19 votes

What is something you have done, or not done, that you are still regretting today?

For example:
I remember that I had a really short fuse when I was in highschool. One day, I was having a bad day anyway, and a friend of mine made a comment about my appearance. I slapped him. I don't know why I thought it was a good idea. We then got into a fight which ended our friendship. I didn't apologize and haven't had the chance to do so since.

I am still thinking what the friend feels about the situation today and I am ashamed that this happened.

37 comments

  1. [3]
    papasquat Link
    I probably should have wasted less time learning dumb programming languages and technologies. They're just about the least useful things in my life I've ever learned, and virtually all of them...

    I probably should have wasted less time learning dumb programming languages and technologies. They're just about the least useful things in my life I've ever learned, and virtually all of them were obsolete within a year of me learning them anyway. I do woodworking now, and it feels a lot more rewarding investing time into learning techniques that were created three hundred or more years ago, and will continue to be useful for hundreds more.

    Tech people have a tendency to be overconfident, pretentious and presumptuous, thinking that they know best despite their fields still being in its infancy, and thinking they can "disrupt" other fields despite having zero experience in them. I used to be one of those people. I wish I was more humble when I was younger.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      Okwellthen Link Parent
      Wow, spending time on learning one thing that you then can not use sounds extremely frustrating. Although I never really regret learning something new , it can be hard just deciding what I want to...

      Wow, spending time on learning one thing that you then can not use sounds extremely frustrating. Although I never really regret learning something new , it can be hard just deciding what I want to learn and not to learn. This sometimes leads to the feeling on missing out on other subjects I am interested in. I don't think that you have wasted your time with learning programming. Maybe It was the way for you to discover about woodworking, which for me personally sounds much more fulfilling.
      Do you think your experience from learning the programming languages will still somehow come in handy in the future for you?

      1. papasquat Link Parent
        I don't think I wasted my time learning programming in general. I think programming is great, it's helped me get great jobs, I still sorta enjoy it (sometimes), and I used to do it as a hobby. I...

        I don't think I wasted my time learning programming in general. I think programming is great, it's helped me get great jobs, I still sorta enjoy it (sometimes), and I used to do it as a hobby. I don't at all regret learning to code in general.
        What I regret is learning esoteric flavor of the month languages and frameworks. I spent months learning TCL for some dumb reason, and never used it. I've spent so much time learning frameworks that no one uses anymore because they've either been abandoned, or people just moved on to something else.

        I think knowing how computers work, knowing how to write small scripts and code to improve your life is a valuable skill. I know for a fact that learning how expect works, or how the XML API for Cisco 7960 IP phones works will never come in handy in my life ever again.
        Woodworking on the other hand, will never make me money or get me a job most likely, and just takes up a ton of my time, space, and money, but I actually enjoy it, and it doesn't leave me feeling frustrated and upset after I do it. At the end of a project, I think "Wow, I'm really proud of this" instead of "God dammit, finally. I can't wait to forget about the process of making this"

        2 votes
  2. [5]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      fional Link Parent
      I hear you, I've had similar thoughts many times, but ultimately I try to be compassionate to the kid-me that doesn't exist anymore. If it were any other young person beating themselves up over...

      I hear you, I've had similar thoughts many times, but ultimately I try to be compassionate to the kid-me that doesn't exist anymore. If it were any other young person beating themselves up over keeping their head down on gender identity, in the nineties, in a rural conservative state, I'd be entirely sympathetic, but somehow, because that person is me, it's easy to point fingers and blame.

      On the other side, I'm trying to be compassionate to current-me in the same way. The struggles I've faced are a big part of the strengths of who I am now--wishing things were different feels like wishing I didn't exist in present form. Maybe there's some alternate universe where a cisgender-indistinguishable version of myself is enjoying a perfect life, but it's equally likely that alternate universe version of myself would've been ostracized and not exposed to the beneficial life opportunities that I've had. All in all, I'd like to think I'm a reasonably kind and fun person to be around, and I'm okay with existing.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. fional Link Parent
          Hah, yeah, the mixture of like... turning one's world upside-down but getting a decent measure of hope out of it is an interesting exchange. I'm not sure if you're still contemplating doing so,...

