How To Deal With Know It All Person: 15-Step Guide

Today you’re going to learn how to deal with know it all person.

We’ve all encountered that person who thinks they know everything – the smarty pants, wise guy, or smart aleck. Whether it’s at a family gathering, in the office, or in a social setting, these know-it-alls can be extremely frustrating to be around, despite our efforts to engage, tolerate, or even understand them. While avoiding them altogether might seem like the best solution, it may not always be possible if they are friends, family members, or coworkers of people we know. As a result, it’s important to be equipped with strategies to effectively handle them.

How To deal With Know It All Person:

1. It can be helpful to try to understand the reasons behind a know-it-all’s behavior.

Some may have underlying personality disorders or a need for excessive admiration that fuels their need to know everything. Rather than having an immediate fight-or-flight response, it’s important to try to tolerate their behavior and recognize that differences among people are inevitable.

Respect is key in understanding others, and it’s important to acknowledge that others may not conform to our own ideas. In order to earn respect for our own opinions, we need to respect the opinions of others, including know-it-alls. Only by truly appreciating them for who they are can we begin to understand their perspective.

2. When dealing with a know-it-all, it’s important to resist the urge to respond in anger or frustration.

Taking the time to calm down and think before responding can actually increase your confidence in dealing with them. By giving yourself time to think, you can formulate a well-thought-out response that is more likely to be accepted by the know-it-all.

Rushing to respond while the other person is still speaking can cause you to miss important points and lead to an ineffective or offensive response. It’s also important to remember that saying something out of anger can damage relationships and create awkward situations that do nothing to resolve the issue with the know-it-all.

A thoughtful and respectful response, on the other hand, is more likely to be received positively by the know-it-all, even if they don’t fully agree with your perspective.

3. Setting a positive example can be a powerful tool when dealing with a know-it-all.

Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something, as this can demonstrate that it’s okay not to have all the answers. By modeling appropriate behavior, you may also encourage others to feel more comfortable with not knowing everything, including the know-it-all.

When responding to a know-it-all, it can be helpful to follow up with questions and seek out diverse perspectives to show that you value flexibility and inclusion. Admitting that you don’t know something can also build trust by demonstrating honesty and vulnerability.

Rather than simply saying “I don’t know,” try using phrases like “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m eager to find out” or “Let me share what I do know and what I’m still learning.” This can help keep the conversation productive and focused on finding solutions rather than just shutting down.

4. If you notice that a know-it-all’s behavior is having a negative impact on others, it may be helpful to offer constructive feedback.

While it may be difficult to broach the subject, it’s important to approach the conversation with kindness and respect. Consider inviting the know-it-all out for coffee or scheduling a private meeting to discuss the issue.

While know-it-alls may come across as confident, they often struggle with insecurity, so it can be helpful to acknowledge their knowledge and expertise before discussing the negative impact of their behavior. Soften the blow by explaining that everyone should have the opportunity to contribute and that a sense of community is important.

By offering constructive feedback in a supportive way, you can help the know-it-all recognize the impact of their behavior and work towards improving their interactions with others.

5. When working towards a resolution with a know-it-all, it’s important to establish a foundation of trust and mutual respect.

This can help to create a positive environment for assertive and respectful communication. Rather than assuming negative intentions, try to understand the know-it-all’s perspective and avoid labeling their behavior as stubborn or unkind.

While you don’t have to agree with their opinions, it’s important to acknowledge them and keep an open mind. A positive attitude can help to create a productive environment for resolving any issues.

It’s important to be patient and listen carefully to what the know-it-all is communicating, and don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if needed. By working together towards a resolution, you can help the know-it-all recognize the impact of their behavior and make positive changes.

SEE ALSO: How To Manage Conflict Effectively: 20 Essential Ways

6. Appeal to their sense of self-importance by acknowledging their wide range of knowledge.

Since they may not naturally be good listeners, presenting a problem and asking for their advice can grab their attention and demonstrate the value of their opinion. For example, you could ask for their advice on a problem you’re having, such as struggling to wake up in the morning.

This approach flatters their expertise and can help to engage them in a more productive conversation. By showing that you value their opinion, you may be able to create a more positive and productive relationship with the know-it-all.

7. Arm yourself with verified facts to limit their negative impact and prevent them from interjecting with misinformation.

If you’re giving a presentation, consider providing an agenda ahead of time that includes a time limit for each phase of the talk. You can also include indisputable statistics and cited facts to support your perspective.

Preparation is key when dealing with a know-it-all. The more you’re able to defend your perspective with verified facts, the better equipped you’ll be to handle any challenges that may arise.

By demonstrating a strong understanding of the topic at hand, you can also potentially earn the respect of the know-it-all and steer the conversation towards a more productive outcome.

8. If you want to be more direct when dealing with a know-it-all, you can try countering their responses with truisms.

Truisms are statements that are obviously true and leave little room for the know-it-all to interject with their own opinion. For example, before making a statement, you could say “If we’re open to all possibilities, then we could consider looking at it this way.”

This type of truism can throw off a know-it-all, as it forces them to reconsider their perspective. Alternatively, after a know-it-all provides their response, you could say, “I’m surprised to hear that, as I thought your perspective would be different.”

This approach questions their response without being too confrontational, which can catch them off guard and potentially open up the conversation to more productive dialogue. By using truisms to guide the conversation, you can potentially steer it towards a more collaborative and respectful tone.

