How To Avoid Regret

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(Time Healthland) To Avoid Regret, Put Romance First, Work Second

By BONNIE ROCHMAN@brochmanFebruary 14, 2012

You’ll feel much worse about forgetting to buy flowers on Valentine’s Day than cutting out of work early, according to a study about what Americans regret most.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and we have some bad news for workaholics: according to new research, you should be prioritizing your love life over your job.

That’s not just because it will make your significant other happy; Neal Roese, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, has found that life’s most intense regrets center around personal relationships, not careers.

Roese and colleagues asked 500 U.S. adults about their biggest regrets then analyzed their remorse to figure out what parts of their lives were most directly impacted. They discovered that the most deep-seated regrets focused on personal relationships — including romantic unions, but also interactions with close family members, particularly parents, siblings and children.

“Regrets are actually a window into the concerns and goals most important to us,” says Roese. “We are fundamentally social creatures and draw a lot of psychological sustenance out of being connected to others. The regrets we are measuring are a reflection of that.”

MORE: Does Online Dating Make It Harder to Find ‘the One’?

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Also see Can Being A ‘People Pleaser’ Make You Fat?Can You Be Physically Addicted To Someone?Do Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? And Why Should You Carry An Apple In Your Armpit?Is Real Estate the Key to Marriage? and What is ‘Partner Betweenness’ and Why You Need to Know

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