Coping With Smart Aleck’s and Know-it-Alls
Everyone has That Friend
that early in the relationship, it’s fun, happy, and you look forward to seeing “that” friend again. But no sooner than you think about that friend, he appears as if magic. And at the most inopportune times—at dinner, watching a favorite TV show or just sitting around in your house. He, that one friend, does not bother to knock on the door, but just, pardon the term, finds it necessary to barge into your home.
It’s true because I know that everyone has that one intrusive friend. You do not want to hurt his feelings since he does bring a freshly-baked pizza or telling you that he has just washed your truck. The “friend” is not a slacker, but a good worker. The thing is, and this hurts me to say, his visits are NOT visits, but “Time Sucking” your day or night away into pure resentment.
Three Examples What “Mr. Intrusive” Irritates you:
- When you are about to give your young daughter her sixth-birthday. You have a lot of your daughter’s friends and there is a happy atmosphere. You are talking to an old friend who is in town, but then someone is poking on your back. You look and it’s HIM, “Mr. Intrusive,” and he has managed to get into your home just as your daughter’s sixth birthday party is about to begin.
- Just as you and your wife are getting into the car to go out of town, “Mr. Intrusive,” shows-up out of nowhere and you roll down the window and he talks you into driving him across town to see a rock collector whom has a rock that he needs to complete his selection.
- This one takes the cake---you are hard at work and behind because your department had to shut-down due to one computer having to be worked on. “Mr. Intrusive” shows-up and starts up with you about what you do and when you get a lunch break, blah! Blah! Blah! What gets you is how he got by the receptionist because non-employees are not allowed inside your office. You ask him: “How did you get in here?” He grins that goofy grin and replies: “I just told the receptionist that I was your brother.”
Where do These Irritating People Come From?
I know that this question has entered your mind, but there is no answer. “Mr. Irritant” is someone you spoke to at the supermarket and he has it made up in his mind that you and he are best friends. You even asked him in a nice way, who he is, and he says that you showed him some compassion and that means a lot. The thing is he shows-up at your home almost every day or night to pay you back for the act of compassion.
But now, you hate “Mr. Irritant,” with a burning passion. At dinner with your wife on your 20th anniversary and you and the wife planned to have a quiet night, there he is. Yes. He comes into your home as if he pays you rent and never knocks or uses the doorbell. He remarks, “Ahhh, dinner smells great. What are WE having?” Then you get bold with him: “I am not trying to hurt your feelings, but my wife and I are having a quiet night.” “Well then. I didn’t know. I’ll just eat with you and go in your living room and watch TV and will not make one sound.” Did I say “Mr. Irritant?” More like a visit from Satan.
Enough is Enough
and this bold-faced person who has to tact, shows-up and tries to talk to your neighbors as they are about to party with you—but later, they voice their resentment about “this” know-it-all who has rubbed the neighbors a wrong way. So what can you do?
The best thing to do and not be the bad guy is to sit down with the intruder and have a heart-to-heart talk with him and explain to him that what you are telling him is not personal, but he doesn’t want you to show-up at your work, home, or anywhere and then tell him that the other visits were okay and you understand, but it is time for both of you to move on.
The tactless friend apologizes sincerely and tells you that he did not know that you felt this way and promises that it (those unexpected visits) will not happen again and leaves. You feel so relief that you cry. Real tears. You hug your wife so hard that you always break a rib. Now you and the wife can have a life WITHOUT “this” guy who is always showing-up.
As a safeguard, you visit with your pastor who you tell him what has been happened for the longest time about “Mr. Irritant” and how he has almost ruined every aspect of your life. The sincere talk you had with him has finally gotten the message through to him and your pastor agrees. He goes on to explain that Jesus said that “he that compels you to go (a) mile with them, you go TWO miles,” and you have certainly done that—but in this case, you have went FIVE miles or more. The pastor reassures you that you have no problem with him or God, so you leave with a deeper appreciation for NOT having “that” individual who is always inviting himself into your home.
In the Following Months
you find that you and your wife and daughter are enjoying the BEST times ever—and all without “that” person who thinks that you invited him. Sometimes, as habits go, you catch yourself peeking out the window to check and see if “that” person is lurking outside near your home. And when you hear a car motor drive-up to your driveway, you check to see if you have a REAL friend. Not “Mr. Irritant.”
You feel (at this juncture) that you are free as a bird to enjoy life and all that it has for you and your family. There are times when you actually forget that the irritating person ever visited you and caused you so much discomfort. You somehow, and in a small way, feel ashamed at feeling so cold at him when he visits you, eats your dinner, even stays overnight as if he lived at your home. And you even write it off as a Learning Experience and laugh and go about your business.
Ahhh, Then Comes That Day
when you and your wife and daughter are dressed-up and riding to your church to enjoy a worship service. After all, thanks to “that”one unwanted person, you have not got to attend church for weeks.
But that is about to change. You and the family walk up the front steps, meet the pastor who is happy to see you and the family and shake hands with him as he gives you a warm welcome. Life is good, you say underneath your breath. And you make your way to a nice place to sit, and you choose a place in the middle of the sanctuary, where you were accustomed to sitting.
Then . . .you notice, just as human nature has it, there is this well-dressed guy who is sitting in front of you and he is all alone. No wife or kids. But you are glad that he is in church. And just like clockwork, he slowly turns around and there it is . . .that goofy smile that you haven’t forgotten in any way.
“What are you doing here?” you ask keeping your voice low.
“Oh, remember that talk you had with me? You told me to NOT visit your home, workplace, so I didn’t, but you never said anything about visiting your church. I am planning on visiting your church EVERY Sunday.”
“By the way, I am the pastor’s brother.”
May 23, 2019____________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery