It’s A Fine Line

Be warned my friend – this is a rant post turned advice post. Dealing with people who think they know everything can be one of life’s greatest frustrations can’t it? They have an answer for absolutely everything – a fact for every situation and an opinion on every topic. They often come across as arrogant, condescending, and unwilling to listen (oh, yay). And while it’s true that knowledge is power, it’s a fine line between being knowledgeable and being a know-it-all.

I think it’s important to recognize that people who think they know everything are often compensating for their own insecurities (yikes). They may have a deep-seated need to be seen as intelligent or knowledgeable, so they feel the need to constantly demonstrate their expertise. It’s not necessarily that they’re trying to be annoying per se, they just have a misguided way of trying to prove themselves.

That being said, there’s no denying that dealing with a know-it-all can be uber frustrating. It can feel like you’re constantly being corrected (you can’t do anything right) or talked down to, and it can be difficult to get a word in edgewise. I’ve found that the key to dealing with these types of people is to approach the situation with a good sense of humor and a healthy dose of patience (humor, I’ve got – patience, not-so-much).

I have a few people like this in my life, so I’ve become pretty equipped at handling them though. (And now for the helpful part of this post.) Here’s what I’ve found to be useful and/or entertaining…

One strategy is to playfully challenge their knowledge. For example, if they’re spouting off facts about a particular subject, you could say something like, “Well actually, I heard the opposite is true.” This can help to disarm them and let them know that you’re not intimidated by their knowledge. It also shows them you’re not ‘buying what they’re selling’ – if you know what I mean.

Another approach is to ask them questions that they might not know the answer to. This can help shift the dynamic of the conversation and put them on the defensive for once. For example, if they’re always talking about one particular thing, you could ask them a complex question that’s outside of their area of expertise and see how they respond.

Of course, sometimes it’s best to just walk away, haha. Far and fast. There are just some people who won’t listen to reason, no matter what, and it’s not worth your time or energy to try to change their mind. In those situations, it’s best to politely disengage from the conversation and move on. #adios✌🏻

At the end of the day, dealing with people who think they know everything is really challenging (for me), but it’s not impossible. By keeping a sense of humor and a level head, you can navigate these people, and these situations with ease grace. And at the very least, the entertainment factor is high.

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