My therapist has a great response when I veer into the terrain of “if only….” She reminds me that I did the best I could with the information I had at the time.
Image by Christina Mazzalupo
So true. When someone does something that I consider illogical, I try to be patient and hope they’re doing their best as well. Unless they’re doing something that endangers someone else…
That’s a kind and generous approach.
Yes! I try to remember this too, and it’s always hard, once you know something, to remember what life was like before you knew it…
But the wisest advice I ever got was from a social work professor a long time ago. I never took a class with her, but she said it to my roommate, who passed it on to me: You are only responsible for the way you treat people, not the way they respond to you. I found that, and still find it, incredibly freeing.
Good advice, but hard to do.
I’m glad that this advice came to me in my teenage years from a teacher and in not-so-typical teenage fashion I took it to heart. Thus, I live with no regrets at this point and I hope not to have any in the remainder of my life. I was never a what-if person thank goodness! I like Lauren’s advice too. I’m adding it to my list. It goes along with my other favorite of no one chooses anything for you – you choose to let them choose for you. In the end it was always your choice.
I wish I could take this advice all the time, but it’s so hard. I’m currently dipping my toe in the water of finding a new job, as are many of my coworkers hired in a glut around the same time I was. While I have accolades and awards for my work, unlike many of my coworkers, I didn’t go to a great college. Unfortunately, it was the best I could afford, and it seems that many employers just don’t understand that we don’t all grow up with the resources to pay for a top-tier education (I was in the “sweet spot” where my parents made a little too much money to qualify for huge need-based aid, but too little to help with expenses and not bankrupt themselves). Oh well, at least I currently have a good job, if I can’t find an enlightened employer.
It’s great that you have a good job right now. That’s the sweet spot!
That should read that many of my coworkers went to top-tier schools…not that they don’t also have many achievements to crow about. Some of them are FANTASTIC employees, and if I lost out on a job to them because of that, rather than where we all went to school 7-10 years ago, I wouldn’t complain one bit. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience thus far.
Someone posted a photo on Facebook the other day with the saying “Never regret anything, because it means at one point you got exactly what you wanted.”
I also live by Carolyn Hax’s questions: What is the outcome you’re hoping for, and do you think that’s likely given everything you know?
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