How do your challenge a “know it all” who won’t back down or admit that they are wrong?

This person is a balloon. That is, they are full of hot air.

You can’t change this person. They have to want to change. You will probably never convince them that they are wrong and that you are right. The only person you can change is yourself, so here is my advice for coping with a balloon.

I think it is important that you don’t feel like you have to get the last word in. If you do, you can get tied up in an argument that can last for days. It can be frustrating and the other person may never give you the satisfaction of feeling like you have won.

Can you make it OK for them to feel like they are right even though you know otherwise? There is a lot of freedom in not feeling like you have to prove something to others.

Is this person a bully? Are they bullying you? Or are they just bullying other people? If it’s the latter, it may feel noble to run to the defense of others when they are being bullied. However, they are adults and can take care of themselves.

If they are bullying you, stand firm and say,”Let’s agree to disagree.” If they continue, say to them, “That maybe so and I am not going to argue with you, so let’s agree to disagree.” Everytime they try to rope you into the argument, just say it again, like a broken record. When they know that they won’t get satisfaction, they will walk away.

If you want to try a different approach, buy this book and read the chapter on balloons: Coping with Difficult People

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

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