L’esprit De L’escalier: Staircase Of Wit

Staircase, wit

Yahallo! Today we are going to talk about the staircase of wit.

Staircase Wit

Does something you did like 1 million years ago keep you awake at night? You often regret doing it; you do not wish to think about it, yet you do it? And then you get embarrassed at your stupidity at that moment. Sometimes you have an after thought to a discussion, if you had answered another way – “Yes! If I had said or done so, perhaps it would have had a greater impact!” Or occasionally, your brain decides to ruin your mood by dragging out something stupid you did years ago, which is likely that other people don’t even remember anymore.

Staircase Wit

Staircase representing Staircase Wit

This bizarre and peculiar feeling has a phrase called L’esprit de l’escalier or Staircase Of Wit.

My Wit Goes Up & Up 

The phrase was apparently coined by the 18th century French writer Diderot, who wrote in 1773 that while visiting the French finance minister Jacques Necker, a comment was made to which Diderot was unable to respond. “A sensitive man overcome by the argument leveled against him,” he wrote, “becomes confused and can only think clearly again at the bottom of the staircase.” [1]

It basically means a predicament of thinking up a comeback too late. Some sources say it is related to counterfactual thinking as well :-

It means nothing more than simply creating alternative versions of events that have already taken place in our life; making up a completely different situation. In a nutshell, it includes all the questions you ask in “What if I had” or “What if” form.

Evidently, we get so frustrated by this trivial thing, that we will try to create a similar situation just to perfect it and feel satisfied. This is an extremely stupid decision, but hey, its human nature. That’s how we are.

It seems Staircase Wit and Counterfactual Thinking are strongly tied by similar examples.
To give you an idea, what if I had studied harder, would I have had a different life? But alas, I can’t do anything now, what’s done is done.

So my dear readers, take your time, but always make careful decisions 🙂 Don’t be rash in your thoughts; analyze what you do, it really helps.


  1. Do you question your choices?
  2. Have you experienced L’esprit de l’escalier?
  3. Do you often think about past events and wish you could change them now? Can you share some?
  4. How often do you regret your decisions?
  5. Are you generally quick witted or do you take time to think up something impactful?

Well then, I pen off. Enjoy your day peeps~ ❤

L'esprit De L'escalier: The Bizzare feeling called Staircase Of Wit
Article Name
L'esprit De L'escalier: The Bizzare feeling called Staircase Of Wit
Have you ever felt that you could have said/done something else resulting in a better outcome? This bizarre and peculiar feeling is called Staircase Of Wit.
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"With dark raven paper and twinkling white ink, I wrote my heart in the night's sky."

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