Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cigar Lounge Manners: Don't be a know-it-all

Actual cigar lounge discussion (overheard) between first-timer visitors:

Her: I've had ALL* the Drew Estate cigars and there isn't a bad one. I love every one of them.

Him: Really.

Her: Yep. All the ACIDs AND the Naturals are great.

Part of me wants to jump in and tell her those aren't all the Drew Estate cigars and then begin listing them from memory: What about Undercrown? Liga Privada? Tabak? And so on...

But I don't, because that would either make her defensive or angry, and neither are the desired effect of a cigar lounge conversation.

When you know everything about everything, people will stop believing you right quick. Either that, or they will get annoyed even more quickly. Or both.

Someone we know imagines himself privy to all information about a couple of subjects. He then inserts himself into all conversations about that topic--especially conversations far away, so he gets to yell his (usually incorrect) information. Some regulars leave the area** when he starts talking, because telling him to shut the F up wouldn't be right.

I don't think he even knows how annoying he has become. He should take the following quiz. Maybe you should too, just in case

How to tell if you're that guy:
  • Do you interject something into every conversation, even ones you're not part of?
  • When a particular topic comes about, do you start talking over other people?
  • Do you talk really fast about this topic, not giving others the opportunity to share their knowledge?
  • Is everyone in the world less knowledgeable than you?
  • Do you like to point out that other people are wrong?***
  • Do you say things like "What you should do..."?
  • Do people roll their eyes when you start talking?

  • Answer "No" to all and you need to take an honest look at yourself.
  • Answer "Yes" to one or two of these, and you're on the know-it-all path.
  • Answer "Yes" to more than two and you are "that guy."

Here's how to remedy the situation:


That's all you have to do. Listen to what others are saying and even if you have something to say, keep it in. Listen for them to ask your opinion or ask you a question.

And then there's one case of Don't Listen. If you're not part of the conversation, especially one not within normal speaking range, then don't say anything unless you're invited.

The other day at a cigar lounge, I overheard someone talking about the inspiration for Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick. His facts were incorrect. The 1820 sinking of the whaleship Essex inspired the book. How do I know? I previously researched whaling history in general and the Essex in particular. Did I correct him? Nope.

Why didn't I interject?

I didn't want to embarrass him in front of his friends.

Also, his incorrect statement wouldn't affect anyone's life--Oh! Unless someone overhears and then remembers while on Jeopardy! and loses Final Jeopardy because of this incident. That would be bad.

Anyway, my life didn't change and neither did his. I went back to eating my Ring Ding and he had another drink.

My new obsession.

Give it a shot--keep all your know-it-all knowledge in and see what happens. Report back, please. We're dying to know how it turns out!

*Emphasis hers.

**Area in the lounge, although sometimes it feels like leaving this area of town might be necessary.

***Even if they aren't.

*Emphasis hers.

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