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Maybe you are tired of being a pushover and want to become a know-it-all instead. Or perhaps you have been called a “know-it-all” but are not sure how to act like one. A know-it-all is someone who claims to know everything and always has the right answer to every question. Often, know-it-alls can be difficult to be around, but you can be a know-it-all without being too annoying to everyone around you by striving to be a likeable know-it-all. You can learn how to be a know-it-all at school, at work, and at home.


[Edit]Becoming a Likeable Know-It-All

  1. Acquire the skills to be a know-it-all. To become a know-it-all, you have to be open to learning and gaining knowledge. You should focus on studying up on everyday knowledge that will come in handy on a day to day basis. This way you can act like a helpful know-it-all when you are around others. For example, you may learn about how to open a wine bottle or how to fix a broken toilet.
  2. Act like a friendly know-it-all. To avoid being an annoying know-it-all that irritates everyone around them, you should try to be friendly and polite when you share your knowledge. Adopt a friendly, open tone and try to act agreeable when you tell someone what you know. This will make your know-it-all attitude seem less rude or obnoxious. Try to teach others about how to do something right in a generous way and be a friendly know-it-all, rather than a snobbish know-it-all.
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    • You can appear friendly by displaying open body language, where you maintain eye contact with others and keep your body relaxed, with your arms at your sides. You should also lean towards the person you are addressing and have a friendly look on your face, preferably a smile.[1]
    • When you make know-it-all statements, you should use “I” and say “I think” or “I believe”. Even if you know a statement is correct, you want to appear agreeable to others around you and not too obnoxious or annoying. For example, you may say, “I think this is how you open a wine bottle” or “I believe this is how you clean a wound.”
  3. Be willing to admit when you do not know-it-all. To be a likeable know-it-all, you should be willing to admit when you do not, in fact, know-it-all. Though you may try your best to know all there is to know about a subject or topic, there may be moments when you are stuck or unsure of the right answer. Rather than pretend you know something, be willing to admit that you are not 100 percent sure of the right solution to a problem or issue. Then, ask others around you for their opinion. Doing this will show you are able to open and humble about the limits of your knowledge.
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    • For example, you may try to be a know-it-all about how to solve a math problem in class. However, you may be struggling to determine the right answer for the problem. Rather than sit in class and continue to struggle, you may tap a friend on the shoulder and ask them for help. Or you may raise your hand and ask your teacher for help.

[Edit]Being a Know-It-All at School

  1. Raise your hand often in class. You can be a know-it-all in school by making sure you attend every class and raise your hand often. As a know-it-all, you should not be afraid to show off your knowledge in class around your peers. Raise your hand in class as much as you can so your teacher can call on you and ask you for an answer.[2]
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    • As a know-it-all, you may be tempted to raise your hand every time your teacher asks for an answer to a problem or an opinion from the class. But you should make sure you are aware of the answer to your teacher’s question before you raise your hand. You are not going to seem like such a know-it-all if you end up providing the wrong answer to your teacher’s question.
  2. Correct the mistakes of other students. Know-it-alls are also prone to correcting the mistakes of others, such as their peers or fellow students. As a know-it-all, you may correct any mistakes your peers make in class, such as providing a wrong answer to a question. You may also expand on the answer of one of your peers during a discussion to show everyone how much you know.
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    • For example, one of your peers may say, “I think the answer is 9.” You may then respond by raising your hand and saying, “Actually, the answer is 5 because…” As a know-it-all, you should be willing to correct someone’s mistakes in a straightforward and honest way.
  3. Do well on exams and tests. To prove that you are a know-it-all, you should strive to do well on all your exams and tests in school. Being a model student will show your peers and your teachers that you do in fact know it all and are able to perform well academically. You should study hard for your exams well in advance so you are prepared and confident going into the exam.[3]
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    • You may also try studying with your peers for exams, though you may find this difficult as a know-it-all. Collaborating and working with your peers can make you a stronger student, even if you may have to sacrifice some of your know-it-all traits.
  4. Share your knowledge with your teachers. As a know-it-all you should also be comfortable with sharing your knowledge and expertise with your teachers. You may try correcting your teachers on their mistakes, though this may end up getting you in trouble with your teachers.[4]
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    • Another option is to make suggestions on a different approach to a problem or issue so you appear less threatening and aggressive to your teachers. You may present a different approach as a way to debate an issue with your teacher and with the rest of the class.
    • For example, you may feel there is a point that is being missed during your teacher’s discussion on a play by Shakespeare. You may then raise your hand and say, “Actually, I thought Shakespeare was more interested in exploring these themes…” or “In my opinion, I think Shakespeare misses the point..”. Presenting your ideas in this way will still allow you to be a know-it-all without alienated your teachers or your classmates.