9. When dealing with a know-it-all, it can be helpful to be honest about how their communication style makes you feel and what you need from them.

For example, you could say “Sometimes I feel uncomfortable expressing my opinion when you’re always interjecting. Would you mind waiting until I’m finished before sharing your thoughts?” or “I value your opinion, but right now I’m only looking for support for this idea. Would you be open to telling me what parts of this you like?” or “Could you tell me what you understood from this so I can hear how it sounds to someone else?”

By phrasing your thoughts as requests, you can help to create a more collaborative and supportive conversation that doesn’t shut down the know-it-all’s contributions entirely. This approach can help to establish boundaries and promote more productive dialogue (1).

10. In some cases, it may be necessary to become a broken record when dealing with a know-it-all.

This approach involves repeating your position over and over, without getting caught up in the know-it-all’s perspective. The idea is to be resilient and persistent, wearing down the know-it-all until they eventually surrender or begin to see things from your point of view.

For example, you could say “I understand how important it is to you, but I really don’t want to do it…seriously, I don’t want to do it.” Or, “I think it’s too expensive…yes, it may be a good deal, but it’s still too expensive…I understand there’s financing available, but it’s still too expensive.”

By sticking to your position and repeating it consistently, you can potentially break through the know-it-all’s resistance and reach a more productive outcome. It’s important to remain calm and focused, even if the know-it-all becomes frustrated or confrontational. Ultimately, the goal is to find a solution that works for everyone, even if it takes some persistence and repetition to get there.

SEE ALSO: How To Use Hand Gestures in Communication: 9 Top Ways

11. Ask probing questions to challenge their perspectives and encourage more thoughtful responses.

Know-it-alls often enjoy being contrarians, but asking detailed questions can force them to better articulate and support their position with evidence. It’s important to be respectful when asking these questions, but don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about their sources, facts, or experiences.

By doing so, you can encourage a more productive and evidence-based conversation. It’s also okay to confront a know-it-all about their expertise or authority, as this can help to establish a more balanced dialogue and prevent misinformation from being spread. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage more thoughtful and respectful conversations, even when dealing with a know-it-all.

12. Remember not to take their behavior personally.

While their need to correct misinformation may come across as a challenge to your authority or self-esteem, it’s important to recognize that know-it-alls often see themselves as doing a favor by providing information or correcting others. In these situations, try taking a few deep breaths or taking some time to think before responding, in order to avoid saying something offensive that may only make things worse.

It’s also helpful to remember that know-it-alls don’t necessarily see others as stupid or uneducated; they simply may not have learned the difference between presenting a fact and sharing an opinion. By remaining calm and not taking their responses personally, you can potentially defuse the situation and encourage a more productive conversation. Ultimately, the goal is to work towards a more respectful and collaborative relationship with the know-it-all.

13. When dealing with a know-it-all, it’s important to choose your battles carefully.

Not every response by a know-it-all needs to be addressed, as doing so can be exhausting and stressful. Instead, try to keep moving forward by either ignoring them or simply acknowledging their suggestion with a polite response, such as “thanks for the suggestion.”

Before responding, ask yourself whether the situation is distressing enough to require a response. This can be an important question to ask if you find yourself becoming emotional, as it can help you to regain perspective and decide whether engaging with the know-it-all is likely to be productive or harmful. By being selective in your responses, you can potentially avoid getting drawn into unproductive arguments and focus on more important matters.

14. Keep your sense of humor and avoid confrontational encounters.

Smiling, taking a deep breath, and avoiding sarcasm (2) can help keep the conversation non-aggressive and allow you to shake off any frustration without further worry. However, if you find it difficult to smile or laugh off the situation, it may be helpful to take a step back and view the situation from a spectator’s perspective.

This can help you to reframe the situation in a way that makes it seem less frustrating and more humorous. Even a fake smile can help release endorphins and improve your mood. By placing yourself in a happier state of mind, it may be easier to maintain your sense of humor in trying times.

15. If you find that none of the strategies for dealing with a know-it-all are effective, it may be necessary to simply avoid them.

This could involve not inviting them out, avoiding their favorite places, and not responding to their phone calls or emails. While this approach may seem cruel, it’s important to prioritize your own sanity and well-being.

If you work with a know-it-all and cannot avoid them entirely, you may need to find ways to limit your interactions with them. This could involve pretending not to hear them, politely smiling and not responding, or leaving the area when you know they are approaching.

Changing the topic of conversation to something they are not interested in or cutting them short when they try to reply can also help to communicate that you are not interested in engaging with them. Ultimately, the goal is to find a way to limit the negative impact of the know-it-all on your life, while still maintaining a sense of respect and civility.

Dealing with a know-it-all can be challenging, but there are a variety of strategies that can be effective.

It’s important to try to understand where the know-it-all is coming from, and to show respect for their opinions and expertise. At the same time, it’s also important to be assertive and set boundaries to prevent them from dominating conversations or undermining your confidence.

Strategies like asking probing questions, using truisms to counter their responses, and repeating your own position can be effective in limiting their negative impact. It’s also important to prioritize your own mental health and well-being by choosing your battles wisely, avoiding confrontational encounters, and maintaining a sense of humor.

If all else fails, it may be necessary to simply avoid the know-it-all altogether.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to deal with know it all person. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here