I told you so!
One of the best feelings in the world is being vindicated, standing up for what you believe, being told “it will never work” and then when the final curtain is drawn, being able to say “I was right, I told you so”.
One of the worst feelings in the world is being cut down, standing up for what you believe, being told “it will never work” and when the final curtain is drawn, finding out they were right all along. It didn’t work. Everybody got it right except you.
I find this juxtaposition between “I told you so” and “being told so” fascinating. It is a source of endless conflict between couples, friends and coworkers. It is something we all experience on both sides and we know which side is the right side to be on, yet many of us don’t soften the blow when it’s our turn to be on the better side.
Why is it that the elation of an “I told you so” moment scrubs away all memories of “being told so”?
I think it exists in a temporary suspension of empathy. When we “win” we aren’t thinking of others and what our win means to them. We are feeling self-righteous. We are feeling on top of the world. And the best way to get just a little higher is to point out how someone else missed it.
On the flip side, when we get dunked on, we often aren’t thinking of how sweet it must’ve felt to pull one over on us. It’s not really a great time for self reflection. We aren’t really trying to figure out “how we could do better next time”.
So in each ITYS (I told you so) instance we have a party that is less open to criticism than normal, and one party more likely to gloat than normal.
What are we going to do?
Well, if you just lost, try to remember that sometimes it’s fun to win, and sometimes part of winning is gloating, and maybe next time, you know, try a little harder.
If you just won, remember that it sucks to lose, and you probably shouldn’t be a jerk about it, because next time it will probably be you that should have, you know, tried a little harder.