We all know a giver of lessons, a pretentious little one who plays the connoisseur. We find people who claim to know everything everywhere, whether in the office, in family meetings or in a social setting and they have an answer for everything. No matter how hard you try to chat with them, endure them, or even understand them, sometimes it's just impossible to spend time with these boring people. It would be better to just run away from them, but you will end up meeting them again if they are family, acquaintances, friends or coworkers. In that case, you had better prepare to face them.
Part 1 of 3: Understand someone who claims to know everything
Step 1. Make an effort to be understanding
A large majority of presumptuous people behave this way for a reason. They face a variety of challenges ranging from arrogance to a need to feel admired or a personality disorder. Seeking to understand the origin of these difficulties could allow you to understand their personality.
- Try to excuse the attitude of people who have an answer, but understand that there will always be differences between people and do not spontaneously become defensive.
- Remember that respect is the foundation of all good rapport. It is unreasonable to believe that anyone would immediately agree with your ideas, no matter how relevant your vision is when it has taken you many years to develop it. Respect the views of a know-it-all if you want them to do the same.
- You understand people who claim to know everything, and their opinions only when you accept them as they are.
Step 2. Think before you answer
You might get carried away with anger or worse responding to presumptuous people since they are boring. So take the time to hold back your anger and calm down before you find the right answer. In general, you might even feel more confident around these people if you take your time to think carefully before responding.
- You can best frame your answer by thinking about it first. We tend to want to answer even though our interlocutor has not finished speaking and we do not listen to the rest of what they have to say. When responding to someone who claims to know it all, you should provide a relevant, clear, and thoughtful response that they can accept.
- Also don't think too much to avoid saying inappropriate things that create embarrassing situations, destroy friendships or cause fights. It won't help the situation either.
- You will gain respect by giving a rational response. Although a presumptuous person finds it hard to accept a good answer from someone else, they will no doubt accept it if yours is serious and caring.
Step 3. Lead by example
It's okay not to know everything, so feel free to say “I don't know” around this type of person. Through your exemplary behavior, you may be paving the way for others by giving them the confidence to say that they have no answers for everything, including people who claim to know everything. Be flexible and inclusive by asking questions after your intervention and considering different opinions.
- Be honest, open-minded and sensitive so you can also build trust by saying “I don't know”.
- You can say that you don't know something in different ways like, “let me tell you what I know, and what I'm still learning”, “I don't know the answer to this question, but I can't wait to get to know her,”and“I can't tell you for sure. I have an informed opinion on this, which is…”
Step 4. Make constructive remarks
You might doubt it, but presumptuous people ignore that they make a bad impression on others. If you see it, invite them out for coffee or make a date to talk calmly and politely.
- You may not know it, but people who have the answer to everything often lack self-confidence, even if they portray the opposite image. Start by flattering their egos or praising the extent of their knowledge before telling them what they are wrong with.
- Soften the blow by drawing their attention to the importance of everyone being able to contribute because it creates a group spirit.
Step 5. Make a decision together
For any pedantic solution approach to work, your relationship must be built on trust. When you develop a strategy until his attitude changes, speak to him both firmly and respectfully. A person who has answers to everything will make the effort to find a solution with you if you respect each other.
- Do not associate all the actions of a pedant with stubbornness, meanness or bad intention. Remember that you don't have to share their views, you just consider them.
- Keep an open mind and good conduct in resolving any issues.
- Be patient and pay attention to what is being said. Ask for an explanation if you are not sure you understood anything correctly.
Part 2 of 3: start a conversation
Step 1. Flatter his intellectual baggage
Appeal to the egos of presumptuous people if you want their attention. Listening is not one of their qualities, you will have to invent a problem to submit to their expertise. You thus attract their interest since you solicit their valuable point of view.
For example, say this: "I have a problem waking up in the morning, what do you think is the best way to start the morning?" "
Step 2. Arm yourself with hard facts
When you strike up a conversation with hard facts, you will reduce a pedant's bad influence and his opportunities to intervene.
- If you are giving a presentation, share the agenda with the allotted time at each stage of the conference. Add mentioned facts and indisputable statistical data.
- Always prepare, this is the key. Better prepared to speak up will put you in a better position to face someone who claims to know everything.