          Hah, yeah, the mixture of like... turning one's world upside-down but getting a decent measure of hope out of it is an interesting exchange. I'm not sure if you're still contemplating doing so, but approaching it in my thirties has been very worthwhile for me, so far.

          2 votes
    2. moocow1452 Link Parent
      I'm not really that experienced with gender related dysphoria or your personal situation, but right now, you have the most time you are ever going to have to live your best life, and whatever...

      I'm not really that experienced with gender related dysphoria or your personal situation, but right now, you have the most time you are ever going to have to live your best life, and whatever regret that you had in the past could merely be prologue and table setting for how awesome it's going to be in the future.

      3 votes
    3. tindall Link Parent
      Gotta second this. I baaasically knew I was trans in, like, 9th grade but never did anything about it until now. That was a big mistake and is causing me no end of problems.

      Gotta second this. I baaasically knew I was trans in, like, 9th grade but never did anything about it until now. That was a big mistake and is causing me no end of problems.

      2 votes
  3. [7]
    mrbig (edited ) Link
    I wouldn't say I regret anything in the sense that it causes me moral pain because when I look in the past it's easy to see that all my mistakes were the product of context, immaturity or lack of...

    I wouldn't say I regret anything in the sense that it causes me moral pain because when I look in the past it's easy to see that all my mistakes were the product of context, immaturity or lack of knowledge on my part.

    But there are many things I now realize I should have done differently.

    • The majority of my relationships should have ended sooner. This brought lots of suffering both to me and my partners. Lots of disrespect could have been avoided.
    • On the same note, I should have given up sooner from my previous career. It was clearly a dead end and I was simply afraid to start over.
    • I should have sought a psychiatrist as soon as I started showing signs of clinical depression, including suicidal ideation.
    • When I was a young I killed a lagartixa [1] just for the kicks. Sounds silly, but this haunts me to this day. This one causes moral pain, actually.

    [1] small gecko common in Brazilian households

    8 votes
    1. Neyvermore Link Parent
      The first three points seem like good advice for anyone in a similar situation. Thank you ! For the last point, it must be haunting indeed. For what it's worth, you were young as you said, and you...

      The first three points seem like good advice for anyone in a similar situation. Thank you !
      For the last point, it must be haunting indeed. For what it's worth, you were young as you said, and you are regretting it. Many people would quickly forget about it. It might sound silly, but have you tried apologizing? I mean, a bit like saying farewell to the dead you know.
      It might help to adress an apology to the lizard itself and say goodbye. It's a bit different I guess but before my grandfather died, I didn't visit, and then he was just gone and I regretted it for a long time. Then I adressed him a kind of prayer, even though I'm not tied to any religion, and just apologized and wished him the best of luck wherever he was. I feel good about it now.
      (I know it might just be a psychological trick but... if it works it works right?)

      2 votes
    2. [5]
      Okwellthen Link Parent
      That is some truly helpful advice! The way you reflect back could help me to get to better terms with other things my "past me" has done. I hope you recovered from the depression and are healthy...

      That is some truly helpful advice! The way you reflect back could help me to get to better terms with other things my "past me" has done.
      I hope you recovered from the depression and are healthy now. Best of luck!

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        mrbig Link Parent
        That's a good idea and in my case it would not be just a psychological trick, since I am religious and believe animals have soul.

        It might help to adress an apology to the lizard itself and say goodbye.

        That's a good idea and in my case it would not be just a psychological trick, since I am religious and believe animals have soul.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          Neyvermore Link Parent
          I do believe in souls as well, I just didn't know if you did too so I put my answer in an atheist viewpoint, even though I'm a deist myself. I hope this will help you. I wish you all the best.

          I do believe in souls as well, I just didn't know if you did too so I put my answer in an atheist viewpoint, even though I'm a deist myself. I hope this will help you. I wish you all the best.

          2 votes
          1. mrbig Link Parent
            yeah, I tend to adopt an inclusive language in that regard too. It's usually not that hard, religious and non-religious people share more common ground than it seems.

            yeah, I tend to adopt an inclusive language in that regard too. It's usually not that hard, religious and non-religious people share more common ground than it seems.

            4 votes
  4. [15]
    Neyvermore Link
    I broke up with my girlfriend (3 years relationship) for no real reason instead of talking with her. It's been three years now, and I still think about her. A lot.

