Who has not found themselves irritated or dismayed about things happening in their lives?
Frustration is more common and socially acceptable than anger and rage but it fulfils a similar function and if chronic is also very damaging.
The ‘Benefits’ of Being Frustrated.
Whether directed at yourself or others, frustration provides a release of energy and discharge of stress. The explosion of pent-up, unexamined discontent simmering beneath the surface gives a temporary feeling of empowerment. It also acts as a block to painful emotions like anxiety, self criticism, hurt, guilt or shame that may be covered over by frustration.
But the damaging effects of being frequently frustrated far outweigh the temporary relief from stressful feelings. Like anger, frustration can become a habit and ‘go to’ response whenever life does not run smoothly. It does not make for pleasant company, but worse, persistent dissatisfaction with things as they are can result in adrenal burnout, depression and other emotional and physical consequences.
If You are on the Receiving End of Frustration…
If other people are frustrated by something you did or did not do, their displeasure can easily turn into conflict, threats or bullying. There may be physical, verbal and psychological ramifications, such as social exclusion, extortion, intimidation.
Especially if there is an imbalance of power between a dominating individual in a position of power and a less aggressive person.
The challenge is to cope without being destroyed. It requires a calm and assertive response, refusing to cower and resolving not to be swayed by the onslaught of others’ negative energy. This might require standing your ground or not engaging until more reasonable communication is possible.
Recognise Your Own Triggers.
Revamp your Attitude when you Find People Frustrating.
People may not behave as you expected. You may need to deal with their mistakes or shortcomings. Get mad? Blame? But nobody is perfect. A mistake can be a blunder or blooper, an unintentional oversight, a bad decision due to lack of knowledge or inattention, appalling judgment, not enough thought. Most people do not offend on purpose, taking it personally only aggravates the situation.
Instead learn to communicate with patience and calm assertiveness in order to resolve a specific frustrating issue with another person:
1. Focus on a specific issue and describe how you feel about their behaviour or the situation.
2. Listen to their point of view without judgment, interrupting or reacting strongly.
3. Consider their possible reasons for behaving the way they did.
4. Respond with clarity and compassion. Be specific and validate if they made an effort but did not quite succeed. State your needs and look for mutual resolution to the issue.
Use a Constructive Viewpoint for a Frustrating Situation.
Your expectations may be dashed. You may not get what you want. Things may not be happening according to your timetable. They may not be done as you thought they should. You may be on overload, too little time, too much to do.
Increase your Tolerance, Patience and Tranquility.
What is your experience with frustration? How do you deal with challenging people or situations? What have you found useful?