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My Son Knows Everything

(80 Posts)
WhiteRabbit57 Mon 08-Mar-21 11:08:44

My son is twenty eight and he knows everything, literally everything. He really believes he is an expert on every single subject.

I'm intelligent, well read, I know more about current affairs than he does, for certain, but everything I say, on any subject is returned with sneers of derision. My husband watches in disbelief, but neither of us feel we can fight back for fear of ruining our relationship and losing contact with our grandchildren.

A while back I tried to talk to my son about it, but there really is no way in, he just knows better on every level - even human relationships. His wife backs him him all the time so no 'in' there.

I am really depressed, I try to tell myself that 'these things will pass' eventually, but the last time they came round he cut me off mid-sentence to tell me my contribution to the conversation was trivial. I have been so upset.

Does anyone have any advice?

Sarnia Mon 08-Mar-21 11:14:29

If his wife backs him then she is reinforcing his opinion that he is an expert on everything under the sun so you probably have an uphill battle. I don't have any magic and tactful suggestions for your son but if you get a chance just Google the poem 'Ask My Husband Anything' by Pam Ayres. It may give you a wry smile.

Sarnia Mon 08-Mar-21 11:16:21

Ooops. It's called 'They should have asked my husband'. Sorry!

Grandmabatty Mon 08-Mar-21 11:18:25

Well he isn't an expert on good manners or respecting his mum!

GagaJo Mon 08-Mar-21 11:21:50

Oh god, my daughter too. When she was younger, she was just a smart a**e. Now she is getting older, she acts as if it is because I am aging and not as well up on things. Despite my being a successful professional.

I don't engage with it now, or at least as much as I can avoid it. Refusing to get drawn in helps. Or it helps me, at least, which is the best I can do.

Trying to work a situation, so she thinks something I have suggested is her own opinion, works well, IF I can manage it, but I am often not patient or subtle enough to pull that off.

EllanVannin Mon 08-Mar-21 11:23:01

Ditto as Grandmabatty said.

grandMattie Mon 08-Mar-21 11:26:24

I just smirk and say "yes, dear". After a while, it sinks in that they are not a walking encyclopaedia...
But seriously, I would comment on the bad manners of interrupting. If nothing else, "As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted..."

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 08-Mar-21 11:26:54

How irritating, I too know a superior being like this, don't we all? Sadly also lacking in self awareness, isn't that always the way?
I think the only thing you can do is treat it with humour and reply with, "How wonderful it must be to know it all," or "Who's a clever clogs then?" Then change the subject.

EllanVannin Mon 08-Mar-21 11:28:04

Next time he asks you something just say, quote " I have nothing to declare but my genius ", unquote. grin

Daisymae Mon 08-Mar-21 11:29:50

I would be inclined to reduce contact. I would also pull him up on his rudeness. It's not much of a relationship if he can't at least show some manners. Possibly he continues like this because it's how he has always been?

GagaJo Mon 08-Mar-21 11:30:05

Last time I was the victim of it, I said 'How woke.' It was a term that had been used by this individual before 'woke' became ironic, and it was interpreted, as intended, as my being sarcastic. Oh how I laughed.

M0nica Mon 08-Mar-21 12:04:43

How about a sarky 'Of course you are the expert' or similar comment. If he says anything, you can just say you were bowing to his superior knowledge.

Peasblossom Mon 08-Mar-21 12:07:00

My MIL would just say

“If you say so.” In a tone that totally closed the discussion down 😬

Kamiso Mon 08-Mar-21 12:11:29

Perhaps a response of “is that what you think?” . He can make what he wants of it.

Esspee Mon 08-Mar-21 12:12:49

Children tend to go through a phase like this, while at University with mine. Fortunately they grew up though it does surface from time to time. I try not to engage.

CraftyGranny Mon 08-Mar-21 12:19:31

Here's the Pam Ayres link.

Juliet27 Mon 08-Mar-21 12:27:01

It’s as annoying as DH giving wrong information then saying ‘no, I didn’t say that’

TrendyNannie6 Mon 08-Mar-21 12:32:12

I think I would throw in a few, Really! Wow’s, You Think! I think he’d get the message eventually, I’m sorry but I’m not a fan of know all’s

mumofmadboys Mon 08-Mar-21 12:33:38

Could you just say in a quiet voice 'Please dont be rude' and leave it at that. He will hopefully mature and realise there is a lot he doesnt know. Was it Mark Twain who said 'When I was 18 my Dad knew nothing, now I am 23 he has learnt quite a lot!' I have probably misquoted that but that was the gist. Good luck.

Calendargirl Mon 08-Mar-21 12:36:11

He sounds very rude.

Has he always been like this, or got worse since he married and became more independent?

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 08-Mar-21 12:37:42

Is he self taught? Or does he take after his super intelligent parents?

Just a ‘really’ with raised eyebrows, then a quick subject change or just walking away into another room, sounds easier than arguing, or just reduce the number of times he’s with you.
We have a family member who is occasionally like that when he is late taking his pills and he will argue that black is white, so I just stop talking and refuse to speak, but it’s very trying, without starting an all out row.

janeainsworth Mon 08-Mar-21 12:42:07

If I’m sure I’m right about something, I find that ‘I think if you check it out, you’ll find I’m right’ works quite well, especially if you can quote a source.
If it’s a matter of opinion, ‘Well of course you’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m entitled to mine too and I disagree’ is a useful riposte.

Another trick is to feign interest in what they’re actually saying and get them to explain at length what they actually think and why. Eventually you might be able to catch him out if he says something that is bullsh*t.

The important thing is to remain calmly assertive and not let him see that you’re upset.

janeainsworth Mon 08-Mar-21 12:51:32

Thanks for the link Craftygrin

GrannyLaine Mon 08-Mar-21 12:56:23

CraftyGranny thank you for the link, I'd forgotten what a comic genius PamAyres is.

BlueBelle Mon 08-Mar-21 13:03:04

Sounds a bit Aspergery
Id let it go over my head and say ‘oh right, ok’ ....end of
I certainly wouldn’t let it upset me he’s the one with the problem just let it go way OVER your head