“How do you tell somebody that you care about deeply, ‘I told you so’? Gently with a rose? In a funny way, like it’s a hilarious joke? Or do you just let it go, because saying it would just make things worse? … Probably the funny way.” –Michael Scott, The Office.
We all experience it, that nagging little urge to say “I told you so,” when a friend doesn’t heed our advice. Sometimes it passes quietly and quickly while other times it’s nearly impossible to keep in. Now most people won’t write you off for bragging about being right. Like if you tell someone the milk they are going to drink is expired but they drink it anyways or your friend is lost and you’re trying to tell them you know where to go. While that other person might not want to hear you goading them at that particular point in time, it’s highly unlikely you will lose your friends and family over it.
There are times in your life though, when bigger issues affect you and those around you. Stressful, painful, heartbreaking moments when the last thing anyone wants to hear is, “I told you so.”
Remember the last time you did something that you ended up really regretting? Maybe you got involved in a relationship that ended horribly. Maybe you didn’t visit your grandparents enough and now they are gone. These situations can already be ones that bring about really painful memories. Now imagine your friends and family saying that they told you not to get involved romantically with that person, or you should have seen your grandparents more often. How much worse would that make you feel?
The bottom line is that no one likes to hear “I told you so,” because of the implication it carries. It comes across as condescending and quite often ruder than we intend it to be. Most of the time we don’t mean it to hurt. We just like the satisfaction of being right. However, there can be times when we do mean in it in a menacing way. It’s not that we don’t care about others, but maybe we too felt hurt because they didn’t listen to our warnings. We feel a little betrayed because contrary to our best attempts, our voices fell on deaf ears. This is our chance to feel our voices are heard, but it usually carries more damage with it than good.
Sometimes hearing “I told you so” can be the last straw. It can be the difference between a friend and enemy or make you lose ties with family members. Of course, these are extreme cases but they do happen. When issues like this arise and you feel that little urge deep down, think about what good saying something will do. Are you saying something that will make them feel better or just yourself? Don’t let yourself put pride over others’ feelings because the feeling of satisfaction pales in comparison to the feeling of being loved.
If you’ve ever resisted the urge to say those satisfying four words, you should be proud of yourself! Tell us about it in the comments!
Featured image via sistacafe.com