Stay patient when dealing with a man who thinks he's never wrong.

How to Deal With a Person Who Thinks He's Never Wrong

by Nina Edwards

You’re at work and into the room walks your least favorite co-worker -- the one who always thinks he’s right. He has an answer for everything and seems to have an air of superiority about him, as if he thinks that it should be a privilege to breathe the same air as he does. Figure out ways to deal with a person who says he is never wrong without resorting to storming away or buying a voodoo doll.

1. He Secretly Feels Inferior

Perhaps he actually lacks information and instead of being okay with the gaps in his knowledge, he overcompensates by claiming that he is always right. Accordingly, he may secretly lack the confidence to accept his weaknesses. People like this are often extremely sensitive to rejection. Although he comes across as Mr. Know-It-All, his ego is probably more fragile than it appears.

2. Respond Carelessly

If you don’t have a lot of time or energy to deal with his shenanigans, you can opt for taking the path of least resistance. Just nod your way out of the situation. This is one of the easiest and most commonly used escape routes for dealing with people who think they're always right. This gives him the impression that you agree despite your real feelings. You can also give him a closed-ended response, such as "Hm. That's interesting," and then move on.

3. Manage Your Irritation

If the person who thinks he’s right all the time is in your family, focus on managing your reactions to him. If you yell at him and say “You think you’re never wrong!” you will probably make him defensive; he may conclude that you are overreacting. Instead, notice when you start to get irritated and then make an effort to either end the conversation or steer it in a different direction.

4. Have Compassion for Him

Since he probably secretly lacks confidence, try to empathize with him. In all likelihood, he is not trying to irritate you. He is just trying to show you that he’s intelligent, suggests the 2002 article "Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and the Positivity of Self-Views: Two Portraits of Self-Love" by W. Keith Campbell, Eric A. Rudich, and Constantine Sedikides in the "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin." Instead of rolling your eyes, try listening to what he has to say. If he makes a valid point, don't hesitate to acknowledge this.

About the Author

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.

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