Teenagers excel at this, and as adults we can still be quite adept at giving ourselves a hard time about things we say or do. It will be expressed as “why did I do that”, or “why did I say that”. Expressed not in a gentle, comforting tone of voice, but one full of harsh resentment and regrets, accompanied with squinting eyes, cringed cheeks and lips silently forming the words “why oh why…….?!”. Are you getting my picture?
When we look back or when we gain a bit more perspective we may discover that in most situations, what we said or did had no real or lingering impact or meaning for anybody else. The world simply moved on blissfully unaware of the internal agony still raging in us. It becomes kind of pointless then, doesn’t it?. A sort of completely wasted effort in a way. Us agonising. The rest of the world moving on.
However, it is not really wasted if we can just learn something from it. But that requires moving beyond repeating “why oh why”. Some questions we can ask ourselves are “what is the learning I can take from this experience” and “what do I want to do differently next time”. In that way we may just be able to ease up on our cringed cheeks and squinting eyes and much sooner be moving on with the rest of the world.