From Wikipedia


Regret is an intelligent and emotional dislike for personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often felt when someone feels sadness, shame, embarrassment, depression or guilt after committing an action or actions that the person later wishes that he or she had not done. Regret is distinct from guilt, which is a deeply emotional form of regret — one which may be difficult to comprehend in an objective or conceptual way. In this regard, the concept of regret is subordinate to guilt in terms of its emotional intensity. By comparison, shame typically refers to the social (rather than personal) aspect of guilt or (in minor context) regret as imposed by the society or culture (enforcement of ethics, morality), which has substantial bearing in matters of (personal and social) honor.

Regret can describe not only the dislike for an action that has been committed, but also, importantly, regret of inaction. Many people find themselves wishing that they had done something in a past situation.

Effective apologizies (from Wiki entry on remorse)

Two studies on apologizing are The Five Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas, and On Apology by Aaron Lazare. These studies indicate that effective apologies that express remorse typically include a detailed account of the offense; acknowledgment of the hurt or damage done; acceptance of the responsibility for, and ownership of, the act or omission; and an explanation that recognizes one’s role. As well, apologies usually include a statement or expression of regret, humility or remorse; a request for forgiveness; and an expression of a credible commitment to change or a promise that it will not happen again. Apologies may also include some form of restitution, compensation or token gesture in line with the damage that you caused. When an apology is delayed, for instance if a friend has been wronged and the offending party does not apologize, the perception of the offense can compound over time. This is sometimes known as compounding remorse. Compunction refers to the act of actively expressing remorse, usually requiring the remorseful individual to physically approach the person to whom they are expressing regret.

Sometimes I just suck as a friend. I did what I did and I can’t undo it. I know there’s no going back now. Punishing myself may not do any good, but I wish it did.

If you meet a kindred spirit and you are lucky to call them a friend, you are blessed. Make sure you understand what someone says to you before you decide to get upset by it. Maybe they didn’t mean it the way that it came across.

I wonder why I was blessed with “intensity” because in my hands, it can be a dangerous thing. I don’t know which is worse, losing a friend to death or losing a friend because you did or said something to hurt them (even if by accident or based on some misunderstanding). I do know the grief feels the same.

I know this isn’t over…this grief…this mourning. I just wish I didn’t have to feel so much, because then it would be easier to deal with.

But as my beloved, departed friend Barb always said, “This too shall pass”. I know she’s right, but it won’t happen before I make myself suffer greatly for it.

What I wouldn’t give to undo the things I said and make things right again.


If I don’t post for a while, it’s because my grief swallowed me whole and it might take me a while to come back out of it.

Peace, and blessings to you.

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10 Responses to Regret

  1. Jennaviere says:

    No one should ever be this hard on themselves, C.
    Change your focus. See that in every apparent bad, there is good. It may not be evident now, but it’s there.

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Jennaviere. Maybe not. Thank you for your kind words.

    I just did something I can’t undo and lost a wonderful person in my life.

    I thought I was over making those kinds of mistakes.

    I’ll be okay, eventually. I just have to mourn the loss a little longer.

  3. Papa T says:

    I’m with J-viere on this one. Sometimes we can be too hard on Self. And focus can really affect us.

    Sometimes we “lose” people.

    Sometimes we push them away.

    Sometimes they die.

    Sometimes they just fade away.

    Sometimes we do things that threaten safety in relationships. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s “done.”

    Sometimes we generate drama because feeling intensely–regretfully, remorsefully, spitefully…whatever–is “better” than not feeling at all.

    Sometimes it’s just not worth “the trouble.”

    Sometimes we _______________ (fill in the blank).

    There’re all kinds of things that can happen.

    I don’t know what you may have done that “can’t be undone.” But, if that’s the way you see it, then that’s the way it must be…for you.

    You have the heart and mind to find the way that works for you.

    Sometimes friends just get out of our way whilst we work on our stuff.

    I wish you the best, and just want to say that I appreciate your drive, intensity, and complexity.

  4. Jennaviere says:

    Ditto what Papa T said, especially the last part.

    I like this place — there are good people to be found here. ♥

  5. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Papa T

    Perhaps there is hope – I’d like to think so anyway.

    Sometimes I just wish I could get out of my own way.

    My oldest daughter accidentally tripped over the Tinkerpup (one of my nicknames for our puppy Tinkerbell) yesterday. She didn’t mean to, but she sprained her (the puppy’s) ankle. She felt so horrible for doing so, and immediately regretted not being careful.

    I knew exactly what she was feeling, only she was lucky, because she was able to immediately say she was sorry and comfort her puppy and I was able to comfort her. I was also able to reassure her that I knew she didn’t mean it.

    Sometimes, it’s not always that easy. You do the best you can to try and fix the damage…but it’s not always fixable and I know that. The moments of not knowing whether or not my attempts to make amends ameliorate the damage are the hardest for me. That’s when the guilt and the self-inflicted suffering happen.

    I don’t want to take it easy on me. Not because I enjoy the drama (because I’d rather not feel this way), but so that perhaps I won’t forget that my words have both the power to help and hurt another and to use caution with them.

    At any rate…listening to lots of music, remembering why I cherish the friends I do have, and holding the Tinkerpup in my arms (as I type now), is helping. So is having friends comfort me when I feel I least deserve it.

    Thank you.

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Yes, Jennaviere – there are good people to be found here. I don’t know how I got to be so fortunate, but I’m truly grateful for the good people who contribute here.

  7. joanna says:

    OEs are generally misunderstood by others – and the fact that you are hurting so intensely is another OE “gift.” I obviously cannot tell you I understand or offer some other hollow sentiment. But I hope that this friend can see past your “mistake” and that time is a true healer for you both.

    I hope your writing helps you too. Get out that journal!

  8. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Joanna –

    Thank you so much. Since having posted, I think some things have been resolved with this friend of mine – whom I think is very capable of looking past my mistake(s). I just went for a couple of days not knowing that. But I’ve learned a lot in the past few days I didn’t know before.

    I will be doing more journaling in some fashion (if not online, then by hand – though I’m very self-critical about my penmanship – oh well).

    Oh, and I have been printing out my blog posts and putting them in a pretty, decorated binder to have even when I’m not online. My biggest fear is that some day wordpress (and other blog sites) are going to disappear, so I want hard copies of my writings and of the comments from my internet friends.

    Anyway, again…thanks to everyone to allow me to process things. I’ve never been so fortunate to have such warm and supportive friends to help me process things in my life.

  9. joanna says:

    I’m very happy to hear some resolution has occurred. I hope it continues.

    Don’t tell a journaling teacher that you don’t want to journal because of your handwriting!! 😉 It’s *your* journal, *your* handwriting, YOU! You deserve to be “heard” (by yourself – not another soul will see it unless you let them) no matter how you form your letters. This isn’t grade school, there is no grade for penmanship. It’s not about the how you write, it’s about the what you write and the process of letting your inner wisdom out onto the paper… please don’t be so hard on yourself!

    OK, teacher hat off!

    I also have that fear about my blog but I have yet to figure out to print it.

  10. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I know I shouldn’t be hypercritical of my handwriting. Blogging was a great way of journaling for me since I don’t have to worry about penmanship.

    About saving my blog entries – I just cut and paste my entries into a word document and then print them out from there. Sometimes if pictures are in my blog posts, sometimes they shrink to a smaller size, but I just re-copy the individual picture and paste it over the smaller one and it works just fine.

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