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Have you ever noticed how a tiny stupid decision(or a lack of doing something) can lead to so much regret later on in life. I know its happened to me many times. Its strange how sometimes such small decisions can lead to such huge conscequences.
That is not dead which may eternal lie,
for in strange aeons even death may die.
I don't think there is any real reason to regret any decision. Afterall, each decision you make is based upon the experiences of previous decisions (and their consequences). It is more than likely that if you were in the exact same situation (with the exact same past, and no known future impinging on the decision), you would make the exact same decision; unless of course you leave the decision up to chance and roll a dice/flip a coin. But even deciding to leave the decision up to chance is a decision you could regret if you knew what the result would be. If once again you make what turns out to be a bad decision, you have one more opportunity to learn a lesson.
Some people would even argue that it is the bad decisions that define who we are as a person. Everyone knows how to make "obviously right" decisions, and so they are not very important, it is the ways in which we deal with a poor choice that says something important about who we are.
I am quite willing to admit to making some seriously stupid decisions in the past, but I can't say that I regret any of them, because I like to think that I have learned important lessons from those choices. I am never going to cut up a mechanical pencil with an art knife again, despite how much I like the taste of my own blood and how fast I actually heal. I am never going to drink 16 scotch and cokes followed by 4 x500ml shakers of Midori Illusion, no matter how tasty it all is. I am never going to drive around a corner fast when it's been raining, I can't afford the repairs a second time.
Regret is an entirely useless thing. It is only 20/20 hindsight following the bad outcome of a decision. No-one ever regrets a decision that only ended well.
Mysterious Member of the ANZAC Clan
Well, It seems you feel decisions are regretable(and I understand where you are coming from). However, have you regreted something you didn't do? A decision you didn't make and would could have made a major impact on your life; and feel it was really stupid not to take that operatunity.
Also, wouldn't you regret something really bad, Like doing something stupid that unintentionally killed somebody, or a decision that ruined your marraige?
That is not dead which may eternal lie,
for in strange aeons even death may die.
I think regret is useful to a certain degree. In its helpful incarnation, it is the small warning in your head that triggers off as you skirt the boundaries of lawful and well-meaning conduct. In essence, it is saying: "Oooh! You probably shouldn't be doing that. Remember the last time you got in trouble..." In other words, I agree with mpdscott mostly; the only difference is that I believe that it is this kind of regret that leads to hindsight.
In its less helpful incarnation, regret can act as a nagging worry, or it could simply be that sinking feeling that occurs in your stomach (the one that you've gotten used to). This type of regret really takes over your life and can make it ten times worse for you. Stress levels sky-rocket with this type of regret, and generally in the long term, it isn't good for your health and can lead to some bad habits accrued from a long chain of progressive worries which stemmed from that one regret. Perhaps this is the type of regret you are feeling, Kossolax_the_Foresworn. I know I have some of these.
Nowadays, I just try to move on--as we all do. What's done is done, and that sick feeling in your stomach doesn't really help.
I think regret is pretty much an experience being not really quite processed, it makes you ponder the action/non action until you've actually learned from it.
Most things in life though are situations that will occur again and then it's really good to have some experience from bad decisions to use as reference.
I have made quite my share of bad decisions and most of them has given me far more then the good ones I made.
Admittedly I have never killed anyone, but to take the discussion so far out on an edge is to make it kind of unnecessary. It's not good to kill people, it is regrettable and will most probably hurt for the rest of your life.
But I have ruined my marriage though... Not that we've ever been married but still after 15 years that kind of technicalities really doesn't matter. I made some really stupid things and we broke up, our daughter was about 1 1/2 year at the time. But after a while we realized it was supposed to be "us" and we came back together.
Now we are pretty much in the same situation as we were back then, our second child is 1 1/2 year and our relationship is not really in it's most passionate state, but now I know breaking up/ finding someone new/ whatever is not the solution. I am far more patient as is my GF, we can even luagh at some of the problems that reoccur.
If I had not made that stupid decision some years back, I would have done it now... now I really don't have to.
Regret and learning from mistakes I think go hand in hand.
Regret is the emotional link to a bad choice so that, if the time comes round again, you won't act in the same way.
However, since it's an emotional thing, there is a scale. No regret, you can still learn, but does the action really matter. All regret, and the self pitying can really eat away at you.
There are many things I regret, not quite manslaughter or marriage destruction, but all the same, if I had my time again, or I was put in a similar situation, I'd choose tohe other fork in the road.
You live and learn.
Cervantes: In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
The conclusion I've come to in my life is that regret is a silly emotion. Feeling bad about something you've done changes nothing, and it's far better to adapt to the present than yearn for the past..
But hey, whatever works..
Folks have pretty much nailed it.
The "No regrets" philosophy needs to be balanced with personal responsibility.
If you do something that hurts someone else, apologize, make amends, then move on. If you refuse to take resonsibility for what you did, then that is when you should feel regret.
Once you are beyond that and things enter the "things you can't change" category, learn from your mistakes and move on. If you fail to learn, that is when you will feel regret.
Experience is a wonderful thing. It helps you recognize a mistake when you make it again.
Oh, and never let regret turn into rumination (going over and over about it). Dwelling on a mistake and concentrating on wishing you'd done something else or praying for the day you can have a second chance is the road to personal ruin through regrets.
RecklessFable's Journey to Mediocrity (Painting an IG army)
I've been addicted to World of Tanks lately and neglecting my IG... But it is so... much... fun!
I think regret as an emotion isn't useful at all. This is not to say that I don't experience regret, but from an objective perspective, what is to be gained from regret? Nothing, in my opinion. To expound on this a bit, I define regret as the emotional response to a recognition of some perceived failing. It is pointless to dwell(a manifestation of the emotion) on the failing and much more useful to learn how to avoid similar failings in the future. I don't think there is a difference between a regretable action and an action not performed, they are essential mere failings(perceived oft times).
Karmoon: "well.. any kore = good kore" 12:35pm PST 23 May 2007
Obvious mistakes and regret are easy to deal with.
What gets me is the regret which hits you years later. You don't realise how grave a mistake is until much later in life. I don't really know how to deal with that ... mainly because it's the first time I'm experiencing it.
I wonder how long it will take to get over this feeling.
It IS a pretty useless emotion in my opinion. It's a mix of angsting and procrastinating i.e. not cool.
Learn objectively from past facts.... but.. blubbing about them.
So unnecessary, yet so natural.
That said, I'm very sympathetic to other people, but I have a right to be harsh against myself.
LO RulesOriginally Posted by AnonymousOriginally Posted by Cyric