January 14, 2017

A Logical Philosophical Reason Why You Can Let Go of Your Regrets and Past Mistakes (Without Cognitive Dissonance)

Print shows Maud Muller, John Greenleaf Whittier's heroine in the poem of the same name, leaning on her hay rake, gazing into the distance. Behind her, an ox cart, and in the distance, the village.
fig. Regret (Gast, 1868)

Why Does Regret Feel Bad?

The burden of regret and the powerlessness to go back and do something different is a heavy load to bear. Our free will means choices, and the inevitability of choices, in turn, means that some of our decisions will be evaluated to good and some to bad in the future.

The (seemingly) bad decisions lead to regret (Roese, 2005). That is okay, but why does regret cut deep in the heart? Because regret implies personal action (or inaction) (Connolly & Zeelenberg, 2002).