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The Know-It-Alls Of The World

The expertise and insight of the know-it-alls of the world are boundless; and the K-I-A’s are ready to provide advice and input anywhere, anytime, for anyone. A K-I-A was there to point out to Noah that there may be a flood, to T. Edison that playing with electricity might be shocking, and to Neil Armstrong that pulling off his helmet and yelling, "Where's the party?" could take his breath away. There may have even been a K-I-A around to tell Moses to be sure to get it in writing.

The K-I-A openings have an annoyingly familiar theme: "Have you thought about…?" "Did you notice…?" "You may want to…," and the old standby, "If I were you…." Well, thank you very much; and while you are getting the inflection on your sarcasm just right, don't forget W. Churchill's admonition "Even a fool's right sometimes."

• Whether you have a chance to explain your reasons or can only walk away, don’t let arguments get out of hand.

This post was, in part, adapted from Your Exclusive Guide To The High Road, available now in the bookstore.