Wednesday, February 11, 2009

(I) Told You So

"I told you so!" Bite my tongue, bite my tongue! It's dying to come out, it's dying to come out. Oh no, here it is - the big blow! OH NO! And there it was, "I told you so." One of the worse things you can say to the person you love. I did it, again and again. How we want to be rewarded for when we are right, YET hurting the ones we love in the process.

"Stick and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me." Bullsh*t! Sorry to whomever came up with that "psych myself out" saying, but that just isn't true. Words do hurt, and the last people we want to hurt are the ones we love. How often do we get so emotionally wrapped up in anger that we yell things we regret later? "I told you so" doesn't always come in the form of a scream, nor does it always come in the form of anger. Sometimes it comes in the form of arrogance, and I think that is when we step over the line.

It doesn't matter how much you sugar coat the phrase, "Baby remember when I told you..," or "You should have done that a long time ago when I told you the first time, now look what happened," or "Now look what you've gotten us into, you never listen to me!" These are all ways to say, "I told you so." When we speak in "you" terms, it generally is NEVER good. Speaking in "you" terms is putting the blame off of yourself and onto the other person. If you are in a relationship, there will come a time in which "I told you so" is bound to come up in one way or the other. There are ways to save your relationship and stop the blame game.

When you are in a relationship, you should learn to accept responsibilities for both yourself and the other person. Here is an example: You have been asking your significant other to cut the grass for the last two weeks, and of course he hasn't gotten around to it just yet, but now it is too late. You've just been fined for your outrageous yard. You are boiling. You have been telling him everyday to cut that grass, and dang if he didn't do it. When he comes home, you are going to lay it into him. You were right and he was wrong. Lets look at this closely. You both live in the house, you both have been fined. Should one person be responsible for it? Maybe he should have done it, but unfortunately he didn't. So what is the proper way to approach this situation?

Situation A

Bob walks in from a long day at work, he is obviously tired and cant wait to relax.

Sue: Bob! Look at this! (waves fine in Bob's face). I told you to cut that d*mn grass, now we got to pay $50 for your laziness. You are so stupid! You can never do anything right. I cant believe I married a lazy slum like you.

Situation B

Bob walks in from a long day at work, he is obviously tired and cant wait to relax. Sue allows Bob to relax while she goes into the bathroom, to calm down. She does not want to exert her anger onto Bob. She knows there is a smarter way to get Bob to meet her halfway. A little later Sue enters the living room where Bob is sitting.

Sue: (kisses Bob) How was your day?

Bob: Not bad, yours?

Sue: Not so good.

Bob: What happened?

Sue: We got fined for our grass

<Lets stop here for a moment. Notice the "we." Sue is recognizing that this is her problem too, and partially her fault.>

Bob: Oh man, you told me to cut that grass. How much is the fine?

<Lets take another moment. DINGDINGDING. Bob recognized, "you told him so." This strategy is much better because he is recognizing his fault. Also note, he may not say aloud "you told me so," but he knows it, and is thinking it - so there is no reason for you to remind him. If you nagged him enough the last two weeks it is still fresh on his mind.>

Sue: The fine is $50.

Bob: Don't worry about it, I will take care of it. <uh-oh you have heard this before, and the tasks never gets done. Stop. Think. What is the best approach.>

Sue: We will pay the $50, and how about we work on the yard together? Maybe I can do the weeding while you do the mowing. Does that sound like a good idea?

<Why is this answer a winner? Because you are including Bob in the decision making. You are not making the decision for him (actually you are, but he doesnt know that). Also, you are making the task look less strenous for Bob by saying you will help>

Bob: (Bob agrees).

If you chose situation A, I don't how happy your relationship will be - BUT situation B is the better choice.

It will not be easy, and sometimes you will fail and those words will come out. Remember, those words are ways that will belittle your loved one. It will not make you look powerful or smart - but controlling and bossy. Keep in mind that "you" can sound blaming and that "I and we" sounds like you are also accepting responsibility. Being in a relationship is a team effort. You cant be the captain all the time. Sometimes the best way to make it work is sacrifice. You both have to do your parts. The key to a healthy relationship is meeting the other person in the middle. Good luck in your love!