Step 3. Use truisms to counter their pedantry
You can limit the participation of presumptuous people in the conversation if your choice is to be a little more direct, by introducing your statements with the obvious. They can only respond in moderation and with less domineering interventions, since the truisms are not contestable.
- Remember to say the following before making a statement: “If we admit all the possibilities, then we could conduct this study in the following manner. These kinds of truisms destabilize people who have answers to everything because they force them to reconsider their first ideas.
- You can also respond to their response with this: "What I hear surprises me because I expected a different opinion from you." You surprise them by this type of comment because you doubt their answer while avoiding being too aggressive.
Step 4. Make use of reverse psychology
A pedant is generally against the grain: he will say "night" if you say "day". Even if the truth is not taken into account, his nonconformism forces him to oppose established ideas just to hear himself speak.
State the opposite of your opinion before speaking to force the person to share your opinion by saying, “It is true that you will find this absurd, but, ___. Now she has no choice but to agree with you
Step 5. Always sing the same chorus
The only way to get your know-it-all to accept your opinion is sometimes to repeat your words over and over again. You must resist and avoid getting caught in his vision. The strategy is to get her to see it on her own through stubborn repetition until she finally gives up.
- Here is an example: “I realize that this means a lot to you, but I don't want to do it… sincerely, I don't want to… Yes, of course, I understand very clearly how important it is, but I do not want to do it. "
- You can also say, “It's too expensive in my opinion… Sure, it's a good deal, but I find it too expensive… It looks like the funds are available, but it's still too expensive. "
Step 6. Ask probing questions
People who have answers to everything like to express their opinion and to contradict. If that bothers you too much, confront their answers with probing questions to challenge their point of view. They will then be forced to prepare more before blurting out answers that they cannot substantiate with examples.
Ask specific questions about their experiences, facts, or sources, but be polite. Do not hesitate to confront a person who is presumptuous about his authority or his know-how
Part 3 of 3: tolerate a pedant
Step 1. Don't make it personal
Since presumptuous people systematically correct any false information by giving the correct answer, they implicitly put you in your place. This is a real challenge for your self-esteem and for your authority. However, they think they are doing you a favor by correcting or educating you and can't help themselves.
- Try not to make it personal in this case. Breathe deeply for a few seconds or think before releasing a shocking statement that will only make you uncomfortable.
- Keep in mind that answerable people don't consider people to be dumb or undereducated in general, but rather that they don't know the difference between giving a point of view and presenting a fact. So, just be indifferent to their answers and stay calm and collected.
Step 2. Choose your fights
You don't need to react to all of their responses. You would only stress and exhaust yourself.
- Try to keep moving forward just by responding with "thanks for the suggestion" or ignoring them instead of having a fruitless conversation that you didn't care about at the start.
- Ask yourself this question: "Is the situation so worrying that it needs to be addressed?" This question is very important when your emotions start to surface. By asking yourself, you can choose whether to respond is savvy or detrimental and pull yourself together.
Step 3. Keep your sense of humor
Avoid any form of aggression during your conversation to prevent a confrontation with a presumptuous person. Take a deep breath, smile, and don't be sarcastic of any kind. You can get out of the conversation without worrying about it by keeping it light and fun.
- Take a step back if you can't seem to joke or smile. Take a moment to slip away and you'll more easily see how absurd it was to want to get upset. Try to reframe the situation so that you put yourself in the other person's shoes and assess the responses.
- Try to see how ridiculously annoying the situation can be for potential humor when you are frustrated. You will find her incredibly ridiculous if you take her to the extreme to the point of laughing at it.
- Know that your body releases endorphin which makes you feel good, even when you fake a smile. In difficult times, it will be easier for you to keep your sense of humor by putting yourself in a more pleasant environment.
Step 4. Try to avoid these people
When all of these tips fail, don't answer their calls or emails, avoid their favorite places, and don't invite them. It is more important to maintain your mental and physical health even though this is cruel in many ways.
- You might have a hard time avoiding someone who claims to know everything if you are coworkers. You should step away from a place if she is approaching you or pretending not to hear it, smiling politely at her without responding.
- Change the topic of the conversation to something she is not interested in, or interrupt her when she tries to answer. You are thus telling him of your indifference.