How To Deal With Smug People In Your Life
March 31, 2014 7:52 PM Subscribe
How can I better deal with people who think they know it all? What I'm doing now is not working.
posted by Fairchild to Human Relations (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have two people, who I cannot avoid and are fairly close to me, who annoy me with their obnoxious know-it-all behavior. These two people seem to have an answer for everything. They seem to have an opinion on everything and since their behavior rubs me the wrong way, I tend to clam up and say very little. I have trouble with making small talk because I am often peeved by their smugness.
They will not necessarily dispute my opinion but they tend to be very smug when it comes to stating their opinions. They often comment on how others are doing it wrong, whether it comes to money, personal matters, or political beliefs. They can be judgmental in a gossipy and scornful way. They have cut people off who have "wronged them", have very high standards for the behavior of others, and often feel that they have been victimized by the poor behavior of others.
It wasn't always like this. I wasn't always so quiet. I used to converse and state my opinions on all sort of matters, but over the years I have become more aware that they are quite arrogant when it comes to their opinions and I have clammed up. I don't think it's worth the effort to talk about myself and I don't feel compelled to share with them. Nowadays it's incredibly boring whenever I'm around them. They do all of the talking and I say very little. It's boring because I am hearing their commentary on the behavior of others and gossip, and boring because I'm not talking. I literally do not share anything unless asked. I'll comment on the delicious food or the weather or other very neutral subjects but that's about it. At times it's hard for me to make eye contact.
What are some things I can do to get over this and just talk without caring? I tend to respect people who have strong opinions, this is not the case with these people. With them it's more annoying than fascinating. I cannot tell them they are being smug. They are twenty-plus years older than me, not blood relatives, and I'm not willing to point out their flaws. It's not worth it and won't end well. This is the way they are and have been for decades and I only need to change how I interact and understand my behavior more.
Any advice or comments appreciated.