Psychologists Reveal The Most Common Regrets People Have

Psychologists Reveal The Most Common Regrets People Have


A group of researchers at Northwestern University set out to find "Regrets Of The Typical American" by surveying a group of 370 people that were meant to be representative of the population of the United States.

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Here are their results.

The most common regret had to do with love.

18.1% of the participants said that romance or "lost love" were their biggest regret.


The second leading regret had to do with family.

15.9% said their biggest regrets came from grudges or drama within their family life, or in some cases: that they never started a family at all.


The following two were regrets pertaining to their careers and/or finance.

12.2 % were dissatisfied with their career paths, while 9.9% wished they had not struggled so hard with their finances.

The latter half of the list goes:

Parenting – 9.0 per cent

Health – 6.3 per cent

Other – 5.6 per cent

Friends – 3.6 per cent

Spirituality – 2.3 per cent


While these numbers seem depressing, Professor Neal Rose (one of the co-authors of the study) put the phenomenon of regret into perspective:

"We found that one’s life circumstances, such as accomplishments or shortcomings, inject considerable fuel into the fires of regret.

Although regret is painful, it is an essential component of the human experience."


Still, it is comforting to know that we are not alone in this life.  Our experiences are not only normal, they are shared.

H/T: Indy100SAGE Journals

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