Psychology and Regret

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A Powerful Emotion
Everyone one of us has experienced this powerful emotion at some point in our life and many people have written countless songs, poems and stories about it. It is also frequently used as a major theme in movies. Unlike what many of you are probably thinking, the powerful emotion that I am referring to is not love, but REGRET. Tonight, we will explore regret and I will share with you the most common regrets by people nearing the end of their life, interesting observations about regrets in general, and what we can ultimately learn from them. Several studies indicate that regrets are very common from those about to die. The number one regret was that they didn’t have the courage to go after their dreams, and instead settled for what people expected from them. Secondly, they regretted working too much and not carving out enough time for family and friends. The third most common regret dealt with love because there is so much emphasis on love towards the end of one’s life. In many cases, this involved a lost romantic opportunity. People also regretted not being honest about the way they felt and holding back expressing their feelings more clearly. Last, but not least, the fifth regret dealt with people not making happiness a priority. Many said that they realized too late, that happiness was a choice. Regret is a perplexing emotion. Many researchers have studied regret among people with varying backgrounds, education, and experiences. While there were no clear patterns on the reason for regret, an equal number of people expressed regret over what that they had done versus what they had failed to do. The people whose regrets centred around what they had not done were more likely to linger over time. Many studies revealed that a woman’s regrets were more often related to relationships and family issues while mens revolved around education, career and money. Regrets also varied by level of education with those less educated...
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