Merriam-Webster defines Remorse as:

: a feeling of being sorry for doing something bad or wrong in the past : a feeling of guilt

Remorse is paired as an opposite emotion with Love and is a combination of Sadness and Disgust emotions.

Remorse involves our past words or actions, done with calculation or planning, for hurting someone else. We feel Remorse, when we feel sorry in the present for the consequences of those calculated words or actions.

Remorse and regret are similar yet different. They are similar in that they involve feeling sorry. But Remorse involves feeling sorry for hurting someone else, while regret is feeling sorry for hurting ourselves. We feel regret when our actions or words have “damaged our careers, tarnished our reputations, limited our options”.

Remorse is also different from guilt. Guilt involves accepting that one has done something wrong. This acceptance is hurtful to our self-image and we feel “bad”. Our concern about the consequences to ourselves turns guilt into regret. These three terms – guilt, regret and remorse, are closely related so we can feel guilt without feeling regret or remorse, and regret without feeling remorse.

So what to do when you are feeling Remorse? The first step is to stop, think, and take responsibility for your actions, words and motivations. Perhaps you could have taken a different course of action. From the experience, you learn your lesson and forgive yourself while pledging to not repeat your actions again. Finally, you ask for forgiveness by apologizing to the person you have harmed. A proper apology involves an expression of sorrow, an admission of responsibility, the making of amends and a promise that it will not happen again.

The artist for the Caricatures series shows Remorse as a dark cloud of sorrow. The expression on the face has the lips turned down in pain, while the hand is supporting the head that is carrying the weight of the accompanying thought.


The emotion Remorse in the Caricature series of sketches

The artist for the Watercolors series shows a human being feeling Remorse with their face buried in both hands. The person feels the pain and sorrow of recollection, recognizes their mistakes and finds it hard to face anyone else.

The emotion Remorse in the Watercolor series of sketches

The emotion Remorse in the Watercolor series of sketches