. Know-it-alls might be sheltered, closed-minded, and might not have had as much worldly experience living with other cultures or having interracial relationships.
You might not have the same ignorance about other people’s living situations, for example, and they might not be able to relate or put themselves in other people’s shoes for a different perspective. Not everyone feels the same way you do, and that is a vital life lesson.
There is a helpful story that sheds useful light on this topic by the classic Greek philosopher Socrates. He went to the temple of Delphi, and there, he found a stone claiming Socrates to be the wisest man of the land.
So, in true Socrates fashion, he set out to find who was indeed the wisest man to prove this theory wrong. He went to talk to politicians, craftsmen, professors and people of all walks of life. All he found was people boasting about how much they knew and never considering how much they did not know.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” -Socrates
This is a powerful saying and entirely true for the second point of considering their personality. If they act like they know it all, they are not wise at all. It’s those who believe they know nothing who actually have the true wisdom.
There’s no doubt about how frustrating, rude or silly know-it-alls can seem. They are pompous people who are affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important.
Capitalizing, considering their personality, understanding everyone is different and putting their money where their mouth is are four simple, harmless ways that might help you deal with the know-it-alls in your life.
Maintain your calm and collected mindset, treat them not as arrogant fools but as individual human beings, and have fun with this annoying personality. Backfire it onto them – not only will you feel satisfied, but maybe you will finally knock some sense into their smug heads.