I told you so

We’ve all been there. You gave someone really solid advice about a situation, but they didn’t want to hear it. They thought they knew better. And then, surprise surprise, things went wrong just like you predicted. In that moment, the urge to bust out an epic “I told you so” is almost irresistible, right?

But here’s the thing: as satisfying as that statement might feel in the moment, it doesn’t do anything other than make the other person feel bad. I should know.

In January 2023, I was offered an internal role in the company. I didn’t want it. I wanted to stay where I was, but I was told this is where I was needed. I provided all the reasons why it was not a good move for me or how the company wasn’t prepared for a new team. Fast forward 18 months, and my team and I were laid off.

In the meeting where I was told, I got to say I told you so. That’s not what was needed in that moment. Being right 18 months ago doesn’t change the reality today. It felt like a hollow victory – if you can call it that.

The reality is, when you say “I told you so” to someone, you’re not actually accomplishing anything positive. You’re just feeding your own ego and sense of superiority, while making the other person feel badly about themselves.

So take it from me, next time you’re feeling that “I told you so” impulse, take a pause. See if you can lead with some empathy instead. Because at the end of the day, we’ve all been that person who should’ve listened in the first place.