Saturday, June 7, 2008

In The Name Of Love: Romantic Regrets--Who Needs Them?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D. in In the Name of Love:

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. Michael Jordan
To err is human-but it feels divine. Mae West

Regret is basically a sorrow over a past alternative that was available to us, but that we missed. Regret is an emotion that, by use of our vivid imagination, bridges the past and present with an eye to the future. Two types of regret may be distinguished: short- and long-term regret . As a short-term emotion, regret is concerned with a loss caused by a specific, recent action; the long-term sentiment of regret is concerned with loss in the past, which has repercussions on the general course of life. In the short term, people regret their actions more than their inactions, but when people look back on their lives, those things that they have not done are the ones that produce the most regret. Short-term regret is concerned more with lost of actual gains, whereas long-term regret with lost opportunities. Accordingly, the fear of short-term regret encourages inaction, whereas the fear of long-term regret encourages actions.

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