The Little Irrelevant Regrets You Feel: Clueyness

So, I recently came across an article titled Clueyness: A Weird Kind Of Sad by Tim Urban. Okay lies, more like my boss recommended me to pick an article from his blog to write and I chose Clueyness. Why? Trust me, it’s quite relatable, you’ll see.

‘’Cluey (unofficial): A word given by the author to describe a sad, heartbreaking feeling you feel for a person that are undeservedly let down for no significant reason.’’

Tim, the author of the article, came up with cluey to explain a feeling where he felt extremely bad for certain people, who didn’t go through anything specifically bad. How the word ‘cluey’ came about? His father’s story;

Tim’s grandfather

Brought home a new board game (Clue) to play with his kids

They settled around the table to play Clue

 Kids from next door rang the bel 

 Asked if the kids would like to join them

Without a second thought, they got up and left with the kids

Grandfather just sat there looking crestfallen as they walked out the door.


Tim’s father didn’t think much about it then but after some time, he thought about how the board game was kept back neatly in its box and put in the closet. He imagined how his father must’ve felt, picturing his father putting back the pieces into the box, disappointed, picking up each of the board game pieces, one by one, and putting them into the box. Hence, the word cluey to describe his feelings. Something common but not acknowledge much.

More waterworks

There was an old man who became viral online when his granddaughter tweeted a picture of her having dinner alone with him, despite inviting all his six grandchildren. You see, none of them bothered to call or text to let him know they were not going to make it. So, this grandpa made a dozen burgers, all by himself, for his grandkids to enjoy. Just picture the old man waking up in the morning, excited to prepare dinner,  does his grocery shopping and maybe even buys some extra food because he thinks the burgers might not be enough, just to find out later, during dinner, that his five other grandkids were going to disappoint him by not showing up.

And then there’s another cluey story. An 89 year old GRANDMOTHER decided to rent a pace to display her artwork. When the day arrived, she dressed up nicely and waited for people to show up. Guess what? Nobody showed up (I am not allowed to swear) She said she felt foolish. Foolish for exhibiting something she spent years doing and nobody showed up. Just imagine, an old lady, packing up everything she prepared and going back home. Imagine her thought on the way back? Having your hopes so high just to have it crushed in a day.

Clueyness, we’ve all felt it 

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and my family and I went out for a nice family dinner, nothing fancy, just food that requires fingers as utensils (fun!). After dinner, we headed to a place my dad recommended. I didn’t like the music (classic Indian music, it ain’t Bruno Mars). So, I just left to hangout with my siblings, leaving my parents alone, instead of listening to what my father enjoys. My dad looked dejected. I didn’t give much thought about it then.

After a few days though, I started thinking about it. It kept playing at the back of my mind like an old projector, replaying my dad’s dejected face. It bugged me so much (hold up, buggy is my cluey!). My dad, who’s always not at home cause he’s working to support his family, wanted to spend time with me and I chose to go home and sleep. How could I have been so selfish?  I spent a lot of time thinking how disappointed he would have felt, seeing that I prefered doing something else rather than enjoying something he loves and wants to share with me? Devastating.

Sometimes my dogs make me feel cluey. I’ve got two dogs, one’s a fatty and another’s the world’s biggest clutz, and they’re the cutest most adorable thing in the world (I may be biased). They always greet me at the door with their puppy eyes, wanting to play with me but I’ll just pet their head and head into my house. As I do that, their smiles would fall and their tails would slowly stop wagging. Dogs are so loyal and pure. They literally spend all their time, home alone, sitting by the door, waiting for you to come home and I just walk away from mine.

How to countervail clueyness

Sometimes bad things happen to good people and it’s nobody’s fault. Here are a few ways to deal with being cluey;

Convince yourself.

It’s not your fault, what could you have done differently? If you had, would that have made you feel better? Sometimes, I try to convince myself that it’s not my fault and that the person I feel cluey for would’ve forgotten about it by now. My father would’ve forgotten about it because he has more important things to do and my dogs? God made squirrels for a reason, to distract dogs! I like to think that convincing myself works but hey, if it really does, then why am I not running on the treadmill every week? (jokes, I do run, run out of money).

Be defensive about feeling cluey.

Denial. Me about my forever increasing weight (seriously, I need a pause button for my weight). Jokes aside, there are times where I avoid the person or the trigger that makes me feel cluey, like the song that bring me back to that memory. I’d go all the way to avoid it or if I don’t have much of a choice, I’d be mean about it cause then no one would question your cluey. But, it’s tough because you think you’re cold hearted but actually a tiny soft cotton candy on the inside.


Helping others always makes us feel better. Quoting Dalai Lama, ‘’When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.’’ So, when you let someone down, someone whom you feel cluey for, maybe you could try helping someone else. It sorta in a way evens out the fact that you didn’t help the person, and makes you feel better. For me, I tell myself I’ll shower my dogs and walk them during the weekends.

Redeeming myself works best for me whenever I feel cluey. I tend to stay up late to open the gates for my father whenever he’s out late or I clean after my parents’ mess because I feel cluey that they work hard to pay for my college fees. I’d even stay with my mum and watch her TV shows with her, just because I feel cluey that she sits alone.

Clueyness is something everyone feels but refuses to acknowledge much about it. We’re bound to feel cluey every now and then. They’re there for a reason, to teach us to be more human.

Credits to the original author for writing about factual stuff in a more layman, understandable term, for people like me who are lazy . Hence, why I understood his writing and chose to do an article about it. Also, cause my boss gave the more complicated, educational article to Sean, the smart one (He took one for the team).