It’s not easy to put up with Mr. or Miss Know-it All. What you may not realize, though, is that those people just don’t see themselves that way. Often, they simply do know quite a bit about a lot of things, and they think they’re just contributing to the conversation.
What they have NOT learned is the art of shutting up 🙂
So here’s your perfect opportunity to do two things: Improve your listening skills, and teach the know-at-all how to let other people talk.
We can all learn from others. Even the most brilliant among us can learn from those who are maybe less well-read, but they’ve learned the art of making other people feel important by listening respectfully without having to interject their own experience or knowledge.
You know, the “I can top THAT story” person who really can’t wait for you to stop talking; or the “I know, I know” person who won’t let you finish because he wants to be the one to tell YOU all about it. Maybe these people aren’t really so much know-it-all as they are simply lacking in social skills. So be an example for them. You’d be surprised how insecure these people really can feel, under their annoying exterior.
Sometimes, though, they’re so thick-headed that they really don’t get it, and that’s when you can be more active about helping them see the error of their ways.
“You know, John, Sam has been trying to say something for ten minutes, but you interrupt him every time. I’d really like to hear what he has to say, wouldn’t you?” This is said with a smile and a nonconfrontational attitude, and it leaves John very little choice. Of course, he may be immune to suggestion. In that case, I suggest a stronger statement, like, “John! You’ve had the floor for half an hour! Let the others talk!”
If all else fails, a little blunt humor may save the day.