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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
  • You are so right on this point. Very amusing post. We have point scorers in the US too (to an alarming degree); I think they are universal. You were spot-on in how to deal with them. Hilarious; thank you!

  • I’m reminded of a recent poster: “When I shut my mouth and turn to walk away, it doesn’t mean you’ve won [or scored a point]. It simply means your stupid ass isn’t worth any more of my time.”

  • I am alarmed to realize that I may be guilty of this. I think I will blame it on my large family. Hahaha great post!

  • awesome!

    I really loved your last paragraph!

  • What an interesting post. Point scorers indeed! I rarely know how to deal with these insufferable bores. Even when, on occasion, I have let them know that I am well acquainted with or know more about the subject, they still manage to overwhelm with their singular point of view – often it’s a matter of voice. Unfortunately, mine is not very loud. So I usually give up, walk away or if I can’t, go deaf with glazed eyes. I know well the kind of British bores you refer to but believe me, they have plenty of cousins in this country as well. Point scoring has become quite an art here as well as there.

  • An excellent post Muriel. We used to call such people ‘know-it-all’s’ when I was growing up. Another good one is to refer to people who ‘like the sound of their own voice.’ I agree that it can be very annoying and the best way of dealing with someone like this is to quickly excuse yourself from their presence.

  • Two things: “the dogs bark, but the caravan goes on” I love that French saying!!

    The second thing is that I’m glad I’m not the only one who slows down when someone honks their car horn behind me! Down with the know-it-alls. Love this post!

  • @Reese – sorry you have them in the US. Bad luck. A US based friend told me that he tries to flatter their ego. As for me, I think that it is only a short term fix as the point scorer will overlook you if you think he is great. What do you think?

  • @Thom – I love this poster! Where can I find it?

  • @ Jennifer – I wouldn’t worry if I were you. Point scorers never recognise that they are point scorers.

  • @Stacey – I knew you would like it as much as I do. Thanks, Stacey!

  • Oh my god! Cause unfortunately we all know a point scorer…

  • LOL, that sounds just like me in some cases…and like some other people I know in most cases.

  • I had never thought about this! You know, I often see this with Peruvian authorities because they’re supposed to know the answer to everything even if it’s not in their field (which makes their comments dangerous with the poor [double entendre] rural farmers think they’re right). Love your final solution to the issue! =) Haha!

  • @ Marie – If I know only one…they seem to be everywhere over here…
    @Miss lego – you can’t be a point scorer if you recognise yourself. Not possible…
    @ Sam – Good luck with the peruvian authorities…It doesn’t sound like fun…

  • Anonymous

    The saying : “Dogs bark but the caravan goes on” is actually arabic.

  • We have a similar saying in Hindi too.. and that is just what we need to follow. Some people are better left as they are…no point getting into an argument really!