Life’s Biggest Regrets: What Are The Most Common Regrets People Experience?
“You have this one life. How do you want to spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning? Hating yourself? Dieting? Running after people who don’t see you? Be brave, Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud.”
– Cara Delevingne
What Is Your Biggest Regret In Life?: Have you ever made a decision that you later regretted? Have you done something you must not do and for which you still feel sorry even today? Don’t be sad, you’re not alone. There are millions of people in this world who are distressed by this feeling of emptiness mixed with guilt and anger. Regret is the emotion of wishing one had made a different decision in the past because the consequences of the decision were unfavorable.
Maybe you have heard someone saying something like – how a small mistake changed their entire life. These regrets may include small and quickly forgotten regrets like a stupid comment you made on social media sites or a grave regret like leaving a golden opportunity for a petty reason. According to some research studies, biggest regrets tend to relate to social relationships.
It can be said without a doubt that these regrets can be avoided easily if people make crucial decisions with a thoughtful mind and analyze every situation carefully and do not do something remorseful in a state of frenzy or confusion. Here is a list of “Biggest Regrets” most people have in their life.
More On Lifelords: 20 Short Poems About Death To Comfort Someone
1. I Wish I Had The Courage To Express My Feelings
This is one of the most common regrets that young and middle-aged people often experience. And the primary reason behind it is that sensitive souls find it difficult to express themselves openly before other people. In other words, they are afraid to express their feelings. A lot of things can be responsible for this shy behavior of people.
But remember, it’s always better to share your feelings openly, honestly, and frequently rather than regretting later. Give the world a chance to see you. Tell people you love and care for them. Save yourself from the guilt that comes with silence because regrets are heavy, and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
2. I Wish I Had Taken My Studies More Seriously
People regret a lot of things in their life – from a bad relationship to losing a great opportunity, there are numerous things that pinch their hearts at a deeper level. But in reality, the thing you’re most likely to regret is not about your love life, your career, or your bad behavior; it’s about not pursuing your education or taking it more seriously.
Yes, you read it right. A team of researchers (Psychologists Neal J. Roese and Amy Summerville) at the University of Illinois, performed a meta-analysis of 11 studies on regret. After looking at the regrets of 3,041 study subjects, they found that the biggest regrets people have in life centered on education. Even many people who are successful in their job/business regret that they couldn’t get the degree they wanted.
3. I Wish I Had Not Met That Person
Sometimes life changes within a few moments and it often happens when you met someone who you think can fill the empty space in your life or someone who wins your trust in the first encounter. However, many times in life, not everything, follows your wishes. We meet someone who at first, seems good enough, but later proves himself very bad as a person. That person could be anyone – your friend, spouse, colleague, relative, neighbor, or a stranger.
But you should not regret it as meeting that person was not your fault. You are not responsible for the harassment, pain, or heartbreak you experienced by giving them your confidence and cooperation. Have great confidence in yourself and let go of every painful memory of the past to move on to better things in life.
4. I Wish I Had Been A Better Spouse
There are thousands of husbands and wives in this world who regret and blame themselves for not being better spouses. Couples regret not showing the love they have for their spouse, for not letting him/her feel special the way they had always planned. They regret that they failed to make their partner realize how much he/she meant to them when he/she was there for them. They regret all the fights they had back den when they could not support their partner during the bad times.
But you should learn that regret can suffocate and hurt your relationships. It can make you question your status and make you wish for something else. Rather than allowing regret to grow and cause damage, it’s smart to become aware of it, change it, and eliminate it. Remember, You have the power within you to eliminate regret from your relationships, and the best time to do it is today.
5. I Wish I Had Followed My Passion
How many of you do think – “I wish I would have followed my passions and interests instead of money”? Probably, most of us. You are not alone if you regret not following your passion. But why is following your passion so important? Because by following your passion or loving what you do, you get to do things you’re truly excited about.
So it never feels like a job, and you’re never tired of doing it. In a way, it’s the real way of finding happiness, satisfaction, and, ultimately, having a sense of accomplishment in life. That’s why it’s important to spend a few minutes every day doing something that you love and that brings you joy.
6. I Wish I Had Been A Better Child
Parents love their children more deeply than children can love their parents. However, it’s not because they are older or wiser but because kids are parts of their souls. Whether it be for guidance, support, advice, or a big hug; parents are the true friends of every person and they will always be there for you throughout their life. There are many people who often regret in the later years of their life that they could not prove themselves a worthy child.
