I have come to understand that some people suffer from the “I-know-it-all Syndrome.” It’s painful, not so much for the person with the syndrome but for the person sharing a story and being told that the other person knows exactly what they are going through. That’s total bullshit! Please forgive that last comment but it is the only way I can truly express the way I feel.
I can’t possibly know what you are going through, EVER. You are a person with your own lessons, feelings, experiences and a path that is completely different from my own. We can walk similar journeys but by you being who you are it is arrogant and narcissistic of me to assure you that I know how you are feeling. Impossible! Let my quietness be an answer to your voice and assurance. Let my silence and smile be the answer to your story. I want my facial expressions be all you need to know about how I feel. And, knowing how I wear my every emotion on my face at all times that should be sufficient.
There are people who I truly want to hear their stories. I want to sit with them and have them share the heartache, the laughter, the joy of traveling on this life. I want to agree with them but not because I suffer from this stupid syndrome of knowing it all. When I say “I know” I am acknowledging what you are going through. I don’t know crap. I can only manifest my own notion of what is going on in your very existence. That’s all I can give you. If I cry at your experience, then let me share that with you. If I laugh may you know that I am not laughing at you but with you.
But how I love those individuals who will one-up your drama to a Broadway Spectacle. They will always have something much better and miserable to add to your story (by making it about them). I love screwing with them at that point. My sarcastic wit takes over and I am on the worst role you have allowed me to play in your life. You bought into it at this point!
I remember my mother, bless her soul, was somewhat of a hypochondriac. My ex one morning told her that his testicles hurt just to screw with her. She said, “Don’t tell me anything else, I have had such a horrible pain in mine.” To this he said, “I had no clue you have cojones.” She then said her ovaries were hurting her. I laughed for days. She always made sure her illnesses were more intense and severe than anyone else’s. And, this type of consistent behavior from those who know it all seems to be more prominent in our lives the older we get. People want to be heard. They want to be acknowledged that their stories are more important than anyone’s. The need to be loved and accepted is an epidemic that seems to be transforming into depression, anger and a lack of self-love in our society.
Next time you hear me say, “I know” please keep me in check. I don’t know anything about what you are going through. I only know what happens in my life. I promise to keep you in check too whenever your “I-know-it-all” Tics come into play. It might just be the last time the syndrome will appear in our conversation. Someone has to knock you off that mighty high pedestal with some laughter.