Disappointment makes us happier.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger--Friedrich Nietzsche .  This little guy doesn't know it, but feeling the sting of  "NO!" will make him happier.  Fishing and crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay under the sunny sun brought happiness to my boys. But I did take secret enjoyment in telling them "No" sometimes. And when the whining stopped and they moved on to the next big adventure--sure to be riddled with other disappointments--their resilience was stronger.

Is there any scientific evidence that supports this old adage, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger" ? Well, yes there is: a "... national multi-year longitudinal study of the effects of adverse life events on mental health has found that adverse experiences do, in fact, appear to foster subsequent adaptability and resilience, with resulting advantages for mental health and well being.

So when we, or kids, students or co workers, friends, dogs, and horses experience "No," when it makes very good sense, it might be just as important as exercising and eating veggies to healthy living.

If you want to read the abstract, here's the citation and a link:

Whatever does not kill us: Cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience.Seery, Mark D.; Holman, E. Alison; Silver, Roxane Cohen. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 99(6), Dec 2010, 1025-1041. doi: 10.1037/a0021344