Five Tips for Dealing With People Who Always Think They're Right

Are you tired of banging your head up against the wall? Arguing is never pleasant, especially when you do it with a person who won't listen. Here, we help you deal with this type of conflict.
Five Tips for Dealing With People Who Always Think They're Right

Last update: 30 May, 2022

When you argue with someone who thinks they’re always right, it’s exhausting. Indeed, coming up against a brick wall isn’t pleasant for anyone, even less so when the wall answers back and tells you not to be so defensive. For this reason, we want to give you some tips on dealing with the kinds of people who think they’re always right.

It’s all a question of emotional intelligence. When a person sticks to their guns without listening to the other person, they most likely lack the necessary sense to identify what the other is feeling. In fact, they have an underdeveloped emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence

A lack of emotional intelligence doesn’t justify know-it-all behavior, but it does shed some light on the subject. Marta Krajniak, a psychologist at Fairleigh Dickinson University (USA) claims that people who tend to overcontrol their surroundings show more difficulties in adjusting their behavior with certain people.

The American psychologist affirms that low emotional intelligence may be one of the reasons why these types of people are unable to have their arms twisted.

Brain of a person connecting to a heart

How to deal with people who think they’re always right

Interpersonal relationships are characterized by being liquid and hence difficult to qualify. Taking into account this characteristic, we’re going to give you a series of strategies that should help you when having to deal with those who think they’re always right.

1. Don’t suggest they’re suffering from a personality disorder 

It’s true that some of these behaviors are typical of certain personality disorders, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person you’re talking to is suffering from one. So don’t bother trying to diagnose them. Even if they do have a disorder, the worst thing you can do is point it out.

2. Keep in mind that they have an underdeveloped emotional intelligence

As we mentioned earlier, these situations are usually due to low emotional intelligence. By this, we don’t mean to suggest that their behavior is justified. In fact, the best thing you can do is show off your own emotional intelligence in the hope that you can inject a dose of it into them. 

3. Don’t get upset

The worst thing you can do in these situations is to get upset or angry with the person who’s arguing with you, even though it’ll likely be your first impulse. You must combat your feelings so that the atmosphere of the discussion doesn’t become even more difficult. Once again, you need to demonstrate your emotional intelligence and see if some of it rubs off on them.

4. Take into account that you might be wrong

These tips don’t mean that you shouldn’t stop for a moment and consider if you’re in the wrong. After all, it shouldn’t be a case of overriding the other person, but of having the ability to back down or adopt a more prudent position when necessary.

Maybe, at some point, you’ve been the person in the wrong. If so, you’ll know there’s nothing worse than getting into a nasty argument and then realizing that you weren’t right.

5. Be careful with the way you communicate

Communication is fundamental in life. It’s even more relevant in this type of conflict, since you’re forced to share a space together, especially if they’re a friend or family member. In these cases, it’s best to be willing to listen and interact. You’ll be surprised at how many times you might actually agree with them.

Man talking to his partner

As you can see, these types of conflicts are usually closely related to emotional intelligence. A lack of this ability acts as an obstacle to listening. Indeed, people who think they’re always right are unable to understand what you’re feeling at that moment.

Emotional intelligence is the cause and can be, at the same time, the solution for such unpleasant situations. If you demonstrate your own emotional intelligence in these arguments, you won’t fall prey to their difficult behavior. Even more importantly, you may be able to draw them into your field of empathy and understanding.

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  • Bermúdez, María Paz, & Teva Álvarez, I., & Sánchez, Ana (2003). Análisis de la relaciónentre inteligencia emocional,estabilidad emocionaly bienestar psicológico. Universitas Psychologica, 2(1),27-32.[fecha de Consulta 16 de Diciembre de 2021]. ISSN: 1657-9267. Disponible en: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=64720105
  • Krajniak, Marta & Pievsky, Michelle & Eisen, Andrew & McGrath, Robert. (2017). The relationship between personality disorder traits, emotional intelligence, and college adjustment. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 74. 10.1002/jclp.22572.
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