I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other night about regrets and the impact they have on our lives and relationships.
Regret is a negative emotion, but it can have positive outcomes. It can give us insight and help us make sense of the world and our place in it, and impel us to make positive changes in our lives.
Left to fester, however, regret can make us doubt our decisions and path in life, and create a devalued sense of self-worth. It may lead to us withdrawing within ourselves and to feelings of unhappiness and depression.
We can regret actions we’ve taken, or actions we didn’t have the courage to take.
It was a heartfelt conversation, and my friend and I learned this the other night about dealing with regret:
- First, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to say I’m sorry, to reach out, to take action.
- Accept that sometimes life has its own plan and your path is where it decides to take you.
- When it comes to regret and relationships, know that the other person’s perception of what happened may be completely different than yours.
- Forgive yourself, forgive others and move on. We are all human, we make mistakes.
No one lives a life of no regrets. If someone says they have no regrets, they’re lying. But hopefully our regrets are few and we’ve learned from them.