August 3


Buyer’s remorse is usually silent

Have you ever bought something, or perhaps invested in something, only to regret it later?

I imagine we’ve all experienced “buyer’s remorse” several times in our lives.

In my 20s I made an investment that I thought was going to set me up for life...

A sure thing!

The plan involved buying ostrich eggs which would be hatched and raised to adulthood on ostrich farms in South Africa. The company running the scheme had glossy brochures featuring celebrity endorsement of this amazing opportunity.

Once your eggs grew to become adult birds they could produce more eggs, as well as supply feathers, and ultimately meat too. This ever on-going cycle would produce ever increasing hands-free income over the long term.

I imagine you can guess the eventual outcome... yes, within months the company declared bankruptcy and my two thousand pounds was gone, never to be seen again.

I rarely share this story, and tell it now with embarrassment, because with hindsight it was obvious that the whole thing was a big pyramid scheme, and I was conned. It doesn’t make me feel good to admit that I was naïve, and easily taken in.

A few regrets

Over the years I’ve made plenty of other purchases that I have come to regret... a second-hand car that broke down about a hundred kilometres later in a remote(ish) part of Australia... shares in a company whose stock valuation plummeted spectacularly... tech devices which have failed to deliver on their promises... it’s quite a list.

If you are brutally honest with yourself, I’d be willing to bet you could come up with a similar list, but would probably be reluctant to do so.

Because we all tend to keep our most embarrassing decisions, the ones we regret the most, to ourselves, don’t we? Our human egos demand that we silence these regrets to avoid looking foolish in the eyes of our peers.

Vaccine remorse

I have a friend who for quite some time said he did not trust the UK government narrative around the pandemic, and was particularly wary about the hastily approved vaccines. And yet he very recently admitted he’d just had his first shot, “because it would make travel easier”.

Another friend recently got vaccinated, and later told me that he felt a real sense of having let himself down.

These little expressions of regret made me wonder how many others there are out there with vaccination remorse, as more information comes out about adverse reactions, potential long-term side effects, dwindling effectiveness, and the coming push for booster shots.

We’ll never know, because buyer’s remorse is so often experienced alone, in silence.

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