Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!
For me, 2018 is the year of self-awareness. In order to know yourself best, I feel like you have to observe yourself in different surroundings and around different people. Sometimes, we are so oblivious to our own actions, we don’t realize we are doing something that annoys those around us because we’re so used to doing it in everyday life.
In the recent weeks, I’m been observing an unhealthy thing I keep doing around other people. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the “Mrs. Know It All”. In conversation, I would constantly be the person who would either correct those around me or share some random knowledge about the topic that is being discussed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen the eye rolls from my family members whenever I get on tangents or whenever I became that “grammar Nazi”, but I never actually saw it as a sign of annoyance or frustration. It wasn’t until I saw other people being the “know-it-all” in their circles and began feeling the same annoyance and frustration. In other words, nobody likes a Mr. or a Mrs. Know-It-All.
Nobody is taking away your level of intelligence or your education. The thing about constantly having to say some smart shit to a group of people is that you make other people uncomfortable when talking to you. You make people feel like they aren’t smart enough or good enough to talk to you. You make people believe that whenever they open their mouths, you might correct their sentences and question the logic behind them. As a person who had someone do that to me long ago, I know how annoying and frustrating it can be. Although I don’t purposely try to correct or say anything to make those around me feel like that, you really don’t know how a person will take your “know-it-all” personality. Not everyone wants to hear about that one random fact about parrots or that debate whether or not a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable unless someone asks for your input on it.
I’m not saying that you have to play dumb when you’re around people just to make everyone happy. The people who are around you know that you are smart and educated. There’s no need to prove yourself to anyone. I realize that whenever I intervein in a conversation and put my two cents into it, I do so to prove my point and use knowledge to have the upper hand in the debate. It’s a shitty thing to do and it’s going to be a nasty habit to break, but I know that thinking I have to prove myself by providing unsolicited knowledge shows more than just my “intelligence”. It shows how unsure I am of myself. It shows that my confidence can easily be tampered. It shows how pompous and snotty I look when I do things like that.
Just like your confidence, your intelligence speaks for itself. You don’t have to constantly prove your intelligence to people who would already know. If someone needs your input on something, they’ll ask you. The people around you just want to feel like they can be themselves around you. If you know you don’t like someone constantly correcting you or “one-up”ing you, what makes you think those around you like when you do it?
The people around you, whether family or friends, want to feel like they can be themselves around you. They want to feel like they can hang out and talk to you without feeling judged or being frowned upon. People just want to be around people they can vibe with. I realize that there is a time and place for that “know-it-all” stuff. If someone is trying to name that one band member in that 80’s band, answer it. If someone is trying to find that right word to describe something, help them out. Don’t just bud in when they get it wrong the first time and don’t answer them in a condescending way.
For me, I know how hard it’s going to be to not constantly try to correct people when I know the answer to something. I know that I do it without any negative notation and only to help others. But I have to think about how others feel when I do something like that. I have to think if my thoughts are actually needed in this thought. I have to tell myself that I don’t have to answer every little thing or correct every little thing. I don’t have to know it all.
There is more to me (and you) than that, and I bet people like the other things about you.