-2

So there's this guy I know. And sometimes he acts in a particular way that I hope there is a word for (or at least a phrase). Let me describe:

Situation: Dog bares teeth at his girlfriend, which is obviously a problem, but this dog would never bite, it's just his way of saying fuck off at the moment. (every attempt is being made to lessen this behavior)

His response is: Discipline the dog, which is fine. But then, 24 hours after the fact (when the dog has completely forgotten the event) and without seeing the dog since the event, continues to say things like "Bad Dog" and make the dog feel shameful, even though it has no idea why. This is obviously not good training (any trainer would agree). When asked what the dog did he says:

"I'm still mad from last night. The dog needs to be disciplined." And even with a discussion about the dog not possibly remembering the offense, he persists in a smug know-it-all kind of way. As if "I have all the answers, even though I have no experience in this, and the way it's being done is complete bulls***. So what I'm going to do is, without any consistency or discussion (and even though it's not my dog), implement this action as I see fit"

So that's just one scenario, but there are several others. I'm less worried about the behavior of my friend (he knows about it and apologizes when he gets like that), but would like a concise way to describe it when it occurs.

I feel like it kinda falls somewhere around "smug know-it-all", but that isn't quite it. The smug part is correct, but the know-it-all is rather more like an idea formulated once by the party of concern then believed as gospel afterwards (they'll defend it to the death, though a second before it wasn't even a thought)

  • And just to clarify. This comes across as a rant against my friend, but I'm not really concerned about the behavior. Idle curiosity and my desire to always have the perfect word for the situation need me to express the way he acts in a way that clearly expresses the frustration involved. I may be right in the situation, or he may be right. It doesn't matter. What matters is the word usage :) – Steven Harlow Apr 12 '14 at 1:15
  • In my opinion, the title of the question and the example behavior do not quite fit. But I tried to answer anyway. There is "smartass" for example but it is a stronger word. – ermanen Apr 12 '14 at 1:43
  • @StevenHarlow There's a lot of detail to follow here. If I have it right, it's pretty much this attitude of being a "smug know-it-all" that you want to describe: "I have all the answers, even though I have no experience in this, and the way it's being done is complete bulls**. So what I'm going to do is, without any consistency or discussion (and even though it's not my dog), implement this action as I see fit" (plus the last paragraph). Is that correct? – nxx Apr 12 '14 at 1:49
  • 1
    Related. – tchrist Jun 7 '14 at 20:49
  • I agree with smartass for this. – aparente001 Oct 25 '16 at 7:02
1

"Cocksure" seems a good candidate to cover both "smug" and "know-it-all". It means both

  • "marked by overconfidence or presumptuousness (cocky)"

and, more to your needs,

  • "feeling perfect assurance sometimes on inadequate grounds".

Otherwise, there is

"stubborn": "unreasonably or perversely unyielding"

or

"bold": "very confident in a way that may seem rude or foolish"

There are many related words that could describe such a person more generally, including:

-1

Your friend sounds as if he could be described as a "solipsist". or perhaps even a "narcissist".

Solipsism in Philosophy refers to the theory that one only experiences one's self, therefore that is all one can know. In general use, it refers to a person who is so involved with their own way of seeing the world that they are incapable of considering other people's points of view, experience or knowledge.

Narcissism also has a specific definition — in Psychoanalysis — but again, in common usage, means someone who is utterly self-involved, and believes their opinion, their decisions, their will, is far more important and interesting than anyone else's.

I know people just like him. Narcissistic, solipsistic, selfish. Another term for them is pain-in-the-arse. Tell him to pull his head out. You are quite right about the dog.

  • Why the downvote? Could whoever put it there explain it to me? – Kit Tona Apr 15 '14 at 8:29

protected by tchrist Oct 23 '17 at 8:56

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