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Does Anybody Ever Respond Well to “I Told You So”?

·390 words·2 mins

“And of course, after all that, I’d come to find out that I was right. Of course,” she says.

“She’d ignored your warning, and it had happened,” I replied.


I don’t know what to say back. It’s happened to me quite a bit over my life. I’ve found myself on both sides of things — where I’ve been warned by someone else about something and later found it unfolded just as they said. And also where I’ve warned someone only to have it happen just as I’d said.

Interestingly, it’s also happened with the person I’m talking to. On both sides, where I’ve warned her and she’s warned me, and then the bad thing happened. I’m not sure if she remembers, since it all happened quite a long time ago, but this amuses me.

I think about that, as we talk over her issues, how repetition doesn’t always lead to desensitization. You can still get hurt if it isn’t your first rodeo. Or second. Or third.

You can still be taken off guard. Surprised.

“My entire body is screaming, ‘I told you so!’” she continues. “But it’s not exactly like I can say that.”

“Well I suppose, you could,” I reply. “But it likely would be more hassle than it’s worth.”

We talk on a bit more about what she’s going through.

After the conversation, I find my mind wandering, back to all the times I wanted to say “I told you so,” and the much fewer times that I actually did. As I do, I can’t think of a single time where it actually went well.

What I _can _remember, however, are times when I was able to turn to someone else who had warned me and said something to them like “you warned me” or “you told me so” or “I should have listened to you.”

And if I really comb my mind, I can think of a few times when someone else did similar to me. Told me I had warned them. Not in a malicious way, but in a way that expressed regret and appreciation.

But other than that slight variation on the theme (with variations that seem to matter greatly), I can’t think of a single time when someone responded well to being told “I told you so.”

I wonder if it ever happens.


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