You know the type. They laugh at what you say, question it needlessly, telling you that you’re always wrong and the kicker is they claim they know more than you and begin to spew their theories masquerading as facts. The point is to compete, to make you look dumb and make them look smarter. It takes a big ego, no doubt, for such so-called friends to come at you like that, but, nonetheless, they do.
First off, recognize their arrogance; it’s also their weakness. Won’t be to hard too burst that bubble. But then what?
Question Them Pointedly
When they make their point, which is supposed to be besting your point, question them on it; with a “Oh, really, why?” Really ask them questions, question them like they question you. Often, they don’t have the right answers, especially if you dig deep. Also, have your own accurate answers if possible. This is the age of Google, so use the search engine if you have to. They’re always trying to put you on the spot, make you feel defensive, do the same to them.
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Sometimes nothing is more effective than a “Wow, you’re so much smarter than me! Amazing how you know everything!” You run the risk of just aggravating them and making them shut down, especially since they seem to run purely on ego. However, even the biggest ego sometimes has a touch of humility. Maybe they’ll think about it.
Call Them On It
I’ve probably given this advice in every article on this site about dealing with difficult people. Fact is, sometimes the direct approach is very effective. You might actually get through to them, they might actually look at what they’re doing.
The point is to recognize what they are doing, that they are full of themselves, afraid of looking dumb, so they project this image of knowing everything; part of that image is to have you not knowing anything, so they try to make you look dumb: Ironically, their biggest fear, that they will look dumb. They have a hard time with themselves to say the least. But they are making life difficult for you; you can’t say anything or do anything without them hitting you with their relentless criticism and degrading comments. So, once you know what you’re dealing with, you know their weakness; question them, make fun of them or call them on their behavior and really spell it out for them what they are doing.
Of course, you also might just need new friends.