Reasons may be numerous but regretting them will not do any help. Yes, You should love your parents because you are from them. Your parents make a lot of sacrifices to bring you up. You are what you are today because of them. But how do you show you care about your parents? Simply by spending quality time with them and helping them whenever they need you. Read more about it Here.
7. I Wish I Had Taken That Risk
Risks in life open up new possibilities. When we are risk-averse we are immobile and stagnant and have fewer chances of creating new opportunities. Like many other people, the fear of taking risks may be holding you back in life. It’s true that people are so afraid of failing that they pass up some wonderful opportunities. They know that they could have had richer, more fulfilling lives had they taken some risks but they fail to gather the courage to overcome that unknown fear.
More On Lifelords: What To Do When You Are Bored At Home
Biggest Regrets That Often Disturb Most People In The World
8. I Wish I Had Spent More Time With My Family
Did you ever wish ‘I had been a better parent’ or ‘I could spend more time with my kids’? Yes, for the most working professional it is one of the biggest regrets that they spend too much time at work and not enough time with their family or children. Studies have shown that spending time with family can help reduce stress and anxiety levels thus leading to a healthier lifestyle and lengthening your life.
Spending time with family is so much fun. It is full of warmth, care, love, and affection. It helps to enhance your connection, helps to build your bond, and gives you the motivation to be the best version of yourself. So instead of saying ‘I lost touch with people I really cared about’ start spending more quality time with family and make the unbreakable bonds with your loved ones.
9. I Wish I Had Ended That Relationship Sooner
You can’t imagine how bad a toxic relationship could be for an individual. When you come into a relationship with the wrong person it not only destroys your self-respect, trust, and happiness but makes your life hell-like also. We often hang on to old, toxic relationships that keep our lives cluttered and prevent new, more nurturing relationships from coming in because we think we should try one more time.
But you have to remember that sometimes the best way to manage a toxic relationship is to end it. You can’t go long in an abusive relationship because it may pose some grave threats to your own survival. So, in this situation, Divorce can be the best choice for any person than to regret it later. Never waste your valuable life on partners who don’t value you.
10. I Wish I Had Not Compromised My Ideals
Do you know what it’s the biggest asset of any human being? Yes, you are right – It’s our Character. Character is far more important than talent and possessions because character has the power to define and mold the complete personality of a person. A man of character means a person having unflinching faith in his/her ideal and principles.
If you compromise your ideals for petty and selfish gains you will lose your self-respect which will be difficult to regain. When you compromise your values, it not only harms your own character and potential but also damages your relationships with others.
11. I Wish I Had Taken Care of My Health
Could you imagine a great life without good health? Absolutely not! Health is so important that it couldn’t be sacrificed even for the greatest possessions. But you will meet a lot of people in this world who sacrificed their health for money and wealth. And now they regret that they didn’t take care of their health when they had the chance. And it’s a bitter truth that most of us do not think much about health until our body weakens to the extent that we are no longer capable of fulfilling daily chores.
In other words, it can be said that it is the greatest of follies to sacrifice health for any kind of happiness. So take care of your health now rather than regret it later. Eat live food to stay healthy and stronger. Do some exercise & yoga to preserve your mental and physical energy.
12. I Wish I Had Left That Bad Habit
Bad habits may seem harmless, but they have detrimental effects in the long run. Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. There are millions of people in this world who got accustomed to a bad habit and ruined their whole life. Bad habits like smoking, drinking, drug addiction, gambling, adultery, and many more have a heavy toll on a person’s own life and his/her family.
There is no influence like the influence of habit however the unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones. But it’s far better to give up bad habits and thoughts today rather than regretting them later in life. Always remember this famous saying of Kalidasa – “Bad habits are like the hole in the bottom of a boat, which will sink the boat one day, whether it is small or big.”
13. I Wish I Had Not Left My Job
Today’s job world has become too much competitive for freshers however talented and experienced professionals have far more opportunities to grow in the business world than they had twenty years ago. But sometimes, even the most qualified people are forced to quit a job though they desire not to do so. Reasons may be numerous – from a harsh and challenging environment to low pay or rude boss/colleagues.
However, it’s always a better idea to think about this crucial decision in a cool manner and analyze all situations. Quitting a job may have a serious impact on your life and family. These decisions can’t be taken in a flash of a moment by being emotional and resigning as a reaction to something. There are thousands of people who left their job without any other suitable offer in hand and later regretted their decision to quit. Be smart here!
