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20 Things You’ll Regret Every Time After Doing

20 Things You’ll Regret Every Time After Doing

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” – John Barrymore. Regrets are a part of life, but they don’t have to be a major part of it. Sometimes, doing certain things affects you in a way that you won’t consciously realize. Especially with the items that have an effect on the way others see you. If you knew what your boss thought of your political rant, you’d possibly regret it! Look over this list and try and avoid situations where regrets might be the only conclusion.

1. You’ll regret every time taking a job solely for money

If you have taken jobs for money and you felt unhappy, ending up getting fired or quitting, you may not have realized the feeling of regret. I mean, who doesn’t like money? But, the effect of jobs that aren’t right, that don’t motivate you and that don’t teach you anything are missed opportunities. Do what you love and don’t feel guilty about it. The money will follow.

2. You’ll regret every time not taking an opportunity

Whether it’s to learn something about your career field or an opportunity to learn anything, you should take it. Barring things that literally kill you, experience is what life is all about.

3. You’ll regret every time sending an email/text when you’re angry

I’ve learned to quell the desire to return fire in an electronic form of communication. Something about accessibility and the ability to quickly communicate makes us think we should act…without thinking. At times, I’ve sent things in anger that I didn’t mean because I misinterpreted the situation. Plain and simple, let your emotions settle and take the soot to compose a thought-out letter after the initial anger subsides.

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4. You’ll regret every time cheating on partner

If you honestly don’t feel guilty or ashamed after cheating on your partner then you’re possible a sociopath. If a relationship isn’t working out, have the intestinal fortitude to admit it. Life goes by rapidly, but never so fast that you don’t have time to decide which lover you want to be with at any one moment. If you’re drunk at a bar or horny on a cruise, follow the same advice as emailing angry–and wait. Hurting other people selfishly is one of the biggest reasons to feel guilty. If you are moving on from one relationship with a person you met through cheating, will you truly trust that person not to cheat on you?

5. You’ll regret every time telling off your boss upon quitting

One of my coworkers used to joke about putting in his resignation by putting a pile of poop in an expensive store product. We would laugh and commiserate, but no one ever expected he would do it–and he never did. When you work for someone or some place, you have a responsibility to act as a professional. Even if your boss is the world’s biggest jerk, you don’t fix another person’s attitude by acting like a bigger ass. So, if you feel like you need to “settle the score,” when leaving a job, think over what you’re most upset about. Write it out in a nasty letter, but don’t send it! Wait a day or two. If you still feel the need to confront a former employer, do so with tact and without emotion.

6. You’ll regret every time putting off a passion/an interest

Author Russell Blake recently published a rant about running into a friend who acknowledged Blake’s career as a writer by saying he wanted to write a book too, but didn’t have the time. I loved this post because it proved to me once again that doing what one loves–especially when it’s in the arts–is not about a hobby. Passions are nature’s way of encouraging us silly humans. While your passion may be medicine or law, others thrive on painting or writing. The work one must put into a passion means time. If you put off the things you feel most strongly about, you will regret it. You won’t find time to start a poem let alone a book if you wait until the kids are grown or you can retire. Same thing for playing an instrument or learning to paint. Invest the time when the passion strikes.

7. You’ll regret every time not spending time with loved ones

Maybe you don’t see eye-to-eye with your dad, and maybe your dog really is your best friend, but I guarantee that you will feel more stressed and less productive when you don’t spend enough time with those you love. Don’t push too hard to impress the boss and get a promotion at the expense of a yearly family vacation. Kids want more than anything to spend time with their parents, so I promise you they will be more impressed with a weekend camping trip than with an expensive token.

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8. You’ll regret every time staying at a dead-end job

Look around the office. If you know you aren’t moving up unless someone dies, then maybe you should look for a job where you can prove yourself and be rewarded for your contributions. Money is important when it comes to paying the mortgage and keeping food on the table, but life is too short to waste it chasing the almighty dollar. If you work to live, you’ve got it backwards and you should think about how you can make a living pursuing things that mean more to you. Your spirit will thank you for it even if you have moments where dinner has to be charged to a credit card.

9. You’ll regret every time let fear dictate decisions

Just like staying in a dead-end job because you fear unemployment or think you cannot survive without another paycheck, when fear guides your decisions you make mistakes. You do things out of fear–or rather you don’t do things because of fear. Many of the items on this list play into the idea of taking calculated risks and making the most of every day.

10. You’ll regret dropping out of school for no good reason.

Though life often “gets in the way,” remember that LIFE is what you make of it. Often, people drop out of school and think they can always go back later. This isn’t always the case and if you are pursuing a dream that requires a formal education (like being a doctor or nurse), then try not to give it up. If you need to take a leave of absense for personal reasons, do so, but try and get back at it.

