13 Things You Should Know About Disappointment

Everyone deals with disappointment at some point in their life. It is one of the most painful emotions we can feel, and it usually stems from our expectations not being met or something happening that contradicts what we wanted to happen. Disappointment can be a personal emotion, where you are disappointed in yourself, others, or just life in general.

No matter how you experience this feeling, here are 13 things everyone ought to know about this painful emotion!

Disappointment is an emotion

Surprisingly, most people don’t realize that disappointment is an emotion. It is usually associated with sadness, but it is unique in its way. The disappointment stems from your brain’s cognitive evaluation system that labels something good or bad and then triggers the corresponding emotions of happiness or sadness based on these evaluations.

When you feel disappointment, it means that something wasn’t what you expected. When you expect something to happen and it doesn’t, your brain’s cognitive evaluation system labels the event as bad and triggers sadness.

Disappointment is a product of your thoughts

Disappointment is usually associated with other negative emotions like anger and frustration. Since we live in a world full of expectations both real and imagined, we can never guarantee how events will turn out; this makes us vulnerable to feeling hurt when things don’t go our way.

Sometimes disappointment can also stem from our thoughts based on personal standards or values about who we think we should be or what should be happening in our lives. The best antidote against these thoughts is to remind yourself that you are human and that you will never be perfect.

Disappointment is a natural process

In nature, things constantly change and evolve, leading to instances of ‘disappointment’ as species undergo this natural process of mutation and differential fitness. Evolution can be described as an ongoing instance of disappointment because favorable changes are being constantly weeded out by the environmental pressure to ensure that only the individuals with superior traits survive.

Humans have evolved from their hominid ancestors over about six million years that spanned many environmental pressures and led to a lot of disappointments along the way.

Disappointment is linked to sadness and loneliness

Disappointment is often associated with sadness and loneliness because we usually feel this emotion when something or someone fails to meet our expectations. The sadness stems from the same cognitive evaluation system as a disappointment but it isn’t as intense as this latter feeling.

When you are disappointed, it can lead to sadness if you dwell on your thoughts about the event. While both these emotions stem from different areas of your brain, they have a strong connection that leads to a destructive spiral of negative thinking if left unchecked.

Disappointment isn’t a good indicator for future events

People tend to use past experiences as a means for future predictions, especially when they involve an episode of disappointment or success. Even though there may be instances where you’ve been let down in the past, this doesn’t mean you can use these results to predict how an event will turn out in the future.

Since there are too many variables that affect events, one instance of disappointment or success doesn’t hold much significance when predicting future outcomes. A better way would be to look at it as a coin toss with two possible outcomes instead of something that allows for certainty and confidence about what may happen next.

Disappointment causes anxiety and depression 

When you feel disappointed, your brain is usually flooded with negative thoughts which can lead to anxiety and depression if left unchecked. Since we live in a world full of expectations, we often attach ourselves to the outcome of certain events as if our happiness depended on them.

The more you attach yourself to these expectations, the more disappointed you will feel when things don’t go your way. At this point, it’s important to remember that no one can control how other individuals act or what events occur; all we can do is act in the best interest of ourselves and let go of our attachment to outcomes.

Disappointment affects relationships

When you’re attached to specific expectations about how people should behave around you, disappointment can lead to negative emotions like anger and sadness which can affect your interactions with them. If left unchecked, this could also lead to misunderstandings that worsen the relationship even further.

Since no one likes feeling let down by their loved ones or when they are not given a chance to help out when needed, it’s important to not let yourself get caught up in the negativity that comes with disappointment. Remember, you’re human and imperfect just like everyone else so don’t expect too much from others while at the same time letting them know you appreciate their efforts if they do go out of their way for you.

Not all disappointments are negative

Although most people assume that feeling disappointed means something bad happened, there are some forms of disappointment where you feel good about the result.

For example, when you expect someone to say something mean or inconsiderate but they end up being very understanding about it, this is one form of positive disappointment where you are happy with the outcome. These kinds of disappointments simply highlight how your expectations don’t always reflect reality and can help shape your future thinking in a better way.

Disappointment doesn’t have to be permanent 

Since most people feel that their happiness depends entirely on external circumstances, they tend to view negative events as permanent instead of temporary problems. Even when faced with situations that cause them displeasure, these individuals often refuse to accept any kind of change in order not to upset themselves further.

As mentioned before, no one can control what happens in life or how other people act. If that were the case, then you’d end up disappointed in every aspect of your life since there would always be variables outside of your control! Since this is an unachievable goal, it’s important to let go of negative expectations and try to focus on more positive things instead during any given day.

You can train yourself not to be disappointed

Since most people often feel disappointed at any sign of failure, they tend to avoid new activities and try to stick with what they’re already good at. This type of fear-based thinking can cause people to miss out on opportunities that can help them grow as an individual if they simply focused more on the process instead.

If you keep this in mind then there’s no reason why you can’t train yourself not to be disappointed by anything that happens during your day. Just remember to focus on what matters most, which is usually how much effort you put into something rather than the outcome itself.

Disappointment doesn’t always mean failure 

Although disappointment has a negative connotation attached to it, there are some cases where you feel bad about something but it doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong. 

For example, when you graduate from school, earn a promotion at work, or simply look in the mirror and see how much you’ve changed over the past few months, this feeling of accomplishment is often accompanied by some form of disappointment since what you used to be able to do seems like second nature now. This contrast between what used to be and what’s present can cause people to feel self-doubt about their current progress so remind yourself that everyone starts at zero!

Disappointment can be a great motivator 

It’s important to keep in mind that every experience you have, good or bad, is meant to teach you something new. Although some people might be tempted to sweep disappointing experiences under the rug and try their best not to think about them again since it affects their self-confidence, others can still take away something positive from this type of pain.

In most cases, our initial instinct turns out to be wrong because these negative events often give way to better opportunities down the road if you simply look hard enough for them! When something bad happens, remind yourself that every problem comes with a silver lining so try not to be too quick to judge what you see on the surface.

Disappointment is a measure of your personal growth

Everyone has expectations for themselves and others. When you expect something and it doesn’t happen, your brain’s cognitive evaluation system labels this as bad and triggers sadness; this is how disappointment happens.

However, these evaluations of “bad” or “good” are a measure of your personal growth. These represent all the things that you’ve learned and achieved over time. The things you expect from yourself and others are a reflection of your expectations for the future – what you think is possible, what you want to see happen – and these can be a measure of how much you’ve learned about yourself and moved forward as a person.


Although disappointment can bring about feelings of failure, there are usually also silver linings that come with these experiences whenever we allow them to. Since you can train yourself not to be disappointed by anything that happens during your day, it’s important to always try your best and focus on what matters most since this will help you find inner peace even if things don’t go as planned.

If you keep this information in mind then what might seem like a disappointing setback can just turn into an opportunity for self-growth instead!

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