You May Also Like: 25 Good Leadership Qualities of Truly Great Leaders
Biggest Regrets In Life You Wish You Had Never Experienced
14. I Wish I Had Saved More Money For Emergency
Life is highly unexpected. You don’t precisely know what is going to happen in near future. That’s why you must plan to secure the future of your family along with you. And money is the best medium to do so. Saving money is worth the effort as it gives you peace of mind, and expands your options for decisions that have a major effect on the quality of your life. The more you save money, the easier it becomes to accumulate additional savings and secure your financial future.
But what happens if you don’t save money for an emergency? Just ask the people who regret that they had not saved enough money that could help them in their turbulent times. The biggest consequence of not saving any money is that debt will almost be inevitable for you. Going into debt is almost like a bi-product of not saving money. Heck, it’s hard enough to stay out of debt for those of us who do save money.
15. I Wish I Had Seen Him/Her Before He/She Died
Death is the irrefutable and the harshest reality of our life. No one can ever escape from it. It is a challenge as it leaves a heartache no one can heal. Even as an adult, the death of a family member or a friend is devastating. But death also tells us not to waste the time. It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.
Do you know what would you most regret in your life is not getting a chance to see your loved ones before they die? Yes, it’s absolutely true. I have seen some people who regret that they could not meet their parents or friend before their final departure. Life can be too short for many people and you must not leave any chance to visit a dying loved one before he/she died.
16. I Wish I Had Not Said That Statement
Words have a great impact on people. They are powerful weapons and can do a lot of damage if not spoken carefully. Their power arises from our emotional responses when we read, speak, or hear them. Whether spoken or via text, they can affect us in both good and bad ways. While positive words can boost your self-esteem and self-image, the impact of negative words can have long-lasting detrimental effects.
Whether you’re talking to a child, a sibling, a friend, a colleague, or a stranger, it’s important to consider how negative words can affect a person. Harsh and offensive words have enough potential to break even great relationships. And if you search through the pages of history you will find a lot of incidents where some abusive and rude statements resulted in dire consequences.
17. I Wish I Had Accepted His/Her Advice
Taking advice from the right people, and tuning out the rest, can be the key to success in business or personal life. But why is good advice so important in life? Because by seeking advice from the right people—and in the right ways—you can develop smarter solutions to problems, deepen your thinking, and sharpen your decision-making.
And by becoming a better adviser, you’ll extend your influence and learn from the people who come to you for guidance. So, whenever you get advice from someone analyze the prospective outcomes step-by-step. However, be sure about your own boundaries and sense of your own ethics before you follow the advice from someone.
18. I Wish I Had Lived Life To The Fullest
Life is not just limited to completing your job work and accumulating possessions. It’s more than that. A life that is devoid of joy, satisfaction, laughter, thrill, and adventure, is no life at all. The main problem with most people is that they take life too seriously. Yes, we’re way too serious. We have forgotten that living life to the fullest is not only our deepest desire but it also helps us in achieving our goals sooner.
Do not regret the time you wasted worrying about things beyond your control. Instead, find out new ways to make your life more happier and peaceful until it becomes too late. Live your unfulfilled dreams now, don’t live up to someone else’s expectations. It’s your life, only you know what’s best for you and you have every right to get what you want from your life.
19. I Wish I Had Chosen That Offer
A successful and happy life is all about labor and getting the most out of available opportunities. In other words, the secret to success in life is – To be ready for your Opportunity when it comes. There are many people in the world who don’t regret the things they have done, they regret the things they didn’t do when they had the chance.
We should never lose any chance even if it may seem too trivial. Opportunity is more powerful even than conquerors and prophets. It’s a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared. So, grab any chance you get in your life as you never know what it could lead to.
20. I Wish I Had Done More For Others
Helping others, serving others—this is the real meaning of life. The greatest men and women who had lived on this earth didn’t achieve their distinction by having some new talent or amassing great possessions. They are remembered for their kindness and good deeds that lifted mankind in its truest sense. Always remember no amount of knowledge, technique, or quick-wittedness can substitute for honesty and the genuine desire to help others. If you keep at heart the welfare of others, your own will be cherished and protected by others.
We can all relate to most of these regrets because everyone has regrets in life. Somehow you don’t notice it earlier but as you get older, those regrets tend to start piling up and often create unwanted pressure on your mental equilibrium. Yes, it’s true that we can’t change the past, But there is no reason to take the burden of these regrets on your life.
What’s important in life is – What are we going to do with the rest of our lives to ensure we don’t experience any of these regrets later. Yes, with a positive mindset & deep understanding, these regrets can teach us how to start living a better life today. If you have some regrets you’d like to share, please mention them below in the comment field.
More On Lifelords: 10 Creepy Short Stories For Kids And Adults
“You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.”
– Pawan Pratap Singh