If You Expect Disappointment, You’ll Never Be Disappointed — MJ

You know what they say, “Expect the unexpected,” — but what if we turn that on its head and expect disappointment instead? That’s exactly what MJ, Spiderman’s girlfriend in the 2021 movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” suggests with her quote, “If you expect disappointment, you can never really be disappointed.”

"If you expect disappointment, then you can never really be disappointed" by Michelle "MJ" Jones-Watson | Quote Graphic

So, what’s the deal with expecting disappointment, and why would anyone want to do that? 

Well, buckle up because, in this article, we’re diving deep into the idea of anticipating disappointment and exploring its potential benefits.

We’ll look at why this mindset could lead to less disappointment in life and how it could potentially improve relationships and overall well-being. But that’s not all; we’ll also talk about overcoming disappointment when it comes knocking and discuss some healthy coping mechanisms.

So, are you ready to expect disappointment and come out on the other side as a superhero? Let’s do this!

Meaning of “If you expect disappointment, you can never really be disappointed.”

The quote “If you expect disappointment, then you can never really be disappointed” by Michelle “MJ” Jones-Watson (Portrayed by Zendaya in Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home) is a philosophical outlook on life that suggests that having low expectations can help protect us from disappointment. 

The basic idea is that if we don’t have high expectations for the future, when those expectations aren’t met, we’re not left disappointed.

If you go into a fight expecting defeat, and when that defeat eventually comes, you’re not disappointed that what you wanted didn’t happen. Instead, you’re more likely to feel optimistic because this was exactly what you prepared for.

Think about it, have you ever been disappointed because a movie you were so excited to see turned out to be a total flop? Or have you ever been let down because someone you thought was a great friend wasn’t so great after all? These are classic examples of how having high expectations can lead to disappointment.

But if we approach things with a more open and relaxed attitude, we can avoid the sting of disappointment. If we don’t expect the world to be perfect or people always to be who we want them to be, then we won’t be disappointed when they fall short of our standards. 

This idea can be applied to all areas of life, from our relationships to our careers and even to our expectations of ourselves.

Origins of the Quote

The quote “If you expect disappointment, then you can never really be disappointed” was first mentioned in the 2021 movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” It is said by MJ (played by Zendaya), who is Spider-Man’s girlfriend in the film. 

The quote has become popular because of its paradoxical nature that suggests that by expecting disappointment, people can save themselves from being caught off guard by the inevitable disappointment and reduce its impact. 

The quote has drawn significant attention from fans and netizens since the movie’s release. It has also been the subject of much online chatter.

Many people have drawn a valuable lesson from the quote and find it advisable in a unique way. The quote seems to be a variation of a famous saying circulating on the internet for several years, “Expect nothing, and you will never be disappointed.” 

Another variation of the quote comes from Martin Luther King Jr, who said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” in 1968. 

Although the quote is accurate in some aspects of life, such as personal relationships with people, it may not apply to all facets of life, especially in business setups.

Life Lessons from the Quote

If you Anticipate Disappointment, Can You Ever Truly be Disappointed?

This intriguing quote poses a thought-provoking question that challenges our perspective on disappointment and the role expectations play in our lives. It invites us to delve into the depths of human behavior and the unpredictability of life.

Expecting the worst may sound very counter-intuitive, but it can be a powerful tool for self-improvement and resilience. When we prepare ourselves for disappointment, we create a safety net that can protect us from the heartache and mental stress that come with unmet expectations.

By accepting that people and situations can be unpredictable, we open ourselves up to the reality of life and prevent ourselves from being blindsided by disappointment. When we lower our expectations and approach life with a growth mindset, we can turn disappointment into an opportunity for learning and growth.

But be warned, this is not an invitation to become a pessimist. Rather, it’s a call to be more mindful of our expectations and the emotions they bring. 

We can build stronger relationships and foster a culture of trust and understanding when we openly discuss our hopes and fears and have a plan in place for when things don’t go as expected.

