Why You Should Be Happy About Disappointment – Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette


Why You Should Be Happy About Disappointment

That sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, doesn’t it? How can you possibly be happy with something that disappoints you?

Well, to answer that question, you have to delve a little deeper into what disappointment really is…

The dictionary defines it as “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.”  Basically, it means we’re sad/displeased because we didn’t get the thing we hoped/expected would make us happy.

Which leads to the question: what if that wasn’t really the thing that would make us happy?

In my post “The Endless and Exhausting Pursuit of Happiness“, I talked about how we’re often so busy looking for something we believe will make us 100% happy that we fail to enjoy the things that hit the 50% happiness mark. And, when we never find that 100% happy thing, we feel dissatisfied.

How does this connect? Simple: disappointment can help us to evaluate our perceptions of the things that make us happy!

When we’re disappointed about something, it gives you a chance to look at WHY we feel that disappointment. There’s a very real chance the thing we’re disappointed about is something that we believed would make us happy, but in reality it won’t. We’re so fixated on something or someone that we feel that disillusionment when we fail to get it.

Next time you get that feeling, stop to examine what it is you’re disappointed about. Maybe it’s a “future hope” that brings more anxiety than is healthy, and you’ll actually be happier if you live in the present moment. Or it’s something you were 100% certain you wanted, but in reality you’re just as happy without it (once the initial disappointment passes, of course).

Disappointment is a negative feeling, but it can bring about a positive outcome. If you take the time to examine the thing that’s causing the feelings, you can discover just how wrong or right your perceptions, hopes, and expectations are. In the long run, that self-examination will lead to personal growth.


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  1. Interesting take… Sort of like learn from your mistakes or failures. However, what if the one thing you are disappointed in is the one thing that you know will make you happy?

    I’m not disappointed in the actual thing (my writing). I’m disappointed in the marketing of my writing or the lack of success that I’ve had in that pursuit. Since both are emotional endeavors, have expectations, and are so closely related to one another, they often intermingle. And that’s where the heartache and disappointment occurs creating self-doubt and all the other crap that affects the outcome of both.

    So yes, I’d like to be happy about being disappointed, but in this one case, I don’t think I can be.

    • Well said! And not all disappointment is bad. It’s a part of life, and we’re often disappointed about the things that we’re most excited about–things that are good for us.

      But at other times, we’re disappointed for the WRONG things, especially for the “things” we think we want but don’t really need/aren’t good for us. We can learn from out disappointments and try to hope/endeavor to get the RIGHT things. 😀

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