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.”