Regret Something You Said (or Didn’t Say)? What to Do About ItBy Homaira Kabir
How often have you said something and instantly wished you could take it back? Maybe you spoke too soon. Maybe it didn’t come out right. Maybe it was the expression on the other person’s face that made you regret what came out of your mouth.
How often did you not say what you needed to, only to replay the conversation that could’ve been? The love you could’ve shown. The bold conversation you could’ve had. And all you’re left with is the agony of “if only.”
“If only I’d spoken up.”
“If only I’d stayed quiet.”
“If only I had said it differently.”
These regrets barge relentlessly into your mental space and leave you feeling worse about yourself every single time.
We’ve all been there. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve walked away from an interaction, convinced it didn’t go well and desperately wishing it had gone differently. Some years ago, I would get stuck in this inner dialogue and chastise myself for what I should have done and didn’t do—an underlying message of inadequacy that rarely led to clear thinking.
What it did lead to was secretive behaviors I rarely felt good about. Diving for the tub of ice cream, rummaging through the kitchen cabinets for comfort food, avoiding eye contact with the very people who could’ve helped me see the light. There was an underlying shame that accompanied my “mistakes,” real or perceived, and the only way out was to raise the bar even higher for myself. Desperate attempts to please or prove myself in