So is there an answer to "When you're older you'll realize I was right"?

Well, is there? I have yet to come up with a reply that doesn’t sound rude or disrespectful, but also doesn’t go along with whatever the person is saying.

I don’t think so. A person who makes that statement probably already has their opinion set. I guess the only reasonable answer would be “You might be right!”


“That might be true. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

Well, the situation is more when the person using the phrase wants the other to make a change to their beliefs and/or actions. So my question is more, how does one politely and respectfully indicate that one is still going about what one has decided on? It seems in my experience to be rather commonly used by an older person who has failed to get their way by reasoning (which makes it incredibly annoying).

“Thanks for giving me your take on this. I’d prefer not to discuss this anymore now.”

It’s like this: "Mom says someday you will have kids
that drive you crazy too. "Then guess what? Mom’s prediction
comes true and she’s the babysitter. Lol.

Unfortunately, you can’t really answer that until you are older…

“Thank you that you care about me like this. I know I must seem very hard-headed, but I really feel that I’ve thought this through, and I’m determined to proceed in the way that seems best to me right now. I give you my permission to say ‘I told you so,’ if I really do get myself into a jam, here, but I’m convinced that everything will be okay, and that you have nothing to fear on my behalf. Thank you again for your perspective - your opinion really is important to me, and I really have considered your point of view - I’m not just being rebellious or hard-headed here, and I’m really not expecting you to come to my rescue if things go as you have predicted.”

That’s kind of the irritating part. It rather feels like “Because your young, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve thought this through or what your reasons are. You’re wrong because you’re only in your 20’s.”

When I was your age I really used to hate sentences that began ‘when I was your age’ anyway, I digress. You might suggest to them that their statement can only be true if everybody else in their age group has the same opinion as them. Not everybody else in the same age and social group as them but simply of the same age. Because if even one other person of their age disagrees with them then it suggests that chronology isn’t the only significant factor involved in arriving at an opinion. Notwithstanding this it is always possible that they are right and you are wrong sometimes.

You will always believe you are right, when you only accept knowledge that supports your premise.


Turn left three times and you will always be right. (Some will see this only as a joke, without considering the depth of what is being said. Hint: you can accept so many untruths, that untruth becomes truth.)

At age 67 I only wish I was young enough to “know it all!”:shrug:

This happens to me sometimes when speaking to an elder. I will argue my point a little bit. If I see that I can’t change their opinion, I will usually respond to your above sentence with a “Maybe.” That’s just short for, “it remains to be seen.” There is no way to know who is right until the actual event occurs. Then in hindsight you can see who was right. In general, older people will have more wisdom that should be followed, but sometimes older people can be out of touch with current realities.

That’s sort of my frustration - I may not know it all, but neither does my mother. And I would like to be able to make choices for myself without being told I’m wrong because I’m young.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

She may not know it all, but to ignore her experiences would be foolish. The bars of pride keep us imprisoned.

Perfect answer! Polite and non-committal at the same time.

I had a less polite, more sarcastic one, “Well, you can only hope, I guess.” :rolleyes:

Or how about, “It’s good to have dreams!”, or “dream big”. Actually, don’t use any of mine. Xantippe is right on target.

I understand, but at the same time…well, my mother tends to be very controlling and critical. I don’t want to turn into a clone of her. And the phrase does usually come out after I’ve heard her reasons and not been persuaded by them - and when I’ve given mine and she doesn’t like them. I don’t like the phrase because it seems to keep the relationship in a place where I’m a perpetual child, too inexperienced to make any choices for myself.

When faced with that I tend to go with “Lets agree to disagree”. I’ve always found that statement extremely condescending and for the most part people who said that to me in my teens and earlier 20’s are wrong, I do not agree with them now as I didn’t then. Some people take youth for stupidity and have difficulty accepting that one can have critical thinking and reasoning skills in their teens and 20’s. The person probably means well so I suggest a polite way to avoid and change subject if possible. If this is someone whose opinion you respect and admire, maybe in your own time you can at least think through the advice given, if it does not work there is no law that you must follow it.

“I’m sorry, I can’t tell which part of your answer is the wisdom that comes with age, and which part is just your personal opinion. Could you help me out on that?”

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