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In the UK, people like to score points on a daily basis. At work. With friends. Down the pub. Point scorers are simply everywhere. I can’t help thinking that it has got something to do with this love of debating and talking. They just love to show off.

Don’t get me wrong, in France too there are point scorers. But somehow, over there, saying “I don’t know” in a business meeting is often seen as honest (as long as you don’t keep saying it, obviously).  Not here. It is your job to know. Or rather: it is your job to make it look like you know.

The point scorer will start talking in a meeting even if he (or she) has nothing to say. He will have to make a point during the first five minutes of the meeting, because he can’t help it.

The point scorer feels like he knows everything. He has done it all, he has seen it all. And even if it’s not the case, he will have a strong opinion on it. In short, he knows it all and he lets you know it. How do deal with point scorers is part of your survival kit in London. Here are a few tips:

1.     How to recognize a point scorer?
They are everywhere. It is the driver behind you who is going to start honking madly when your car just stopped while you were changing gear because you are in a difficult position (honking will not help me. Quite the opposite in fact. I am dealing with the issue, thank you very much. Just give me 10 seconds. Surely you can stay calm for 10 seconds?).
It is the work colleague who keeps talking and doesn’t do anything. He will be the first one to notice that you are late when he “works from home” every Friday. It is the boss who likes lecturing everyone.
They often use expression like “In my opinion,…” “If you ask me,…” –nobody asks them. They love talking about themselves “When I was working in Tanzania,…”-in fact they were spending a two-week holiday there. A good test is to stop talking or stop doing anything and see whether they continue their diatribe. It usually works very well.
2.     How to deal with a point scorer?
There is no point in talking and explaining that no, you know better because you actually have some real experience on the subject. The point scorer doesn’t listen anyway and will make a point of having the last word. If you have to use words, you have to be brief and hit hard. In short, go for the kill. You need to say something like “this is completely wrong”, and be able to prove it simply. I personally believe that actions speak louder than words. I usually shut up and, as they seem to know better, I carefully avoid working with them on specific subjects. I let them deal with it on their own, with very clear deadlines if possible.
When a honking driver is trying to make a point, I drive even more slowly. I don’t get angry or swear. I act. They can’t fly over me anyway.
The beauty of being a point scorer is that they are too silly to question themselves. I believe that this feature must make them immune to mental illnesses such as breakdowns. They don’t doubt, you see.
Now you are warned. That said, the best way to deal with point scorers is to get a life and do what you enjoy, no matter what . As we say in French “the dogs bark, but the caravan goes on”.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London