I hope you had a wonderful weekend; I certainly did. My deceptively sweet husband (I know, you think he’s a big bad mageboy. And he is, but with a big, soft, fluffy warm heart. Don’t tell him I told you) took me out Saturday for a long-overdue daytime date. We went and saw Zombieland (Rule #2 is my favorite), stopped in at the comic book store and bought a pack of trading cards each (no loot, sadly), and went to the mall for some lunch and shopping.
It’s a new week, though; and it’s time for a new letter. This time, I’m covering someone we probably all know pretty well. I actually know several of them. They’re both an asset and an annoyance. Sometimes they change, sometimes they never do.
I have to tell you first that I really do appreciate all of your knowledge. You’ve certainly taken time to read up on a lot of things, and that’s great. Maybe you have more experience than I do; maybe you just have more time to research. Either way, it really is helpful when you know the answer to my questions.
But you have to understand that it gets on our nerves sometimes that you know everything. The fact is, you don’t. You do know a lot, and answering questions you know about (your class, for instance) when you’re asked is fine.
Sometimes, though, we’re just chatting in guild chat. Sometimes we’re bouncing ideas off of each other, or just wondering something aloud. These moments don’t always require an answer. If I wonder if Cataclysm is going to nerf moonkin, I really want the statistical chances of an incoming nerf based on previous patches. A simple “let’s hope not” suffices. Or don’t answer at all. We’re used to saying things in guild chat that never get answered. It’s okay.
Also, if you’re not an officer, please don’t boss us around. You did this on the PTR, or you did it with another guild, or you read all about it on EJ. Good. When someone says, “What can we do about…?” then you’ll have an answer ready! But you are the same rank as the majority of us. Don’t pull some nonexistent superiority on us. We know it’s a farce. It comes across as snobbish and rude, and no one likes a snob.
Here are the points to remember:
1. Not every question requires an answer.
2. Not every question is directed at you.
3. You don’t have to have an opinion on everything. If you do have an opinion on everything, you don’t have to share all of them.
4. Nobody liked the bossy kid on the playground, and we still don’t.
The best news is that this case is actually completely fixable, and you can lose your know-it-all reputation. There was a guy in my guild back in BC days that really grated on a lot of people’s nerves. He was exactly what I’m describing here, plus he was a real-life know-it-all (the two often go hand-in-hand). Somewhere in there, he disappeared for a week or two. He didn’t really disappear, he just stopped talking. When he did start speaking up again, he was a lot more personable. Before he left the game, I ended up liking him quite a bit.
Consider it a challenge, Know-It-All. Can you stay quiet for a week? Two weeks? Can you be diplomatic and supportive about your advice, instead of a condescending braggart?
I think you can.