We all have regrets. Sometimes those regrets can even haunt you. So let’s examine the research behind regret to see if we can start making wiser choices and regret less. Regret, as defined, is both a noun and a verb involving feelings of disappointment or sadness about something you did or did not do. In terms of opportunity, there are three stages of a potential regret situation. The first stage is action, followed by outcome, and finally the recall. At the action stage, a choice is made. If the choice is not completely up to the individual to decide, regret is not experienced (ie: someone made the choice for you or an unforeseen event such as weather impacted the choice). The choice is made using goal-based decision-making. At the outcome stage, it is made apparent whether the goal was successfully achieved or not. Regret is not experienced if the goal is achieved. If the goal fails, the “what-ifs” take over. During the recall stage, one can remember the regret of the decision and use that regret to make future decisions. Here are a few research-based tips on how to diminish regret:
Luckily, I made my biggest money mistake when I was quite young. I was 8 or 9. As we did every year, we headed to Tillamook for our annual family reunion.
I spent a great deal of time at my great aunt’s house and she had an amazing doll collection. I wanted to be just like her in a lot of ways, but I had no fancy dolls. I had an American Girl Doll (Molly, if you were wondering), but nothing shelf-worthy like my great aunt.