How To Be A Self-Aware Know It All
Do you know that person who always seems to find a way to interject in conversation, dropping in an extra tidbit or humblebrag or namedrop? Without trying to place judgment on them or criticize those who do it, because I’m guilty of it too, let’s think about how this might apply and what we have to learn from it.
Speaking from my own experience, sometimes I find myself trying to add into a conversation just to try and sound smart. Especially if it’s in a social environment where I feel like I’m out of my league or have something to prove, I want to make it clear that I belong and can keep up with the conversation.
Being self-aware, I know some of the things motivating this behavior. It’s feeling like I’m not good enough or not successful enough. It’s trying to sound impressive so that I can get external validation from someone else to appease my ego. It’s putting that extra sugar coat on top of who I am because I don’t have the confidence to own who I am and expose myself to rejection.
Those all sound like negative things, but it’s perfectly normal and common! What I just shared about is something that many people go through, maybe even you, which is why I wanted to add some perspective to it and suggest some ways of relating with it.
So instead of coming off as a know it all, with a fragile facade, we can approach these moments more authentically. When you have something to add, put it through a quick filter to determine if it’s actually adding to the conversation or if you’re saying it for your own reasons. If it’s the latter, you’ve just discovered an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the root of an insecurity or limiting belief you might have.
Having said that, there are strategic times to demonstrate your knowledge. Especially if you’re trying to make things happen and you want to generate some credibility, it may be appropriate to say something that puts you in a positive light.
But again, it’s being self-aware of the intention behind it. We all need to hustle, I get that. So if there’s a real purpose behind it then go and do your thing. But if you’re flexing your knowledge to fill a hole inside you, being a know it all will feel good in the short term but do more damage in the long term, separating you from your self-belief.