Is Being A Know-It-All Bad? Why The Hate?

Most of us know at least one person that is a know-it-all, for the ones not popular with the term, a know-it-all is a person that seems to know everything and always has the “right answer”, no matter the topic.

I used quotation marks for the right answer because it is impossible to know the right answer for everything, but those people will always argue with you that they know the correct answer even if they don’t, or they will find a way to back from that discussion without admitting that they were wrong.

I have an article about how to be confident without being arrogant that will help you avoid being a know-it-all but still be confident.

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Is being a know-it-all bad?

Yes, being a know-it-all type of person is bad since those people tend to polarize every discussion and end up in awkward situations when they meet someone who is knowledgeable about the discussed topic and willing to contradict them.

It is true that most of the time, they seem to be smart since they have an answer for everything, however in those moments when they face someone that really knows what they are talking about, they become uncomfortable and have a hard time admitting that they were wrong, especially because know-it-alls usually talk very confident even if they are not 100% sure that what they say is correct.

A know-it-all is usually arrogant, narcissistic, and selfish, and they don’t really care how you feel when they talk, all they want is to impress people around them.

So yes, being a know-it-all is bad, especially when discussing creating real relationships/friendships.

Read Also: 7 Reasons You Lose Friends In Your 30s And What To Do!

4 Reasons people hate know-it-alls

1. Make you feel inferior

Most know-it-alls have a tendency to one-up everything you say and this is very annoying, especially because they are not always better than you or they know more than you, but they have no problem exaggerating or being overconfident when it is not the case. Being humble is not a thing they are familiar with.

Also, since most people don’t talk confidently about things they don’t know, they always make you feel like they know way more things than you.

2. They monopolize the discussion

When we talk about gatherings, they tend to monopolize the discussion, which is very annoying since everybody wants to talk, hence group discussion/gathering.

We hang out with friends because we want to talk about what’s going on in our lives, get more opinions, see what is going on in our friends’ lives, and so on. But not to listen to one person and be impressed by how much they know or do.

3. Lack of empathy

They don’t really care about how you feel as long as you are impressed by them. They also don’t listen too much to what other people say since they always think they know better, making them less and less knowledgeable over time since listening to others is one of the main ways to learn different things.

This lack of empathy usually leads to bellow average friendships and relationships since it is hard to find someone that can deal with those people for a long time.

4. Misleading

The fact that they talk confidently about everything might make you believe that they know what they are talking about, and you end up doing what they say just to find out that they were wrong.

These people are not the first ones you should get advice from, especially when it is something important since they want to impress you. They don’t necessarily think about what is best for you, hence the lack of empathy.

5 Arrogance

You can think that you know everything without being arrogant, so this is the most obvious one.

As I said in the article about arrogance being attractive, it is something that will not last long since people will realize that you are not actually confident, but you want to be perceived that way.

My advice is to work on being confident rather than looking confident if you want to avoid being arrogant or a know-it-all.

Why are there so many know-it-alls?

I would say that there are two reasons why know-it-alls are so popular.

1. This is what schools encourage. In a way, the school promotes people that are good at as many disciplines as possible, so we grow up with the impression that it is somehow possible to be good at everything or at least to know everything. This leads to kids wanting to be a know-it-all because this is what is rewarded in school, and it is hard to know when to stop this behavior.

2 We have limited information about many topics, so a know-it-all can be impressive when you first talk with them because there are few chances that you will actually know better than them since we are not knowledgeable about so many topics. However, the more you spend time with them, the chances of talking about a topic you really know increase which will make you realize that they don’t really know what they are talking about, even if they seem confident.

That is the moment when you start to question everything they say and their magic disappears.

But you can’t neglect the fact that many people will not end up in that situation and a know-it-all might seem smart and impressive to most people, especially because they don’t spend enough time together. This short-term impressiveness is what drives people to be a know-it-all, of course, they don’t realize that it is short-term.

Read Also: 7 Reasons Your Friends Are Ignoring You


Being a know-it-all can be impressive at first, so you might make a good impression, but it is pretty bad when we talk about lasting relationships/friendships, and it is not something you can switch on and off as you want since you create a habit.

Confidently saying that you don’t know something or simply listening to other people is perfectly fine, and it can also be a sign of confidence. You don’t have to be ashamed because you don’t know a certain thing, if you didn’t say that you are an expert, then it is fine for everybody.

Even if you are an expert in a field, you might not know a certain thing, and you can say that you don’t know, but you will find out or something along this line.

I hope this article clarifies why being a know-it-all can be disastrous in the long run but also make you understand why many people have this tendency.