  1. Hi. Straight talking and witty... I like. I'v started a blog-my first...drop by and let me know what you think...if you like why don't you choose to follow? why not

  2. I really liked this blog. Very informative, thanks! =)

  3. You're so so funny! I just began blogging...not so first one and didn't know what to write..check it out when you get a chance

  4. This has happened to me. Sometimes i am biting my tongue before i utter those words..... but .... many times i fail. Seeee, I tooooold you so!

  5. This is so very true. Words hurt so much more than any other form of communication because they are a direct result of your thoughts which for me are the most intimate parts of your being. I only truly begun realising this after i lost my first relationship to my rash comments.

    This is a good post. I came over for a gander from the 'coffee shop' so to answer your question there maybe just do what i am now and lend a helping hand as it were to some people. Post somemore interesting blurbs and maybe insert some pictures every so often?

    Good luck with everything. This is a very evocative blog it seems :)


  6. girl- i got fined for the grass too and i'm not even there! can you believe that? i got krista's husband to go cut it for me, though. thank god. the housing office on this base fucking SUCKS.

    i'll be home in a week or 2. can't wait to be home again! and of course, to see my fabulous neighbors!

    i can't believe belle is finally pregnant. its about damn time!

  7. Your blog is the wit!! I think everyone can relate to your topics and because of that i'm sure your blog will be a hit!

    I new to the blogging game...let me know what you think..thanks.

  8. If I were married, I would just say, hey babe, I paid the fine for the grass. What do you say we hire a kid to be our gardener so we don't get fined again? Then we can sleep in and have sex instead of worrying about the grass and weeds. ;)
    $50 fine
    $80 gardener
    Sleeping in and having sex, priceless.

    But that's me. I'm just a single girl looking for the right one and I wouldn't let that grass get in the way of it. ;)

    Cool blog. :)

  9. Your examples are giving people a good way to be considerate of their mates. We should want ourselves and mates to come home to a peaceful tone regardless if it involves bad news. Good post.

    Mind Soup

  10. HI Mrs Robinson, I'm just seeing your blog for the first time, i can't even remember how i got to the site.
    You said you are a nurse, that's cool. But I think you should take a bolder step of becoming a marriage counsellor, dont mind even if it will take some of your time, i know your husband will understand.
    in fact he must be one of the most fortunate men on this planet earth to be married to somebody like you.
    Another thing I want to say is why dont you monetize your blog, enable adsense there; at least if we get blessed for reading your post, we should also click some dollars into your bank account as well.
    My name is SEGUN, i'm a NIgerian and still single, anytime i get married, i will like my wife to be linked with somebody like you.
    You are not just a blogger, YOU ARE A LEADER. Bless you.
    I manage about 20 blogs, some of them are:

  11. Solution C is like B but differently worded.
    Sue "How was your day honey?"
    Bob "Long, but it was ok. How was your day?"
    Sue "It could have been better. I was working on our budget today and had a bit of a surprise. We got a bill in the mail today for $50. It's a fine for the yard. I know you've been really busy but if we work on the yard together we'll have it done in no time."

    My husband would have been ticked any other way and pulled the "I work all day and what do you do? Why can't you get out there and mow? I can't do everything!". My hubby was like that until he was laid off and had to do the cook for our two boys all summer, clean their messes 30 times a day, make sure the tub, sinks and toilet were cleaned, floors vacuumed, dishes done by hand (no dishwasher), groceries done and laundry done and put away. Once he realized how much work I did around the house when he was at work all day staring at a computer screen he stopped complaining so much about little menial outside jobs.

    Your point is DEAD ON!!! Don't just freak out with I told you so. It gets you no where. Excellent blog!

  12. Good job! Interesting and good thoughts to put in print.



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The Adventures of Afro Man and Disco Girl by S. B. Robinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.