    I broke up with my girlfriend (3 years relationship) for no real reason instead of talking with her. It's been three years now, and I still think about her. A lot.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      moocow1452 Link Parent
      Dude, she probably doesn't want you to beat yourself up over it. And even if she does, then why let her live rent free in your head? You did a dummy, and it hurts, but you have to either forgive...

      Dude, she probably doesn't want you to beat yourself up over it. And even if she does, then why let her live rent free in your head? You did a dummy, and it hurts, but you have to either forgive yourself or be sad forever.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        Neyvermore Link Parent
        I know man, and I'm trying but I can't seem to forget. And it always comes back stronger twice a year : the day we first kissed, and her birthday. I think it also has to do with where I live :...

        I know man, and I'm trying but I can't seem to forget. And it always comes back stronger twice a year : the day we first kissed, and her birthday. I think it also has to do with where I live : many places here remind me of her since we lived quite close to each other and often met near a metro station which I have to use a lot.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          moocow1452 Link Parent
          If you forget, you don't learn anything and are setting yourself to do the exact same thing, and there's probably always going to be a twinge. Speaking as someone who called someone all the time...

          If you forget, you don't learn anything and are setting yourself to do the exact same thing, and there's probably always going to be a twinge. Speaking as someone who called someone all the time in high school until they went to college and changed their number, then met up on Facebook years later and got instablocked, I'm probably never going to know the full story behind that. Was it my behavior, or some arbitrary decision on her part, or did evil hackers get into her account to stop our truest wuv!? Probably not, but I will likely never know. All of this is to say that you can't just excise or forget those ghosts in your head, and you kinda have to make peace with them. Maybe the yearly birthday text is doing you more harm than good?

          2 votes
          1. mrbig Link Parent
            Two Monks and a Woman

            why let her live rent free in your head?

            Two Monks and a Woman

            A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

            The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

            Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his 
journey.

            The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

            Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

            The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”

            10 votes
    2. [6]
      mrbig Link Parent
      I know that's a long shot, but have you tried getting in touch again?

      I know that's a long shot, but have you tried getting in touch again?

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        Neyvermore Link Parent
        Well I tried but she doesn't really want to hear about me. She's been pretty cold everytime I tried to speak with her, unfortunately. I don't think I have any chance left. :(

        Well I tried but she doesn't really want to hear about me. She's been pretty cold everytime I tried to speak with her, unfortunately. I don't think I have any chance left. :(

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          mrbig (edited ) Link Parent
          I see. Anyway, you shouldn't feel bad for mourning. Three years is not a lot of time to get over true love, and it's unreasonable to expect a three-year relationship to be easily erased. You...

          I see. Anyway, you shouldn't feel bad for mourning. Three years is not a lot of time to get over true love, and it's unreasonable to expect a three-year relationship to be easily erased.

          You should probably seek psychotherapy if you haven't yet, but don't rush yourself. These things take time, and they should be.

          Also, read Mourning and Melancholia. Even though psychoanalysis is justifiably frowned upon by science, Freud had awesome insights that helped me greatly in the past.

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            Neyvermore Link Parent
            I did think about therapy, I'll give it a shot soon, especially since this year has been a hard one. Thank you for the comfort and for the text, gonna read that today.

            I did think about therapy, I'll give it a shot soon, especially since this year has been a hard one.

            Thank you for the comfort and for the text, gonna read that today.

            2 votes
            1. mrbig Link Parent
              It won't "cure" you, but it will absolutely help! The article on Love on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy also helped me recently. It's a good way to put things into perspective, especially...

              gonna read that today

              It won't "cure" you, but it will absolutely help! The article on Love on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy also helped me recently. It's a good way to put things into perspective, especially if you don't have the money to pay for psychotherapy right now - which is my case.

              2 votes
            2. mrbig Link Parent
              I'll also send you the link for a book that can help via private message.

              I'll also send you the link for a book that can help via private message.

    3. [4]
      timo Link Parent
      Do you have some more context? Was it an impulsive decision?

      Do you have some more context? Was it an impulsive decision?

      1. [3]
        Neyvermore Link Parent
        Well, I think I was kind of depressed at the time but didn't really know it. And I felt a bit trapped in the relationship because it didn't evolve any more. It's silly, but I was really interested...