Overcoming Disappointment

Expecting disappointment is one way of dealing with things not going our way. But it’s not the only way. Disappointments are a part of life, and so is dealing with them. Yet, it doesn’t mean they have to control us! 

If you’re feeling down and out because things didn’t go how you wanted them to, don’t worry, there’s hope! Here’s a lowdown on how to turn that frown upside down and overcome disappointment:

  • 1. Acknowledge your feelings: It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Don’t ignore or suppress your emotions. Instead, acknowledge them and give yourself time to process them.
  • 2. Reframe your thoughts: Our thoughts play a significant role in shaping our emotional state. When you’re disappointed, reframe your negative thoughts in a more positive light. For example, instead of thinking, “this is the worst thing that could have happened,” try thinking, “this is a temporary setback, and I will find a way to overcome it.”
  • 3. Learn from the experience: Disappointments often come with valuable lessons. Try to reflect on what you could have done differently and what you can learn from the situation. Use these lessons to grow and improve for the future.

Additionally, here are healthy coping mechanisms that will pull you up from the dark and get you facing the light again:

  • 1. Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is crucial when dealing with disappointment. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, exercising, or spending time with loved ones.
  • 2. Connect with others: Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help you process your feelings and find comfort. Joining a support group or seeking the help of a therapist can also be beneficial.
  • 3. Get moving: Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and boost your mood. Whether going for a walk, hitting the gym, or practicing yoga, getting your body moving can help you overcome disappointment.
  • 4. Focus on the present moment: Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future can only amplify your disappointment. Instead, focus on the present moment and engage in activities that bring you joy and peace.

Disappointments don’t have to define us. By acknowledging our emotions, reframing our thoughts, learning from our experiences, and practicing healthy coping mechanisms, we can overcome disappointment and live our best lives!

Downsides of this philosophy

Following this philosophy might be a great way to find optimism when things don’t go the way we want them to, but it doesn’t come without its downsides. 

Sure, it may seem like a brilliant idea to just never have high expectations so that we never feel the crushing weight of disappointment. But let’s delve a little deeper and look at some of the downsides of living by this philosophy:

First, if we constantly expect disappointment, we may start to lose hope and motivation. After all, why bother putting in effort if we expect to be disappointed in the end? This can lead to a lack of ambition and a feeling of apathy toward life, which can be a real bummer.

Secondly, we may miss out on some truly amazing experiences by never setting high expectations. Imagine if you had never expected anything from that first date, that job interview, or that new restaurant you tried. You may have missed out on some incredible opportunities because you never gave yourself a chance to hope for something great.

Thirdly, this philosophy can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we constantly expect disappointment, we may inadvertently sabotage our own success by not giving ourselves a chance to succeed. We may avoid taking risks or trying new things, all because we are too scared of being disappointed. And, in doing so, we may end up creating the very thing we were trying to avoid.

Lastly, expecting disappointment all the time can be a real downer. It can suck the joy out of life and make everything seem a little less bright. It’s like wearing a pair of glasses that only see the negative side of things. Sure, it may protect us from disappointment, but at what cost?

So, while it’s good to be prepared for disappointment, it’s important also to give ourselves the chance to hope for something great. After all, you never know what unique experiences may be waiting for you if you just give yourself a chance to wish.


In conclusion, the quote “If you expect disappointment, then you can never really be disappointed” from the 2021 movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home” suggests that having low expectations can protect us from the sting of disappointment. 

By accepting the unpredictability of life and approaching things with a relaxed attitude, we can prevent ourselves from being blindsided by disappointment and turn it into an opportunity for learning and growth. 

It’s essential to be mindful of our expectations and emotions and have a plan in place for things that don’t go as expected. 

Finally, if disappointment does come knocking, it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated, but there are ways to overcome it. By acknowledging our feelings and using healthy coping mechanisms, we can turn that frown upside down and come out on the other side as a superhero!

Success Minded

Writer & Motivator with a goal of Inspiring and Helping 1 Million people across the globe to reach their goals. Join the largest self-improvement community on Twitter (700K+) over at @_SuccessMinded_

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