Almost from the beginning of our relationship, my husband Scott and I fell in love with each other’s twisted sense of humor, as well as how we both enjoy creative word usage. We began joking about “If polled on what are the three dearest words to the human heart, most English speakers would reply that of course it’s ‘I love you.’ But we contend that the three most treasured, valued, heart-warming words one can hear are ‘You Were Right.’”
We’ve been married for eight years now, and this standing joke persists. When either of us say those magical words, it’s always with a knowing twinkle. But that phrase is enough a part of the fabric of our relationship that rules have evolved around its usage.
- It can only be said sincerely. Mere lip service when you don’t truly believe it is called “Lying” and saying it sarcastically is even worse. Either will have the opposite effect of any good you might have hoped to achieve, so just don’t do it.
- If one of us concedes (sincerely), “You were right”, the other is in no way allowed to say “I told you so.” To do so is just piling on, not to mention incredibly ungracious.
Occasionally a situation will arise in which—in the estimation of the one delivering the sacred expression—the other is so deeply and obviously correct, the phrase will be altered a bit and conveyed admiringly with, “You were over-the-top right!”
Yeah. It’s silly. It’s a joke. Kind of. But just as with those cherished words “I love you”, The Magic Three—“You were right”—bring a certain respect, recognition, and confirmation to a beloved partner and show a spirit of openness and generosity on the part of the one willing to bestow that observation. And that’s no joke.
A couple of BTWs:
- Just to stop the flow of upset email from haters—ahem, and LOVERS—Scott and I do not advocate the use of “You were right” to the exclusion of The Other Three Words and are very pro-“I love you”.
- After you watch the video, if you would like the “shameless” out-take videos referenced at 00:25, email me at Liz (at) AppliedLifeTechnics (dot) com (sorry, gotta deter those spammers—I’ve got faith that you know how to decode an email address), and I’ll send you the links.