        Well, I think I was kind of depressed at the time but didn't really know it. And I felt a bit trapped in the relationship because it didn't evolve any more. It's silly, but I was really interested in going abroad and maybe start over. (I was only 22 though, so it's even sillier !)
        So the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to go to Taïwan (I live in Belgium) and, I don't know, find someone else, start a new life. So I broke up, because I didn't know how to talk to her and explain how I felt, which absolutely would have helped. I learned my lesson about communication now but damn I wish I knew it then. Communication is fucking key.
        The other reason is probably because I started seeing more of her bad sides, even though she had very few, instead of her good ones. And of course, she had plenty of those.
        Also I might be idealizing her now, but I can't really know any more. We both have changed after all.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          timo Link Parent
          Wow, I can totally imagine why you feel that way. It sucks, but you've also learned a great lesson. Of course you could always try to contact her, but what would that achieve? Making peace? If so,...

          Wow, I can totally imagine why you feel that way. It sucks, but you've also learned a great lesson.

          Of course you could always try to contact her, but what would that achieve? Making peace? If so, with her or yourself? Do you just want to tell why you did what you did? It's possible she has already closed off this chapter in her life. It seems you haven't completely.

          If you would really like to let her know about it, you could send her a letter. Let her think about it, but don't expect any response or acknowledgement. You can tell her about why you did what you did, but she will have control over what to do with that information.

          2 votes
          1. Neyvermore Link Parent
            Oh I already told her. A year ago I wanted to send her a letter, but I learned that she had moved. So I fell back on an sms. She thanked me for being honest and said she felt much better after...

            Oh I already told her. A year ago I wanted to send her a letter, but I learned that she had moved. So I fell back on an sms. She thanked me for being honest and said she felt much better after that, and wished me the best in life. That's it.
            So I guess she's done indeed. I still wish her a happy birthday every year, since I can't seem to forget that one date, but we have no more conversation, and she doesn't seem to want to have one.

            3 votes
  5. clone1 Link
    I was best friends with my cousin growing up, we were the same age, lived close together, and were best friends. A few years ago I moved out of state and started to drift apart from him. I've been...

    I was best friends with my cousin growing up, we were the same age, lived close together, and were best friends. A few years ago I moved out of state and started to drift apart from him. I've been going through depression, but I've been ok.

    I heard from other family that he was having trouble as well, and had dropped out of his out of state college he had a scholarship for to go to a more local community college.

    Two weeks ago he committed suicide, and I hadn't spoken with him for months. I wish I would have called him, I'd been meaning to. Even if it wouldn't have changed anything, our experiences have been similar and a conversation about it would have helped us both.

    5 votes
  6. Rocket_Man Link
    I don't regret a lot of things, like mrbig I have things I would do differently. Mainly in choosing my path through education. But that's also difficult because I don't know what small things led...

    I don't regret a lot of things, like mrbig I have things I would do differently. Mainly in choosing my path through education. But that's also difficult because I don't know what small things led to the person I am today (which I like). But one thing I wish I would have done differently is treated people better. When I was younger I treated some of the people closest to me poorly and I do regret that.

    2 votes
  7. hhh Link
    well since you said still regret today, this ones pretty easy. trying to pull an all nighter yesterday to reset my sleep schedule but aborting and going to bed at 8am and waking up 3 hours later.

    well since you said still regret today, this ones pretty easy. trying to pull an all nighter yesterday to reset my sleep schedule but aborting and going to bed at 8am and waking up 3 hours later.

    2 votes
  8. Arshan Link
    I rarely indulge in regrets, mainly because it feels like a rejection of the person that I am today. I have always struggled with being proud of the person I am today. Regrets always drifted into...

    I rarely indulge in regrets, mainly because it feels like a rejection of the person that I am today. I have always struggled with being proud of the person I am today. Regrets always drifted into imaging the person I could have been and in turn, feeling bad about the person I am.

    Saying all that, the one thing I will regret til the day I die is the relationships that I let die or never pursued.

    2 votes
  9. vivaria (edited ) Link
    I really try hard to practice coaching myself away from regret, and instead spend my energy figuring out how I can make the best decisions I can today. My logic goes like this: When we look at the...

