16 Phrases That Put Arrogant Smart Alecks In Their Place

16 Phrases That Put Arrogant Smart Alecks In Their Place

There’s nothing more annoying than dealing with an annoying know-it-all who doesn’t stop trying to seem like the smartest person in the world. Sometimes you just want to put them in their place, and now you can — while still maintaining your integrity, of course. Here are 16 phrases that will — or should! — make them stop.

1. “You really seem to know about this, huh?”

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This is an awesome phrase because it sounds a bit sarcastic. Someone who’s deep in the throes of explaining something to you might not quite get that you’re being sarcastic. Even so, they’ll be taken aback by this and not know what to say.

2. “Thanks for your input. As I was saying…”

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Shut the person down by going back to what you were trying to say before they rudely butted in yet again. This works especially well if they’ve interrupted you because they love the sound of their voice so much.

3. “Where did you get a doctorate in this?”

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The person’s acting like they know everything on a specific topic, and it’s annoying. So, asking them where they got a doctorate in plumbing or music can be a firm way to make them take a step back. Yeah, they’ll probably be offended, but that’s just because they don’t want to be called out on how they’re not an expert!

4. “Hey, at least you’re humble about it!”

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Bring attention to how the person’s being arrogant! This is a good way to make them realize that they’re lacking humility and being annoying to everyone around them. It’s a bit of a snarky response, but it’ll shut them down.

5. “I appreciate your update, but I’ve got this.”

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This is a good comeback to use when you’re dealing with someone who’s trying to give you unsolicited advice and won’t take the hint that you’re not interested in what they have to say. It’s polite but firm and lets them know they need to knock it off.

6. “I don’t think that’s right.”

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Sometimes, you might want to have a bit of fun with the arrogant smart-aleck who’s being irritating. Gently challenge what they’re telling you so you can bring them back down to earth. They might go harder with what they were saying, or argue your point, at which point you can laugh at them.

7. “Oh, really?”

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This is a great response because you can make it sound sarcastic or not, depending on your preference. Feigning interest in what the person’s saying can make them start to get the hint that you’re zoning out. It might also be good to check your watch or exhale loudly to further hit home that you’re checked out.

8. “I don’t recall asking you for your opinion.”

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If you’ve shared an opinion and the person’s trying to jump in with their thoughts or ideas, it’s so frustrating – especially if you know what you’re talking about. A good way to make them stop talking is to remind them that you never actually asked them to chime in.

9. “Are you done?”

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This is a great response if the person just won’t quit. If they keep trying to tell you what they know or think, this comeback will alert them to the fact that you’re not giving them the time of day anymore, so it’s pretty pointless for them to continue.

10. “Wow, your ego must have its own gravitational pull.”

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Poking fun at the smartypants is always a good move if you’re dealing with someone who you can’t stand. Point out that they have a huge ego so they realize you don’t appreciate what they have to say. Done!

11. “Is your name Google?”

Casual woman having a coffee break on the street

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Usually, when someone needs to know something, they Google it. The person who’s talking to you in an arrogant way seems to think they know more than Google, so this comeback is a good way to put them on the spot. Maybe now they can Google how to deal with ego burns. Ha!

12. “I didn’t know I needed a tone of condescension today, so thanks.”

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People who are arrogant and think they know it all tend to talk down to everyone around them. Don’t put up with it! This comeback is a bit humorous and sarcastic while getting your message across.

13. “Okay, then.”

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The arrogant person might assume you’re amped to continue chatting and ask them follow-up questions, especially if they’re oblivious about how they’re coming across. Saying something that leads to a dead-end, such as “Okay, then” or “Right” ends the conversation so you don’t have to deal with it.

14. “I didn’t realize I activated ‘lecture me’ mode on my life settings.”

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This is a funny comeback that you’ll enjoy dishing the person who’s been talking down to you for the last half hour. It works even better if there are other people around so you can all have a good laugh about it.

15. “You don’t have to be this way, you know.”

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You’ve been lectured by the arrogant smart aleck and now it’s your time to turn the tables around on them. Tell them that they don’t have to be this way, which will make them wonder what you’re talking about. You can then explain that they’re being arrogant or belittling.

16. “That sounds vague. Can you explain it better?”

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The last thing a know-it-all wants to hear is that they’re not explaining something clearly. Ouch! That’s what makes this comeback so awesome. They might feel frustrated or angry, or try to go back to the beginning of their explanation, just making themselves look worse. Ha!

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.
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