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This is how you deal with know-it-alls [5 Techniques]

This is how you deal with know-it-alls [5 Techniques]

You probably know a number of know-it-alls who always want to be right. Maybe your partner is one. This is okay, because it is a natural tendency of our brain. The good news is: you can manipulate know-it-alls very easily with 5 techniques. What can you do if someone always wants to be right? Read along…

A funny example of always wanting to have the last word…

There are those people who always argue. Even if you tell them the absolute truth that they needed to know and hear. And even if you say exactly what they said, they will argue.

If such a person says to you, “I run into the problem that I can’t get to my feelings with my daughter, ” and if you say exactly  the same back to that person “So you run into the problem that you can’t get to your feelings with you daughter?” Then they will still say: ‘No, it is more like this…’

In short, they are always automatically in the mode to always say you are wrong and to enter into discussion regardless of the content.

Why does someone want to be right? ‘Meta programs’ & Daniel Kahneman’s theory

know-it-alls how to handle it

Those know-it-alls will always automatically enter into a discussion in a certain context. Even if you say something that is just right or something that the other person had just agreed to before.

This is sort of a ‘program’ of their personality / mind. We call these types of programs within NLP ‘ meta programs . We call the meta-program to always have the last word ‘mismatching’.

Daniel Kahneman also has a theory about this in ‘Thinking Fast And Slow’.  He argues that everyone’s brain tends to make it as easy as possible for itself. And a brain that makes it as easy as possible does not want to actually start thinking about whether the information presented is correct or useful. That takes brain power and it takes a few seconds for the brain to warm up for it.

That self-control, politeness and the ability to determine whether the message offered is actually useful is only activated later. The first response someone gives is therefore an uncontrolled response, and that is often a mismatch response.

How do you deal with these know-it-alls / ‘mismatchers’? 5 techniques!

Do you know someone who thinks he is always right, always knows everything better or always wants the last word? Maybe your child? Or do you have a know-it-all as a partner (‘My boyfriend always wants to be right and have his way’)? Then it is useful to be able to deal with know-it-all people.

Technique 1: Reverse Psychology

how do you deal with know-it-all tips

Reverse psychology is the answer when dealing with mismatchers!

If someone keeps doing the opposite of what others say, what should you do? Right! You start with the opposite, so that the other will resist that and you end up with the right thing! Reverse psychology!

If something is not allowed or not possible, it becomes more attractive.

Another example of how I used reverse psychology to convince my brother to go to Efteling: I knew that my brother is a mismatcher. So what am I saying to him? In any case not: “I want to go to Efteling.” So I say, ‘You know what I think? That we really shouldn’t go to Efteling. ‘ And so he resisted me straight into Efteling!

“Mom, what’s that?” Pointing to a boat.
“You know what that is.”
“No I do not know.”
“Very well, it’s an apple pie.”
“No, it’s a boat.”

Technique 2: seeding, or subliminal priming

seeding know-it-alls

Let me tell you about the sneaky technique called ‘seeding’.

If you put parts of the idea into the other person’s frame of reference in the days before you start sharing the idea with the other person, the idea is no longer completely new. This will prevent the other person from falling into the automatic mismatch trend when you introduce your idea. The technique we are talking about is  ‘seeding’, also called ‘subliminal priming’  .

Is your goal for your husband to cook more? Instead of saying, “You should cook more,” you could just ask, “Tim (your son) looks pale, do you think he’s getting enough vitamins?” You let the subject rest and a week later you just mention something about healthy food. Only after another week do you raise the subject of ‘cooking’.

Technique 3: Put our ego aside and agree with the other

this is how you deal with people who always want to be right

We are not the best person to tell the other to put his ego aside. We can only achieve this by putting our ego aside ourselves.

Instead of holding on to your own point of view, or even your values, you can actually start caring about the other person. Isn’t it better to be happy together than to be right on your own? Then you even put your values ​​into action.

Let people have their own opinion. They are entitled to it. The problems only start when you want to change an opinion. This is not only impossible and useless, but also necessary because the world would be boring if everyone thought exactly the same. If you allow people their freedom, you will find yours too.
– Haenim sunim

Technique 4 & 5: Read these two & 53 additional influencing techniques

There is a fourth and fifth way of dealing with know-it-alls.

  • Present ideas as someone else’s, not yours.
  • Make use of (someone’s own!) (Higher!) Logical levels.

These two techniques need an extensive explanation. You will find these ways explained in detail in a separate article. That’s somewhere in the middle of this article with 53+ influencing techniques.

To your success!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!