“I told you so” along with “That’s a dumb idea,” “I knew you couldn’t do it” and “What were you thinking?!!” are just some of the nasty comments that may catch us off guard when they come our way. Even worse is when those well-intentioned, but hurtful comments come from people close to us such as co-workers or family.
I think it takes guts to be able to take the high road when responding to ugly remarks made by others…and not digress into an argument or power struggle with that person.
Here are some of the comebacks I share in Chapter 6: Family Dearest of my book If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?
You’ll notice that some of the comebacks are quick responses to deflect the comment when the time or place doesn’t allow for discussion. Other responses are useful when you actually want to encourage conversation.
WARNING: Body language and tone of voice can make or break these!
|NASTY COMMENT||CLEVER COMEBACKS|
|“That’s a dumb idea!”||“I thought it was pretty good.”|
“I’ve got more where that came from!”
“How do you mean?”
|“I told you so!”||“You did, didn’t you!”|
“Glad I could make your day.”
“Is being right that important to you?”
|“I knew you couldn’t do it.”||“I plan to think positively.”|
“It ain’t over til it’s over!”
“I was hoping to get your support.”
|“What were you thinking?!!|
|“Perhaps I wasn’t.”|
“I was thinking that I made the best decision for me.”
“Sounds like you have some concerns.”
By the way, when all else fails and you draw a blank, you can use the oh-so-powerful strategy that my Dad used when we would attempt to act up in public or become unruly at the dinner table. I’m sure you’re familiar with it: the don’t-even-think-about-it, shape-up-or-else LOOK!