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Precious Uwisike: How To Spot the Clever Clogs In Your Life

Precious Uwisike

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Every clique of friends has an ITK in the group—The one who completes your sentences, interrupts you, corrects your grammar and even insists on solving your problems (when you are not even sure there is one). I am sure you can resonate.

In our social circles—schools, work place and community, having ready answers and displaying sound knowledge in even random fields is quite impressive and it usually attracts praise and admiration. However, many times we have people with this trait over doing it. The habit of over-doing is what is termed  as I-Too-Know (ITK). In this our part of the universe, we call it “over-sabi.” I-Too-Know people can be really good friends but if you want to have any peace amongst your clique of friends, you must know how to put them in their place.

See, some I-Too-Know kind of friends like to exert fact based dominance even to the extent of claiming expertise about things they really do not know. Let me give an example of how this behavior pattern manifests in an ITK. This is a conversation between me and my cousin, a special ITK breed.

Me: I have this colleague, Jallo, he is so annoying! Sometimes—

Ruky: I know. Sometimes he runs his mouth so much you want to shut it with a slap, right.

Me: (With a withering look) But… you have never met Jallo.

Ruky: Honey, I do not have to meet him. I know a lot about Hausa guys.

Me: Jallo is Fulani.

Ruky: I knew it. No difference, my dear.

As my Wafi people will say; I just tire for Ruky matter.

The truth is, ITKs have high IQs, ironically, they have such low EQs (level of emotional intelligence) that they think people admire them for using lines like “it’s common knowledge that…” or ‘ideally..” or “ you never know what’s going to happen.” Many of them believe that dominating the circle they are in is the best way to be recognized and admired.

These people are detailed and the funny thing is they do not sit around memorizing textbooks. Instead they correct other people’s version of events, often missing the point of a conversation in their obsessive focus on minor details. ITKs survive conversations with frequent interruptions. Most of their friends simply talk over them, as I have learned to do. Sometimes it’s best to have a choke chain when dealing with an oversabi friend. Without even realizing it, some of them are always trying to fix you.
They insist on solving your problems. There are times you just want to whine about a thought but an ITK will see it as a problem and they always have a ready recommendation. For example; you are here thinking about life and how all is vanity. How a person’s wealth and everything he has worked for will be here when he’s gone. This made you sober a bit and you just want to whine about it a little. Your ITK friend does not want to hear any of it. She just concludes your life is miserable and offers you a book—“6 Steps to Living a Happy Life”. You start to wonder if it is just what you said that made her recommend the book.

If you do not know this, know now that courtesy might not work when trying to put an ITK in his or her place. If you plan to have a conversation with one, you should carry a can of pepper spray. Just spray one shot in their face and watch them wince at first, then calm down. Okay, I’m kidding.

In all of these, there are cases where the behavior of an ITK comes in handy, like when you need to explain a symbol or a code or when you are asked the capital of Argentina, your ITK friend is your best bet.
The best way to not always be angry at an ITK friend is knowing that he or she is really just trying to be of service.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Rocketclips, Inc.

Kevwe Uwisike is a Communications Specialist; a lover of words, PR Girl, Social Media Enthusiast and Content Developer. Her slogan; "Your Imagination is Key." You may reach her via email on [email protected]

17 Comments

  1. Naked

    April 30, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Example of ITK on Bellanaija is…. Bruno.. Iol. I just hope i won’t get the bashing of my life for this comment.

  2. @edDREAMZ

    April 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    “””The best way to not always be angry at an ITK friend is knowing that he or she is really just trying to be of service.””” i dey tells yu… Onpoint post though…..
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  3. Lolo

    April 30, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I can’t believe it.I just realized for the first time in my life that I am a certified ITK.This is so shocking.I never hexpered it!! This is not a drill.I am dead serious.I can’t even believe that this is what some people think of me.And to think that I have had countless arguments with friends and family about how I react to things they tell me without letting them even get to the point .Lord help me.*sigh Anyway,On a lighter note ,the ITK community has just lost one member for good.I wld definitely use my ears more and my mouth less when having a conversation henceforth.I really always imagined or rather,thought I was helping out by my actions and reactions to others but obviously,the reverse has been the case going by what I just read.Thanks to whoever the author of this write up is.I didn’t get down to that part of the write up.Is that also ITKish?Okay Bye.

