Do you have any regrets about things you've done?

Hi everybody,

I’ve listened many times people saying,If I wouldn’t do that or this,things would be different…

Do you have any regrets about things you’ve done or haven’t done?

What if…you could live your life over again?

What things you would do differently and what things you would do exactly the same.



If I start thinking back to everything I shouldn’t have done, I might slip into a depression! So I’d better not trigger feelings of regret now!

Were I to be given a second chance, I would ask for everything to be different, except for my family and the best moments. Living the same life all over again doesn’t appeal to me at all, so why not change countries, languages, people, experiences, once we’re at it?

Now I wouldn’t like to give the wrong impression. I’m perfectly happy with who and what I am and feel privileged and grateful for every single day :smiley: .

There is a novel by P.D. Ouspensky, one of several Russians who have become English novelists, called The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. The main character, Ivan, regretted his life, and was given a chance to live it again with the full knowledge that he had in his later, wiser years. As he lives his life over again, he finds he can’t change anything, because circumstances made the things he had done before unavoidable.

There are many things I would do differently. One is that I would study math better and take more science in school. Knowing more math would make my life easier now, and I would now get a great deal more satisfaction from life if I knew more science. In fact, when I hear about some of the breakthroughs in medical research, it makes me so excited that I wish I had gone into that profession.

Another thing I would have done differently is that in my 20s I would have gone ahead and stolen other men’s girlfriends. This sounds crazy, but let me explain: When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I would sometimes be approached by perfectly nice young women who were interested in me, and I would reject them. I would have been happy to date them, but the problem for me was that they would often be in a relationship with another man. Out of a sense of honor, and a sense of compassion for the other man, I would not “steal” his girlfriend. After all, how would I feel if someone did that to me? I just couldn’t do that to any man. This was always a really stupid mistake, because the girl never stayed with the guy anyway, and because of my “honor”, I never got her. Maybe I would have found a good wife among these girls.

Hi everybody,

I’m a sort of person who likes regretting not doing things I should have done!!! I would have studied harder to get good grades. I was really blamed for not trying hard at school. I should have been more friendly with other people. One more thing is that I should have understood better how to live my life :D.

You were right, Conchita. I would also slip into depression if i begin thinking about what i ought to have done in the past!

Well, however, I realize that I can’t turn everything back and what I am going to do is to face and enjoy every moment of this life. And all those regrets can make my life better and easier. Everything outside changes a lot, which can’t be expected.

We may not be able to control the world I see around us, but we can control the world we see within us.
:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Hi you all!

Why should I regret anything what I have done? I mean, of course, I could have studied English in earlier years! But would I have met you here now if I would have done that? Therefore I think it doesn?t matter what I could have done. For me important is what I?m doing now! And also I would not be me If I would have done anything in a different way, or what?


Hi Jamie,

I was interested to see that you use math as an abbreviation for mathematics. When I first read it, I assumed it was a typo but clearly it isn’t. I would write maths and the only use of math I can think of would be in polymath someone of immense learning.


In North America we say “math” for mathematics, and the first time we hear “maths” it sounds like a mistake to us.

Hi Cristina,
I was doing in my life many awful and bad things but I regret them just a little I don’t know why but I regret things which I haven’t done specially some very dirty things.
bad man , bad answer

Jan, do you ever wake up at night upset, with your head full of something you did when you were younger, and think, “Why didn’t I die when I did that?! How is it possible I’m still alive?!”

I get that sometimes. So does my neighbor.

I wish to say no , but regretfully it won’t true good thing is since many many years I have already (black dreams - no dreams at all)
Well about the dirty things I though for example to drink milk with tea I never had managed that,and what I used to do awful and with wicked pleasure was to wash “dirty” English teapots on bridge and because of this many Albions wanted just made me being regretting but my missionary vision to spread civilization was freeing me from any regrets (probably)
Well I used to come up with strange stories when I was forced by parents to attend a confession at the catholic church and priests were always full of respect Recently my brother admits that he is doing this with his
Well crazy family,sick depraved people awful just awful.
I would swear I have seen before some email about what dirty dirty … and the discussion have gone to far, or something like this .
Well putative septuagenarians ( me and only me) have memory problems and have now surly something like before summer depression.
(maybe it was just my imagination).

Now you’ve got us curious, Jamie! You must have been very, very naughty indeed to think you should die for it! It’s probably only half as bad as it feels in the middle of the night, anyway.

