• Lili A. Sinclaire

The Know-it-all Syndrome


We are in extremely difficult times. Divisiveness circles around us like a roaring tornado and washes over us like a raging tsunami; it’s hard not to get swept away in anger, bitterness, and mostly being a know-it-all. Our religious and political beliefs aren’t what divide us, it’s the know-it-alls agenda to change others because they believe they know best. The result is alienation and causes anything from lost friendships, to divorces, to wars.

Who are these know-it-alls? They are people who hide behind “facts” and smugness. They have no interest in hearing what another thinks. They are judgmental, critical, opinionated, closed, and lack any form of humility or curiosity. Humility and being curious allow us to actually learn something we didn’t already know!

By being curious we open the door to a conversation where each person can gain some bit of knowledge that they did not have before.

Why are people know-it-alls, why aren’t they curious? Probably, because they have some insecure part within them that causes them to need to be right, to be on top, to win. When someone isn’t interested in what another thinks, but they just want to spout off their beliefs then there is no real conversation occurring, and it's time to walk away.

It has taken me a long time, but I’ve come to understand that some relationships are just unhealthy. I need to be in relationships that are open (which equates to being curious) and have respect as the foundation. Respect consists of accepting someone for who they are even when they are different from you or don’t agree with you.


I am super tired of all the divisiveness that exists because of the know-it-alls. If we aren’t willing to treat others the way we want to be treated with respect, what does the future hold for us as a society?

We can bridge the divide if people stop pushing their ideas on others and instead start listening. By focusing on our commonality and all the good that exists, we can transform this ugly, swampy mess we find ourselves sinking in.

Do you want to be a know-it-all who thinks they are always right, or do you want to make the world a better place by being open, curious, respectful, and kind?

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