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.