If I wake up in the darkest hour and ‘switch on’ my brain – which I try to avoid, whether or not I have to go to the bathroom, I sometimes get an inexplicable feeling of doom and gloom, even if everything seems to be all right. Then, when I get up in the morning, things look rosy again and I wonder what I had been so worried about.

Exactly, Conchita. It made me very curious, too. :wink:

C’mon, fess up, Jamie! Were you really as naughty as all that?


RISK TAKING! It was risk taking! I’m not talking about things that were so sinful that the Almightly should have punished me with death and damnation (although there were surely some of those). I’m talking about situations where there should have been a car crash, I should have fallen off of something, I should have been murdered by a biker gang or a serial killer, I should have been attacked by one of those wild dogs that lives in old cars, or something like that.

I did typical things American guys do in their early 20s, but with more of an edge. Most American students are quartered in dormitories, so they’re somewhat protected from their stupidity. I went to a commuter school in the middle of the big bad city, worked in a factory in an even worse neighborhood, and was not supervised by residence advisors or university administrators.

My neighbor gets disgusted at her former self, because like many party animals in their 20s, she used to tell people, “I can’t get a new car, because the one I’ve got knows its way home.” I had a bit of that in me too.

Wait for it - any minute now Sinatra will appear and give us a quick rendition of:

Regrets, I’ve had a few …

It brings a tear to the eye, doesn’t it?


Many thanks to Cristina and everyone who has been sharing their experiences and thoughts on this this interesting topic.

I have read every response and like to say that a lot of what you have said sounds all to familiar to me. I used to regret decisions I had made but lately I have come to realize that there better ways of spending my time and energy. What is the definition of the word regret? It’s something like feeling sorrow or remorseful.

If I regret something I want to change something that has already happened. In other words, regretting something means I’m wasting my time because changing something that has already happened is impossible. So, instead of thinking about what could have been I’d rather think about what will be.

To be honest, what exactly is the use of the conditional III? How often do you need it? I have made the decision that from now on I will live my life in such a way that I won’t need the conditional III at all. If somebody wants me to explain the rules of the conditional III, I’ll refer them to the Explanation of the Conditional III and remind them that the Conditional I is much more important and useful.

What do you think of this?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, talks: A CEO is announcing his retirement[YSaerTTEW443543]

Thanks Conchita,Torsten,Michael,Jan,Sunflower,Amy,Alan,everybody for your replies its interesting to know your different oppinions about this topic.
Thinking about the regrets I could have, appeared another question in my mind,
Do you believe in faith?Do you think every single thing we do in this life is written somewhere else?


Do you mean faith or fate?

I won’t go on too much about that, because it’s a whole complicated theological question. I can say that at times when I think about how I’ve survived a lot of my own stupid risks and mistakes when I was younger, it makes me feel that I have to use my present and future for some beneficial (and benevolent) purpose, as if I have some mission on earth. The trouble is that I don’t know what the mission is. :slight_smile:


My opinion is that everything is written in the past. If you are capable to read the past and add the today?s circumstances and characters you were able to predict the future. But I dread that?s more than my personal skills allow me.

The same question for me were: How long lasts the eternity? :?


That reminds me of being older and having a much younger girlfriend. You see her getting ready to make some mistake, and you KNOW it’s going to be a mistake, but you can’t tell her, because she doesn’t have enough life experience to believe you. You’re predicting the outcome of her mistake based on the past, and she doesn’t have as much of a past to look back to. All you can do is let her make the mistake, then listen to what she says she’s learned, and you can’t say, “I could have told you that would happen.”

I once heard an interview with some French actress who is known for her love of classic literature. Some people tell her it’s a waste of time, but she says that reading old novels actually saves you time. According to her, every mistake or predicament possible is contained in those old novels, and so when something happens to you, you’re already prepared for it.

Jamie, I don?t know what mistake your girlfriend is going to make and I appreciate that you let her make her mistake without intention to shout her later “I could have told you that would happen.” For you that might be a mistake, for her it is experience perhaps.
I myself remember being a handball coach training a youth team in the age of 12-14 years. The team played a very good handball and had been my calling card for an area trainer. But often, when I saw them playing in a match I thought by myself “I could have told them that would have happened what had happened” in special situations. I never shouted them but I always spoke to them about that special situations later and often had the success that the team in similar situations anticipated what would happen and was prepared not to make the same mistake again. I think that is what the word proficience means, not my skills as a coach but that of the team.