    I really try hard to practice coaching myself away from regret, and instead spend my energy figuring out how I can make the best decisions I can today. My logic goes like this:

    When we look at the past, we only see and feel a bit of what actually happened. The timespan is just too long! There are too many details for our brains to even begin to process, so we rely on gut feelings and quick summaries. We lose all of the nuance that went into why we made the decisions we did, and the circumstances that surrounded those decisions.

    An example of this is the argument against hedonism. I've heard versions of "You're just wasting away your time on fleeting pleasure. Why not be productive and make something lasting?" But, why does fleeting pleasure feel worse in hindsight than something tangible and concrete? I think it's because trying to capture a lifetime of wonderful emotions in a memory isn't really possible for our brains to do. But, even if it's harder for us to conjure up those feelings when we look back (compared to creating something or "leaving an impact"), those wonderful days still happened! If we're ensuring the present is as good as it can be, then ideally we still got to do a whole lotta cozy things. I'm okay with a little bit of sadness for future me if it means a whole lot more good feelings across the entire span of my life.

    I figure if I can train my outlook to include more gratitude for the good things I was able to experience, and train myself to not latch onto and dwell on feelings of regret, then I have nothing to fear when I near death one day. It's hard to rewire your brain like that, but therapy helps. This outlook, combined with a focus on exploring the best way to do things in the present, makes me feel pretty comfy that things will turn out okay.

    2 votes
  10. [2]
    kfwyre Link
    I heard about Bitcoin pretty much at the ground floor and briefly considered getting into it less because it was a potential money-making opportunity and more because it felt like "the future" of...

    I heard about Bitcoin pretty much at the ground floor and briefly considered getting into it less because it was a potential money-making opportunity and more because it felt like "the future" of commerce.

    I ended up deciding not to. At the time, it felt pyramid-schemey, and then I was further validated as it became the de facto currency for significant criminal activity. I wasn't really interested in and had no use for a currency that seemed to only support the drug trade and human trafficking.

    If I'd thought about it less as a currency and more as an investment, however, there's a chance I could have made absolute bank. In some ways I regret foregoing Bitcoin, because it's the closest I've come to a get-rich-quick scheme that could have actually paid off. I was aware of it at a time where a nominal buy-in could have netted me thousands. If I'd really gone all-in, I could probably be a millionaire right now. I have no desire to be rich or even a millionaire, but I do have a pretty strong desire to have enough money to ensure financial stability for the duration of my life. Bitcoin was a genuine chance for me to circumvent the grind of life dressed up as a complex technology that mostly just supported heroin dealers--a sheep in wolf's clothing.

    Now, I will admit that this assumes a lot, as it presupposes that I would have just got my Bitcoins and sat on them until they shot up in value, which, knowing myself, was far from likely. If I'm genuinely honest with myself, not getting in to it at the beginning actually probably saved me from some even larger regrets.

    As Bitcoin's presence grew, there was a period of time where the community was encouraging people to spend Bitcoin on real-world services in order to help it gain non-illegal foothold. Furthermore, at the early stages it was so worthless as to be like play money. Many people are familiar with the famous pizza order, and I almost certainly would have been someone who would have done something similar. The guy who ordered the pizzas is admirably chill and far better at handling regret than I would have been:

    "It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool," Hanyecz told the NY Times.

    So, while I have some low-key regret about not getting into Bitcoin before it skyrocketed, it's far from the very high-key regret I'd have if I'd let potential millions walk right out of my wallet for something as trivial as pizza. I would not have the piece of mind Hanyecz did about it, and it would probably continue haunt me every time I got my paycheck. I find his peace of mind admirable. I would not be able to be so nonchalant.

    2 votes
    1. Okwellthen Link Parent
      Well I can get behind why you have some regrets for this. These "what if" scenarios are harsh to think about for me, since I will immediately dream about all the opportunities that could have come...

      Well I can get behind why you have some regrets for this. These "what if" scenarios are harsh to think about for me, since I will immediately dream about all the opportunities that could have come from that decision. That's why I like your thinking that it might even have saved you some bigger troubles today, when you decided not to invest in bitcoin back then.
      There is no way I could look back like Hanyecz and be so cool about it. What a mindset.

      1 vote
  11. nic Link
    It is usually the opportunities I didn't take that I regretted most.

    It is usually the opportunities I didn't take that I regretted most.

    1 vote