Living With A Know-It-All: How Low Intellectual Humility Damages Close Relationships

Living With A Know it all

Although men’s intellectual humility was associated with both their own and their partner’s satisfaction, the women’s level of intellectual humility was largely unrelated to men’s satisfaction with the relationship or to the partners’ ratings of each other. This pattern suggests that men who are low in intellectual humility may have a particularly obnoxious way of dealing with disagreements and conflicts.

When we dug deeper, the reasons for these patterns started to become clear. Women whose partners scored lower in intellectual humility indicated that, during disagreements, their partners tried less hard to understand their position and were more likely to storm out of the room.

Men low in intellectual humility also rated their partner as less intelligent, presumably interpreting her failure to agree with him as a sign of stupidity. The data suggest that men who are low in intellectual humility are particularly disrespectful and dismissive when their partners disagree with them.

Related: 25 Qualities Of A Good Man That Separate The Best From The Rest

By the way, their closed-mindedness and stubbornness didn’t seem to help low intellectual humility men get their way. Men’s intellectual humility scores were not related to either their own or their partner’s ratings of how much each person tended to win arguments.

The quality of our close relationships is affected by many things — the degree to which partners are responsive to each other, the amount of trust in the relationship, having compatible values, and so on. But some people are simply better relational partners than other people are. Being high in intellectual humility seems to facilitate good relationships, and being low in intellectual humility creates ongoing relationship challenges.

References

The research on which this blog is based has not yet been published, but you can find other research about intellectual humility in:

Leary, M. R., Diebels, K. J., Davisson, E. K., Jongman-Sereno, K. P., Isherwood, J. C., Raimi, K. T., Deffler, S. A., & Hoyle, R. H. (2017). Cognitive and interpersonal features of intellectual humility. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 793-813


Written By Mark Leary
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

Being in a relationship with a know-it-all can be a mentally, and emotionally exhausting thing to deal with day in and day out. When a person is a know-it-all, they send the message that there is absolutely nothing they don’t know, and there is no way that they can ever be wrong.

This kind of behavior can seriously damage relationships in the long run, and even lead to breakups. If you are a person with low intellectual humility, remember that it is okay to be wrong sometimes. After all, what is more important – the need to be right? Or your relationship?

If you want to know more about how you can deal with a know-it-all, then check this video out below:

Know-It-All

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Living With A Know-It-All: How Low Intellectual Humility Damages Close Relationships
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Living With A Know-It-All: How Low Intellectual Humility Damages Close Relationships
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