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What is a disappointment? (why do we feel this way?)

What is a disappointment
What is a disappointment
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What does disappointment mean? Why do so many people get disappointment during their lifetime? What causes disappointment?

We have all experienced feelings of hopelessness and have always dealt with it throughout our lives. Many people feel good and good at the beginning of meeting a loved one and think that their relationship will go well, but after a short time, the relationship ends, and they feel defeated and disappointed.

Or it may have happened to us that everything went well and promising in a job interview, but we finally realized that things did not go as we expected, and we felt frustrated.

What is disappointment?

Disappointment is a feeling of dissatisfaction and is due to unfulfilled expectations. disappointment has similarities with regret, except that the person who feels remorse focuses primarily on the personal choices that lead to the poor outcome. But the person who feels disappointment focuses on the result.

The recovery time for disappointment depends on the severity of the disappointment. Also, a person who experiences disappointment may get out of this state sooner or later than another person. For example, some people may be frustrated for just a few minutes. At the same time, some other people on a similar issue remain in a state of despair for a few days.

Father and daughter in the kitchen in front of a deformed cake
Father and daughter in the kitchen in front of a deformed cake

Optimists are generally healthier and better than pessimists.

Optimists are less likely to be harmed by prolonged or uncontrollable stress than pessimists. Researchers have called this phenomenon the effect of despair.

Suzanne Segerstrom’s findings show that optimists are more likely to actively engage with their problems than to be unable to cope with frustration, resulting in less frustration-related harm in these individuals. (Segerstrom, 2006)

Researchers see disappointment as a feeling and as a form of sadness – disappointment is a feeling of loss or a painful rift between our expectations and reality.

Experience disappointment and know better about yourself and others

Although experiencing disappointment is unpleasant. But when we experience frustration, we gain valuable information about our beliefs. When we are disappointed, we will better understand what makes us and others happy.

Why are we disappointed? What are the reasons?

If we can understand the causes of Disappointment, get to know them better, and deal with them consciously, we can significantly prevent frustration. In the following, we will mention a few cases.

You see happiness only in certain things.

We constantly see all kinds of messages, pictures, videos on social networks and television during the day. The images and videos we see on social media make us look for happiness only in things like expensive objects, beautiful people, Or other cases.

When we see these things repeatedly, our minds learn that only specific ideas can make us happy. Eventually, the mind will believe that if we achieve those things, we will be satisfied, and if we do not reach them, we will be disappointed.

A man with a spoon and fork in his hand and a small bar of chocolate on a plate
A man with a spoon and fork in his hand and a small bar of chocolate on a plate

According to researchers, there is no guarantee that we will be happy if we achieve what we want.

The evidence shows otherwise. People’s satisfaction with things is very short-lived. You can enjoy the moment at any time, and enjoying the present does not have to cost much. Try to focus on your emotions. Try to get rid of the thought that you will feel better when you achieve what you love because this kind of thinking is due to seeing different pictures and videos on social networks. Having such a mindset negatively affects your real life.

Expecting from a particular person

There is a common misconception in many countries and cultures that people are always waiting to meet or marry someone and get what they want. Sometimes it has become a social norm in different cultures that men have to meet the demands of the family and women.

Sometimes people think that marrying or meeting a specific person will lead to a life full of happiness. We can all have a halo effect or a halo error in life. The aura effect means that we generalize some positive personal characteristics to his other features.

A boy sitting on the stairs with a paper heart in his hand
A boy sitting on the stairs with a paper heart in his hand

If you know the meaning of the halo effect, you can prevent this cognitive and mental error. We will explain it to you with an example. If you meet a tall and handsome person who looks attractive to you one day, you will probably think that he has other positive features such as wealth, trustworthiness, and high intelligence. But these mental imageries may never be true because we know tall and good-looking. In such a situation, if you live with your cognitive and artificial imaginations and after a while, you realize that he is not rich and talented and intelligent at all, you may feel deeply disappointed.

Create a time limit and set a duration

Achieving our goals and expectations at a given time is influenced by the social norms we have learned throughout our lives. There are unwritten rules, and we are committed to achieving a career, academic goal, or other things within a specified time frame. Sometimes we even put our goals on a timeline to do something on a specific day and reach our goal. Occasionally many people constantly evaluate their performance with other peers to achieve success. The action we described is called social comparison, and if repeated, it can lead to frustration.

Two young male athletes talking.
Two young male athletes talking.

Facing disappointment and taking the right actions

To deal with disappointment constructively and correctly, you must not let disappointment turn into apathy and depression.

Avoid negative mental rumination because overthinking despair is not the right way to correct behavior. It is better to be less exposed to negative news and events in such a situation because negative news will only increase our inner sadness and anger.


Typically, people anticipate the possibility of disappointment and make decisions that make them feel less frustrated. Based on experiments and empirical evidence, David Gill and Victoria Pross stated that people hate disappointment when competing (Gill & Prowse, 2012).

We hope you find this helpful content and follow us on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter and leave us a comment. We will try to prepare valuable articles for you.


  1. Segerstrom, S. C. (2006). How does optimism suppress immunity? Evaluation of three affective pathways. Health Psychology, 25(5), 653–657. https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-6133.25.5.653
  2. Gill, D., & Prowse, V. (2012). A Structural Analysis of Disappointment Aversion in a Real Effort Competition. American Economic Review, 102(1), 469–503. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.102.1.469
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