There’s something about the dark which pulls out feelings we’re numb to during the day.
As your monitor lights up your face in the dark room you sit in before getting into bed, you can sometimes get lost in thinking about the state of your social relationships and the progress of your plans.
The nighttime’s darkness allows us to analyse how people treated us during the day with a meditative clarity. You start remembering times when people made you feel unwanted, times when prideful individuals gleefully showed off their material possessions, and times when your boss didn’t value your output at work.
You start labeling those who possess narcissistic qualities as you think about them further. You realize just how hungry, for what they call success, some people are. You’re astounded by the criminals, and are taken aback by those who lie without blinking an eye. They’re always in a rush and only focus on themselves. Attainment of wealth and status blinds them to what you call the deeper meanings of life.
As you think about the people in your life before bed, you start to wonder if any of them ever think about you.
Certain thoughts just don’t seem to go away however; they conversely grow and poke at our emotions. Someone’s nefarious reminder of our potential regrets is particularly powerful in being lodged inside our minds.
“Be sure you won’t regret leaving this job for another.”
Every action we commit is one that’s set in stone for the history books. After their performance, our actions can only be thought about, and their effects can only be celebrated, regretted, or hopefully fixed.
The aim of this article is to help you understand how others may manipulate you by encouraging you to feel regret.
Why Eliciting Self Doubt in Others Is Easy to Do
The nefarious induction, and encouragement, of regret in others is the weaponization of a possible truth which is difficult to prove. Regret is seldom crystal clear in its reasoning. It’s difficult to regret something with one hundred percent certainty as we never truly know whether our actions were a completely terrible idea.
Regret is grey, it’s fuzzy.
Yes, you may regret being up front with the cute person at the bar only to get rejected, but would you regret the same act if your direct advances paid off? Is it thereby worth regretting an action if subjectivity plays a massive role in how successful that course of action is?
Yes, you may regret lashing out at your parents for allowing their worry for you to overstep some privacy boundaries. What if your reaction was warranted? How do you know you wouldn’t react the same way again if you felt the same emotions?
You can even come to regret doing many things you’ve long considered to be good ideas. Regret is born out of feeling like you’re missing out on a more optimal course of action. You should’ve said this instead of that. You should’ve went here instead of there. Once you come up with a better “there,” then your “here,” has the potential to be regretted.
The fuzziness and slippery nature of regret is what people who seek to induce regret weaponize. They understand that the potential to regret always looms over our shoulders as we act our way through life. Nobody has this thing figured out. We take a series of calculated risks; day in and day out. They understand that regret can always have the potential to be true, even if someone’s mightily confident in what they’ve done.
“You should’ve bought the flight that overlays in Manila, it’s always a few hundred dollars cheaper.”
All that’s required for regret to sprout and spread its roots in the mind of another is the introduction of a better action, outcome, or situation than what in fact took place.
Why Regret Is Powerful in Submitting
Riding the wave of the potential truth behind regret, the malicious individual thereby seems to know something you don’t when they introduce regret into the picture. They arm themselves with a perceived knowledge about what you should have done, and what you should’ve said.
By making you feel a sense of regret, they place themselves in a dominant position as it relates to yours. Their confidence wouldn’t have a wedge stuck in it, as they go on to stick a wedge in the confidence you acted with prior to speaking with them.
When someone makes you feel regret, they place themselves in a position to teach you and give advice. Once they elicit a sense of regret about the past within you, malicious individuals will jump at the chance to mold your actions into the future.
They’ll place themselves as the knowledgeable one and will reinforce your potential regret of the past. Such individuals will make you feel inadequate in the context of what they coerce you to regret. They’ll make you feel unskilled, and will tend to make themselves out to be as skillful.
These individuals will utilize a potential possibility of regret being right for you to feel as a chance for themselves to come out on top. They’ll be less interested in figuring out whether you really should be regretting what you did and will be more interested in continually making you feel it.
A person who regrets is a person who is generally at a crossroads. They are generally more lost than the confident trailblazers. They’re more susceptible to being coerced, pressured, and manipulated. Be wary of individuals who consistently mention the possibility of regret around you. Try to pick out the ones who seek to capitalize on your act of regretting your past actions in an effort to place themselves above you.
In the News
Read our analyses of current events by becoming a Patron.
- How to Talk About People You Don’t Like – (When You Have To)
- How Choosing Your Battles Wisely Affects Your Place in the World
- How People Ruin First Impressions During Small Talk
- How to Handle People Who Mask Ignorance by Taking Over the Conversation
- How to Deal With Needy Managers – A 3-Step Approach