Do you know a know-it-all?

Everyone knows that one person who purports to know everything, or who has done everything, or has experienced everything – at least, everything that you, yourself, currently know or are doing or are experiencing. Except know-it-alls usually know it better, or have done it before you, or have experienced it much worse than you have. Do you know whom I’m talking about? If you aren’t thinking of the know-it-all in your life right now, then you might be the know-it-all. I sure hope not.
I’ve had the great fortune to only know a few know-it-alls in my life. And I’ve also had the misfortune to not be very good at knowing how to deal with know-it-alls. I tend to either smile and nod (but scream inside), or run and hide (still screaming inside). I’m an introvert anyway, so confrontation is not my thing.
So when I’ve just told you that I’m tired because one of my kids was up all night vomiting, and you counter with your story of how your kid was up every night for a WEEK vomiting, and then you start talking about your child’s projectile vomiting reflex and going into gruesome detail about every single thing you had to wash/sterilise/throw away, here is a little glimpse into what I’m thinking as I smile and nod:
1. All I was looking for you to say was, “Hey, that sucks, hope you get some rest soon.”
2. Why didn’t you take your kid to the hospital if they were vomiting that much? Seriously.
3. Actually, you’ve already told me this story twice, and every time the number of days changes – first it was the whole weekend, then it was four days, and now it’s up to a week.
4. How fast can I get out of this conversation and where can I go to hide?
5. *Silent scream*
Someone else I know calls the know-it-all type of person a “one-upper”. As in, “I see your up-all-night-with-vomiting-kid story, and I’ll raise you a weeklong vomit fest with details that would gross out an emergency room nurse.” Whatever terminology you choose, it sucks to be on the receiving end of a know-it-all’s demonstration of their skills in outdoing you.
I have no sage advice for dealing with know-it-alls. In fact, if you have some advice for ME, I’d love to hear it. But meanwhile, you’re welcome to join me in hiding. I have chocolate. We won’t talk about anything confrontational.
And if you were up all night with a vomiting child, that really sucks, and I hope you get some rest soon.
This is a true story, about an Australian mum who decided to become a surrogate for a gay male couple. It’s a very upbeat, uplifting tale, and I read it in a weekend as it wasn’t too taxing. It’s fascinating to read the details of how surrogacy works in Australia, and to hear firsthand from a surrogate what the process is and how she coped with all the emotional ups and downs. Also, I’m a sucker for stories about people’s dreams coming true, and it warmed my heart to know that she was able to give this amazing gift to two guys who just wanted to be dads.
Labour of Love cover
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