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I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

DISARMING THE KNOW-IT-ALL





Most of us have encountered a person in our lives who can accurately be
referred to as a know-it-all. This person seems to know everything about
anything that gets brought up and tends to dominate the conversation. They
don't take well to being questioned, and they have a hard time ever admitting
that they were wrong. Being around a know-it-all is inevitably tiring because
there is no shared power between the two of you. Rather, you become an audience
member to this person's need to be the center of attention. Attention and
respect are probably the two things this person most longs for, and at some
point in their lives, they learned that knowing it all was the way to get those
needs met. Over time, they have become stuck in this pattern, regardless of the
fact that it is no longer working. They may feel afraid of the experience of
listening, being receptive, or learning something new, because it's so
unfamiliar. On the one hand, when we see the childlike need underneath the know-it-all's
mask of confidence, we feel compassion for the person, and we may tolerate
their one-sided approach to conversation out of a desire not to hurt their
feelings. On the other hand, we may be feeling drained and tempted to avoid
this person altogether. In the middle of these two possible ways of feeling, we
may actually like this person and wish for a closer relationship. If we come
from a place of kindness, we might attempt to bridge the gap that this person's
habitual way of relating creates. Simply expressing a desire to be closer may
open their heart, and give you a chance to ask for what you need in the
relationship-a chance to contribute.

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