  4. oludara.ogunbowale

    April 30, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Ah ah ah aha ah aha ha ah he e e eh eheh ehe eh e .lol.Presh..U no go kee mee o.Niiiiceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee(emphatic) thumbs up

  5. Uby

    April 30, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Well, in as much as it is annoying, I think I can be an ITK 70% of the time. It is not like I know when I am being the ITK, it is just me. I cant change it.

    Learn to accept some of us the way we are. 😀

    • someone

      May 1, 2015 at 1:42 am

      No body is “just that way”. We can all make changes/improvements to who we are.

    • Uby

      May 1, 2015 at 10:48 am

      I am that way and not complaining. I like myself as an ITK.

  6. Shisha Cake

    April 30, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I come from a family of ITKs, unabashedly. Yes, we know more. I’ve come to understand the problem of the ITK is simply that, they don’t always find themselves among like minds. Cos I’ve found out I don’t sound ITK-ish at all whenever I’m with friends like myself. Of course it can be a pain sometimes. But we really don’t do it knowingly. Please bear with us. We will change

  7. tunmi

    April 30, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I was called an ITK in lesson about 10 years ago and now that I think about it, it was for knowing the answer to a particular problem. And the people in class with me were older than I was. Since then, I’ve kept mum when it comes to answering questions in class unless the professor directly asks me or the professor and classmates have created an environment conducive to discussion or when I know the person is equally intelligent. I simply let my brilliance show inw written works and boy does it show.

    I realized early on that when I do make the effort to correct your grammar or offer a solution, it is because I care. If I didn’t, I would just let you carry on and not bother. And with offering solutions, when my friends are telling me something, my first question is “are you telling me to help you solve it or are you venting?” Knowing that distinction early on helps me and it helps the.

    I recommend doing the Beyer Briggs test, I wonder how many INTJs are ITK.

    • lorenz

      May 1, 2015 at 7:15 am

      You’re still an ITK.

  8. Adeoye Kemi

    April 30, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Good write up

  9. M4

    April 30, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I had one as a friend,aaaahhhh oh lawd!!!!!This guy own was beyond anything I can even think of.He is the type that believe no one knows it better!.(jack off all trade master of all)…To a point i decided to cut him off from my friend zone…aaahhh!! Can’t stand him anymore gosh!!!!

  10. Olamide. Adeyanju

    April 30, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Everyone has that ITKishh quality somewhere in them,and they have shown it as least once in their life….Some just happen to be Professionals

  11. scentiments

    April 30, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    ITKs are usually very intelligent people. Most personality flaws can be improved with self-awareness, acceptance, an honest assessment of one’s self and conscious decision to change. Very rude to constantly interrupt other people. God help us!
    @tunmi… i think you meant “myers briggs”. Just showed my ITK self, right *wink*

  12. mofe

    May 1, 2015 at 2:02 am

    My hubby is one, it use to be very annoying but I have learnt how to make him shut up. I keep quiet n give him d bored look n then he ask “shey u get” n i answer “humumm” twisting my lips. He hates that. Lol

  13. D

    May 1, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I read this and had an ha ha moment. I am certified ITK. I am the type that knows the really mundane things like things that you’d think uhnnnn who even thinks of that???? and at my job recently i thought i was being helpful but found out that i was rubbing some people the wrong way and i could not figure out why but after reading this I now understand why and since we are all trying to improve I have decided to start working on that. Give others a chance to talk, I don’t have to correct every wrong statement, I can let things slide. God helping me I hope i can turn things around.

  14. Rufina

    May 4, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Hahaha…. I can relate. I sit beside one in the office

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