“I told you so!”

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the world will not admit to getting satisfaction from saying “I told you so.”

Often, the phrase is prefaced with “I hate to say it…” or “I don’t want to say it but…”

In reality, everyone loves it – they love the validation.  It brings them satisfaction; the sort of satisfaction that can only be tempered when the action they warned against brings tragedy or pain to a loved one.  And, even then, there’s still that niggling voice at the back of the mind saying, “they should have listened.  I did tell them.”

I found myself using that phrase last night – “I wish you had listened to me” to AMP, and now in the cold glare of the morning, I wish I could take my words back.  One of AMP’s personality quirks is his absolute hatred for being told what to do.  It snaps into rebellious five-year-old mode instantaneously.  I know that.  And, I’m like that too. 

Remember the story about Bob?  The quick version is this:
Bob and I started dating when I was 17.  My parents, for many reasons, forbade me from seeing him about six months into our relationship…I rebelled, because basically I don’t like being told what to do, and prolonged the relationship for a year and a half, though somewhere three months into the ‘forbidden’ part of our relationship I began to have niggling doubts about whether the relationship was a good idea.

Fortunately, my rebellious streak was not self-destructive.  When I finally realized that Bob and I definitely wouldn’t work – I did end it.  But, it took me a little time.  Why?  Because I didn’t want to hear the “I told you so”.  And, I did.  Sure, it was veiled with, “We know best because we are older,” and “we just wanted what is best for you, and we could see the danger…”  blah blah blah.

The thing is, like AMP, I’d rather come to my own conclusions.  If they had left me to my own devices, the relationship would have ended a year sooner than it did. 

The point to this incessant rambling is, yes, sometimes we are right, and expressing our opinions has its place, but we need to let people make their own choices – and who knows, we may be pleasantly surprised. 

This post is inspired by prompt no. 5 at Mama Kat’s – “I told you so.”


22 thoughts on ““I told you so!”

  1. Oh, I can relate to this. I HATE to be told what to do. I’ll do things much more quickly if it’s my idea.

    I’m trying hard not to always say I told you so but I can be a big old know it all. It’s a problem. :)

  2. I can’t tell you how often those words…I told you so…are on the tip of my tongue and I bite them back.
    It’s usually when I warn my daughter 347 times that something is going to happen and then…sure enough…it does. Sigh.
    But, I won’t say it. Because I know that it doesn’t fix what happened and only builds resentment.
    But, oh, how I am so often tempted!

    • I’m like that with my husband.. Like this morning, when I found myself saying it again.. In my defence, I have been telling him to go to the doctor for weeks and he’s been ignoring me, but I still shouldn’t use the “I told you” or “If you’d listened to me” line..

  3. It’s true that we prefer to make our own mistakes. I think doing so without the “I told you so” helps to teach us accountability. At some point, we all have to admit when we’re wrong.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

  4. OK I’m guilty, it does feel pretty good to hang that over the person who wouldn’t listen to wisdom. Yes, I also loathe having it hung over mine and there has been plenty of opportunities to have it hanging over my head in stubborn life. Good post.

  5. I need to work on this one, especially since the “I told you so’s” never follow anything good. It’s just rubbing salt in the wounds, and I’m better than that–or at least should be.

    • My poor husband gets the brunt of it, mostly because I feel like he should listen to me more.. and well evidence supports that – but still.. I know how much it bugs him, so I should really work on it.

  6. Of course we do love to see that we were the ones who were able to analyse a situation right and that we were the ones that could therefore tell what is going to happen.
    And yes, it hurts even more if a friend or family member telling us what to do because I do not like to admit that someone else could be in any kind of way able to analyse MY situation better than myself. Yes, maybe we have to let people make their own mistakes. But we might as well have to listen to our friends/family once in a while. Admitting that sometimes we cannot analyse a situation better because we are in it and that we should trust a friends instinct could be a good thing. And I do think that this is the harder thing to learn ;)

    • I’m trying to learn that. When my parents or anyone really gives me advice, I try to keep an open mind – but it’s hard. You are right, it’s a difficult lesson we all must learn. Thanks for your comments! :)

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