11. You’ll regret every time not telling loved ones how you feel

As with making sure you spend enough time with those you love, making sure you are open and honest with your feelings is just as important. Holding hurt feelings back often leads to resentment, which can lead to infidelity in a marriage. Worse yet is when we race through life too busy to say “I love you,” and the unthinkable happens. It takes mere seconds to hug and kiss your loved ones so do it often and don’t hold back when you feel an emotion–unless it’s anger, in which case you should calm down and communicate rationally to move forward.

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12. You’ll regret every time letting friends slip away

Okay, I admit this is another of those that you may not experience regret from every time. If you choose to move on from a stagnant or negative relationship, that is different than forgetting to invest the time to be a friend to keep a friend. It’s not always about what you want to talk about; call a friend and make sure he or she doesn’t need an ear.

13. You’ll regret every time yelling at your kids

This one probably hits close to home for most parents–at least, it does for me. I’m guilty of letting the stress get to me and yelling at the kids. In my defense, they seem to purposefully infuriate me. The way my 3-year-old stares me down–understanding exactly what I am saying not to do, and then doing it–ruffles my feathers in unimaginable ways. I’ve never hit either of my kids (my youngest is now 18 months old), but I feel guilty every time I yell at them because I know that yelling doesn’t accomplish anything. Other than to scare them into wandering into traffic, yelling just makes stress worse.

14. You’ll regret every time stress eating

Eh, you won’t regret stress eating every time, and sometimes comfort food is a good way to indulge in life’s finer things. But, the truth is that stress eating in and of itself is unhealthy because the act of fulfilling a nutritional need with junk food is like a junkie using drugs. Make conscious choices to indulge in fine chocolate or calorie laden dessert every once in a while and don’t let stress be your guide.

15. You’ll regret every time drunken posting on social media

This should go without saying, but obviously many of us post drunk. We shouldn’t. Just like with holding emotions until we can “see clearly,” holding off on saying anything social can wait until we’re sober.

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16. You’ll regret every time ranting on social media

This is again one of those things that you may not consciously realize you regret, but your over-the-top political posts and rants about how much you hate your service providers causes others to perceive you in ways you’d regret if you knew better. Just because a status or profile is set to “private” doesn’t guarantee the wrong person won’t see it. Rant with caution because even if you don’t immediately see the error of your ways, you will with enough distance. Some things simply aren’t worth it.

17. Sharing a secret someone told you in confidence

When you betray your friends’ trust you prove yourself to be an unworthy friend. Even if the person isn’t someone you’d classify as a “friend,” betraying confidence will only make others perceive you as a gossip at best.

18. You’ll regret every time succumbing to peer pressure

Just like when you take a job for money or stay in a dead-end job out of fear, when you succumb to peer pressure you project an image of being a follower. You want to be a brave leader in life. Taking calculated risks and losing is better than always agreeing to do what everyone else is doing just because that may be easier.

19. You’ll regret every time belittling someone else

A huge, fat line of difference exists between constructive criticism and belittling. Most of us know what it feels like to be wrongly judged too quickly, but we should all appreciate the opportunity to grow from feedback. When you belittle someone, you will regret it because belittling others makes you nothing more than a bully.

20. You’ll regret every time listening to Nickelback

Ha ha, I’m kidding, not belittling Nickelback’s music. The controversy and “peer pressure” to hate something is a perfect point that supports many of the things on my list. Before you decide to join your friends in a laugh at the expense of any artist or individual, take the time to make your own decision. Nickelback isn’t so bad. Overrated by some and bashed brutally by others, but as with anything in life, you’ll regret what you do without thinking first.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on June 12, 2018

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

You know how this looks:

  • Parents constantly comparing children.
  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Adultery…
  • And many others.

For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

How to fix a dysfunctional family

In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

Dysfunctional… Or just average?

Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interest and time spent together
  • Sexism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unequal or unfair treatment
  • Disrespect towards boundaries
  • Control Issues
  • Jealousy
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

How to turn it around

When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

Correction is possible

In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

Verbalize it.

All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

Putting it to work in real life

In real life it would be something like this:

“OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

Or:

“Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

Or:

“Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

This is what you have to remember:

1-Stop.

2-Why it’s wrong?

3-What you need.

And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

It’s a family thing

A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

In other words, you will need cooperation…

So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

It’s not a free-for-all battle

In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

The method

1. Drop the ego

Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

2. Not blame, but responsibility

When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

You will do something like this:

“Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

What happened here?

We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

3. Doing the work

What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

“When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

Love is all you need

You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

And what happens if it simply is not there?

What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

There is only one thing you can do:

To break away.

Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

“We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

Putting distance

So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

What do I mean?

Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

I choose my peace of mind.

And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

How to prevent it

There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

Priorities and clear thought

You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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