(Original post by Anonymous)
What can I do/say that's not hurtful or rude but strikes a nice subtle blow to know-it-alls, smug people etc?
The greatest weapon against the know-it-all is the witty remark. Subtlely undermining a know-it-all will deal heavy damage to their ego but it won't be a very obvious tactic. I would warn you, however, that a good know-it-all will probably attempt to outdo your witty remark with one of his/her own. As a practised know-it-all myself, I know that if I continue to make clever replies to anything directed at me, I'm not going to lose face.
(Original post by Kernel)
^That approach can be dangerous if you lose.
Well that's the thing, any self-respecting know-it-all will be able to make clever comebacks. If you can pull off undermining them, it's good, but otherwise ignoring a know-it-all will still be damaging to their ego.
My college is full of arrogant bastards who think they are God's gift to the Earth. Not saying they all are, but there are too bloody many of them. And they're not the most popular of people. Just ignore them.
I agree totally with Chumbaniya - wit is the way forward.
If, however, you cannot think of anything witty to say then here are a couple of suggestions:
Just smile and shake your head in despair when they act like they know everything. It'll make them look stupid.
Or, if they say something that you can criticise, say quite loudly with a really shocked voice, like it's the most blatently obvious thing in the world : "Well that's not right at all. It's obviously that..." Again, they will look stupid.
If they say something that's true say something like "well yeah, of course". As though their intelligence is overrated and really they are just stating the obvious. Then they will think/realise their smugness isn't justified.