Nearly 400 people were asked about their regrets - the most common one was heartbreaking

Friday 14 October 2016 09:30
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If you've been planning on quitting your job and travelling the world, or proposing to your other half but are worried about things going wrong - you need to shape up and get to it.

A survey found that most people regret the things they don't do in life for longer than the things they do.

Almost 400 adults were asked to talk about their regrets by researchers at the University of Illinois, and the biggest one was (quite literally) heartbreaking.

Here's the full list of the most common regrets:

  1. Romance, lost love – 18.1%
  2. Family – 15.9%
  3. Education – 13.1%
  4. Career – 12.2%
  5. Finance – 9.9%
  6. Parenting – 9.0%
  7. Health – 6.3%
  8. Other – 5.6%
  9. Friends – 3.6%
  10. Spirituality – 2.3%

According to PsyBlog, commenting on the research, Professor Neal Roese said:

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

The study's authors also found that levels of education played a part in how much regret people felt:

[People] with high levels of education had the most career-related regrets. Apparently, the more education obtained, the more acute may be the sensitivity to aspiration and fulfillment.

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