I didn't write about the cat on the leash
what would you have written?
I encountered an If I Were You on the way home one day.
A man walking his cat on a leash. He was letting it explore an enormous pile of furniture, discarded and waiting for a new home by the side of the road.
I heard it before I saw it: If I were you I wouldn’t let my… Nails on a chalkboard. There are few things more repugnant to me than the call of the “If I Were You…”
Then I saw it - an If I Were You, screeching out in broad daylight. Its beady little eyes fixed, lemon lips pursed with disapproval, talons tut tutting disapproval, all fueled by a black hole of disappointed I told you so’s
It was so nasty the word bitter found it bitter.
If I were you…
Who asked you anyway?
If I were you?
That’s a big if.That’s a magical if.
If, I were you.
If? The answer to every If I Were You is right there in the ‘If”.
That’s the flaw.
If you were me you wouldn’t be you. You’d be me and I’d be walking down the street watching with delight as your cat climbed the curb treasures.
If I Were You? You’re not me. Piss off.
Here’s a fun game. Dress up as an If I Were You. Every time you see someone doing something, interrupt them. Ask if they want feedback. Provide this feedback only after uttering the magic words:: “If I were you I’d____” Watch how they react.
What does it feel like to be the kind of person who feels entitled to offer their help without invitation?
Does this feel difficult or natural or does the context matter?
Where would you never offer your opinion, where is it more common?
Was this helpful?
This is a bit of a trap.
We all have an “If I Were You living inside of us. They live on Should street, just around the corner from Judgement Junction. Playing this game openly might help highlight where you play this game and don’t know you’re playing.
And, if you’re a perpetual “If I Were You”, asking if people want feedback might cause a shift in how they respond.
Short note: If I Were U would be the worst post secondary school ever.
They’d likely have a really annoying debate team.
Also, I didn’t really write about the cat on the leash. It was cute and remarkably well behaved. I see more leashed cats these days.
Now my title is a lie.
If I were me I’d stop.