Know -it-all .....

Nurses General Nursing



Anyone out there with some advice on how to handle the "all mighty know-it-all?" Ive already tried the ignoring bit....explaining that she may be wrong this one time..........

What in the world is wrong with people who act like that???

I get so disgusted some times that I feel like grabbing her head and shaking some reality into it? Theres gotta be a better way to deal with this person....Help.....please.....:eek:

Specializes in Interventional Pain Mgmt NP; Prior ICU and L/D RN.

Yes, I think we all know someone like this...mostly I just avoid the person...they are not going to change and I don't have to subject myself to their type of attitude.

There are times when our paths cross at work....I simply stand my ground.....................

I still like your idea of grabbing them by their head!!:):)


75 Posts

I agree, stand your ground.

They are not going to change.

You could try "Wow I wish I had your knowledge" but, undoubtedly this would go over their head.


322 Posts

Specializes in critical care, med/surg.

If you can't avoid her, kill her(not literally!!) with kindness. I would use statements like, "Thank you for your perspective. I will take that into account next time I'm in that situation." She will not only know be shocked, but maybe her know-it-all attitude will cease.

Originally posted by TeleNurse_02

If you can't avoid her, kill her(not literally!!) with kindness. I would use statements like, "Thank you for your perspective. I will take that into account next time I'm in that situation." She will not only know be shocked, but maybe her know-it-all attitude will cease.

hmmm......I dont think I could possibly keep a straight face while thanking her for her perspective:chuckle ........ I was thinking, what if I was honest with her and told her straight out that it is very unsafe acting like you know the answers to everything and you clearly dont! Do you think she might freak out or what? I dont know how to handle people like this...... what is she looking for?

recognition? pat on the back? (swift kick in the pantalones?):rolleyes:



693 Posts

I work with someone like that, too. ( And she's not the first one, either!!)

I've found different little things work with different people.

If nothing else, playing your own little game with them can make you feel less irritated with them.

In the past I've used such techniques as: "Wow, I'm impressed! Could you write that down for me, so I can do it just like you do? If anyone asks, I promise to give you credit." First time, she was flattered. Second time she looked irritated. Third time, she shut up almost immediately and I never had to listen to her again.

The one I work with now can't seem to control her know-it-allness. So I just chuckle at her and say, "SaraJane, you're funny!" (Her name is not really SaraJane, btw.) I keep myself from getting upset about something I can't control, and there's nothing there for her to protest, so whatever the subject is will just fade away.

Can be kind of fun sometimes...


126 Posts

I was just going to post a thread on this same thing tonight! We have a know it all at work too and she likes to act as though she is queen and has the answers for everything. I was going to ask for advice on how to handle her.

Would simple ignoring really work? I have tried to look completely disinterested when she's yakking at me before report about things she thinks are important but it hasn't deterred her yet. She even had the nerve to insult me in front of my co-workers over the fact that a nitropatch had not been removed the night before. I was right ticked but kept a clamped lip because I did not want to start a fight. I am at a loss as well. She even tries to intimidate our boss!


541 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac/Vascular & Healing Touch.

people like this (there is one every crowd) are energy vampires, & have a weakness, one must find it. Otherwise, just kill them with kindness. Don't allow them to sap your energy, turn away, don't engage them because the fight will never be fair. I don't have all of them answers for this one. I do encounter these people as Dr's, nurses, students....& administration!!! :eek:


34 Posts

I just ignore em, pretend there not there when they start going on, and if i do end up using one of their ideas/ slutions i try to take the credit for it myself :D


1,804 Posts

wow! you've missed your calling w/ all of those solutions you offer to world problems, you belong in the white house! yes...i've said it to one of my co-workers, but it didn't make a difference beyond that moment because her cranial cavity is about as thick as a concrete wall. i also have told her she can keep a running list of my infractions and shortcomings and show them to the Almighty when the time comes.

i just say this in jest , laughing as i say it. i am convinced that this type of behavoiur dates back to childhood and obnoxous parents who let their kids run off at the mouth unchecked. bottom line, let off some steam. if the person is being rude, tell them either directly or w/ a sly comment. it will stop it at that moment. end your frustration then and there, but don't expect it to produce a lasting solution. these people were what they were long before we ever met them.


6,011 Posts


OH? really? ummm Hmmm? Here show me what you mean said with total lack of interest.

How do you know that?/Where did you get that from? Write it down so I can see whatyou mean?


Buzzing little bees. Annoying but manageable. No need to swat them, they soon fly away if no one notices them.

night owl

1,134 Posts

Or you could say to her what my 14 y/o daughter says to me all the time..."Yeah, whatever!" whatever.gif and Rolllllllll those eyes! :rolleyes: eyesroll.gif eyesroll2.gif

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