[Edit]Being a Know-It-All at Work

  1. Speak up in meetings. You can be the office know-it-all by speaking up during meetings or group discussions. Be confident and assertive during meetings so everyone is aware of your presence. You may try raising your hand to speak or waiting for a lull in conversation to share your opinion. Being bold and honest about your thoughts is a key quality of being a know-it-all.[5]
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    • Use “I” statements when you speak and try to go for a neutral tone, even if you are acting like a know-it-all. For example, you may say, “I think a better approach might be…” or “I believe we are missing a key issue, which is…”.
  2. Discuss your ideas with your coworkers. As a know-it-all, you should also be willing to discuss your ideas with your coworkers in a clear and honest way. You may talk about your ideas casually over lunch or at the coffee machine. Or you may discuss your thoughts during a brainstorming meeting with coworkers.[6]
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    • Try to maintain a friendly, neutral tone when you are sharing your ideas with your coworker, even if you feel they are the right ideas. For example, you may say, “I like your idea but I was also thinking about…” or “I see where you are going and I think adding on to that idea might make it stronger…”.
  3. Perform well at your job. You can be the ultimate know-it-all by focusing on doing well at your job and being a model employee. Meet your deadlines and keep your clients happy to show your boss that you are good at your job. You may also try to impress your clients with your ability to know-it-all and use this to your advantage as an employee.[7]
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    • If you get feedback about your know-it-all attitude from your employer or your coworkers, you may want to consider how you can shift your attitude so you still project confidence and expertise without being too aggressive or in your face.

[Edit]Being a Know-It-All at Home

  1. Share your opinion with your siblings and your parents. You can be a know-it-all at home by sharing your opinions with your siblings and your parents. You may do this at the dinner table during a family discussion or when you are alone with your siblings. Listen to what others have to say and then be willing to share your opinion honestly.[8]
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    • Try to be friendly when you state your opinion as you do not want to get into hot water with your parents or your siblings.
    • For example, a sibling may say something you think is incorrect. You may say, “Actually, I think the right answer is…” or “In fact, the right answer is…”.
  2. Speak up at home. As a know-it-all, you may speak up when you see things that you feel are not right at home. You may notice when chores as not done correctly or when problems at home are not handled well. You should point out these issues and not be afraid to state your case.
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    • For example, you may notice that your sister is not doing her share of the chores. You may then say to your sister, “You are responsible for your chores” or “You need to fulfill your responsibilities.”
    • Be tactful when speaking up to your parents, as you do not want to seem disrespectful. Instead, use a polite tone and speak respectfully to your parents when you are being a know-it-all. For example, you may say to your parents, “I don’t mean to be disrespectful but…” or “I have a few issues I would like to share.”
  3. Try to fix any issues at home. Once you have shared your opinions on possible issues at home, you should work on fixing them. Part of being a know-it-all is also taking action when needed to address an issue. You should work with the person who is the source of the problem to come up with a solution.
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    • For example, once you have acted like a know-it-all with your sister over doing her share of chores, you should work together to consider how she can get them done. Maybe she sets aside more time in her day to do the chores or she switches to doing chores that are more manageable for her.

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