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21 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have in Life

21 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have in Life

No one wants to admit that they are going to die someday. In fact, we all sort of live our lives fooling ourselves that our days are numbered. Even though it sounds morbid, having that at the forefront of your mind will help you live a life of no regrets. Here are 21 regrets you do NOT want to have in your life:

1. Not taking action on your dreams.

Most of us had dreams when we were kids. But as we got older, reality hits and tends to drown out the vision of what we really wanted in the first place. Think about this: there are many, many people in the world who are making their dreams come true. So why not you? You should be one of them.

2. Letting excuses or people derail you from your dreams.

Don’t let yourself come up with “excuses.” Excuses are not reasons. There is a difference. Reasons are valid, excuses are not. And don’t listen to anyone else’s negativity either. Make up your own mind and go for it!

3. Waiting for the “perfect” time.

“The perfect time” is nothing but a myth! That’s not to say that there are times when you should not act immediately – like waiting to travel the world if you are drowning in debt. But generally speaking, now is all we have. So take a step toward your goal now. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us.

4. Not appreciating your health.

Here’s something I bet you can relate to: you never think about your health until you get a bad case of the flu. Am I right? It’s usually at those points where we think, “Why didn’t I appreciate feeling good?” Well, remind yourself to appreciate it every day, not just when you feel under the weather.

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5. Not helping others enough.

It’s easy to be selfish. Heck, our world practically encourages it! (unfortunately). But think how your actions affect other people. Take a look at the people around you and go out of your way to help them. I’m sure you would appreciate it if they did that for you, so live by the Golden Rule and go out of your way to help others.

6. Shying away from taking risks.

This is a tough one for a lot of people, myself included. But there is a difference between taking a calculated risk and an uncalculated risk. Take calculated risks. Think about the benefits and costs and then make an informed decision. Remember great risk can lead to great reward.

7. Not making your loved ones smile and laugh enough.

This one is self-explanatory. Our loved ones are the most important thing in the world… or at least they should be. So have fun with them. Smile and laugh… a lot!

8. Giving up before you reach success.

In our culture we all expect to become an overnight sensation like Justin Beiber. But guess what? In the real world it doesn’t work like that. Be patient in waiting for success. It will come.

9. Not spending enough time with positive people.

Dump the “Energy Vampires” in your life! You know who I’m talking about. The people who drain you, suck you dry, and give nothing back. Instead, surround yourself with positive people.

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10. Hurrying through life so that you don’t appreciate the little things.

Busy, busy, busy. This is the theme of the world today. Not that staying busy isn’t fun. But don’t stay so busy that you lose focus on the important things in life. As the saying goes, “stop to smell the roses.”

11. Not seeing the world and all its glory when you’re young and healthy.

If you have the money to travel (and you like doing it), get out there and see the world now! There are so many other fascinating cultures to explore, so just go do it!

12. Worrying too much and appreciating too little.

“Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want to happen,” (Robert Downey Jr.) It puts negative energy out to the universe. Instead, focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have.

13. Not planning for your future.

Some people wander aimlessly in life and go where the wind blows them. Hey, this might be fun for some people, but it doesn’t get you toward a goal of your choosing. So figure out what you want and then set your ship on a course toward achieving it.

14. Not learning from your mistakes.

No one wants to admit that they make mistakes. But honestly, I don’t believe in mistakes. To me, they’re all learning opportunities. So make sure that you actually learn from them. If you don’t, you will end up repeating them over and over and not improving your life.

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15. Working too much.

Going along with #14, if you are spending too much time at the office and not enough time with your loved ones, you may regret it someday. Even if you love your work and become engrossed in it, don’t forget to come up for air and spend quality time with people.

16. Not taking responsibility for your own life.

Your life today is a result of all the choices you made in the past. So don’t blame others, and put yourself in the driver’s seat for your future. Own your life and your choices.

17. Listening to other people’s opinions before your own.

It’s easy to listen to other peoples’ loud opinions. Sometimes that’s easier than listening to our own inner voice and intuition. But if you ignore your gut feeling, I almost guarantee you’ll eventually end up regretting it.

18. Not enjoying your children’s childhood.

Any parent will tell you that it’s not easy to raise kids. Children can be annoying and difficult. But time flies, and before you know it they will be adults and out of the house. So don’t miss them while they’re there.

19. Not learning who you can trust.

This is a difficult one for a lot of people – myself included. I was way too trusting in my younger years and learned the hard way who I could trust and who I couldn’t. The sooner you learn that lesson, the happier the rest of your life will be.

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20. Not saying what you should have said.

Did you not tell someone that you loved him/her? Did you not tell someone how much you appreciated them? Well, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present. Do it now.

21. Not doing what you should have done.

Ditto from #20. Don’t wait. Just do it. Get off your tushie and just do it. You won’t regret it!

I hope these 21 reminders put life into perspective a little more for you. You don’t want to be on your death-bed someday having any regrets. So make this your motto: No Excuses, No Regrets!

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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