Wise Words from Williams: Things we say
A married couple recently had a major dispute over some investments he wanted to make. He was sure it would bring great financial returns while she believed it would cause severe loss to them.
It was a significant amount of money so the debate was heated. The husband saw riches. The wife saw disaster.
Despite the arguments and pleading of the wife, the husband went ahead and made the investment. As things turned out later she was right and it created a great rift between them.
One particular argument at the dinner table did not go well and tempers flared. Later when things had cooled down the husband approached the wife and requested permission to ask her a question. Permission was granted.
“Just so I can be clear in the future,” he started, “would you kindly explain to me the difference between your saying ‘I told you so’ and ‘I am not going to say I told you so’?”
What the wife wanted her husband to remember is that she had told him that what he wanted to do was a risky investment and that he shouldn’t do it; so, saying “I am not going to say I told you so” is one way of accomplishing the job.
Of course saying, “It ended up as I thought it would,” or “The results are as I anticipated” would be another way of saying “I told you so,” but it wouldn’t have the biting sarcasm that the wife wanted to accompany her displeasure with what her husband did.
Two ladies were discussing a problem one of them had. Her friend listened carefully to what the other had to say. At the end of the story the one who related the story laid the blame for her problem squarely in the lap of her husband. To her surprise her friend did not agree with her.
As a matter of fact, not only didn’t the friend agree with her but she went on to tell her that she needed to take responsibility for her actions and not to blame her husband or anyone else for decisions she makes.
The storyteller responded by saying, “I am not blaming anyone for my decision. I am taking full responsibility for what happened. As a matter of fact I am not blaming my husband, I am blaming myself for listening to my husband’s bad advice.”
What is the implication of that statement? Simply put her bad decision was not one she made on her own but as a result of her husband’s bad advice.
Often the thing we say we are not doing, is the very thing we are doing. Sometimes it is a matter of how we do it.