Have you felt sadness, anger or helplessness after an unexpected situation? A job layoff? A love breakup? Unrealized plans? A letter that didn’t arrive? Devastating news? Sometimes we believe that everything we want in life we can get. The truth is that this is a false belief that through time has been increasing in our societies.
The frustration appears after you have built expectations and you are hit emotionally when the goals are not reached. The frustration is important to handle because it is present in many instances; it is not an event that will occur only once in your life. But, take a deep breath, it is possible to develop mechanisms that allow tolerance to frustration and to maturely manage emotions.
The importance of managing frustration – or tolerance for frustration – is a skill that helps in healthy mental development. It is important to know that managing frustration will teach you to give up certain things that do not contribute to your personal growth and you will also learn to set priorities and be consistent with them.
In addition, managing frustration is important because you will be able to face with greater strength and integrity all the unusual situations that life presents, and it will give you better tools to face difficulties.
Those people who do not learn to handle frustration are usually people who want to obtain quick results and soon and they tend to give up without having worked on the difficulties that arise in day to day. They also could be intolerant of the losses and gains of others, affecting empathy and resilience.
Now, one of the first steps in managing frustration is identifying it; So, let’s define what we mean by frustration.
What is frustration?
Frustration arises from a desire or a longing that is not fulfilled in the person. It is the answer to an obstacle that arises when you cannot get something you want. In this sense, frustration is an emotional state that appears when our projects are not carried out, needs are not satisfied or when reality is contrary to expectations.
Frustration is a complex emotion because it generates other emotions such as anger, sadness, anguish, depression, anger, anxiety, helplessness, etc. In some cases, frustration is even accompanied by self-destructive thoughts and desires that affect self-esteem.
However, although frustration is uncomfortable, it is a personal situation that is transitory , which makes it reversible, unless it becomes a more serious pathological disorder, especially if there is resistance to learning to handle or tolerate it.
It is possible that you are a person with a low tolerance for frustration and you don’t know it. In continuation, we will see some identifying characteristics.
Symptoms and characteristics of people with little management of frustration
- They have a hard time identifying what emotion they are feeling.
- They are restless, impulsive, very perfectionist, and strict.
- They tend to despair quickly. They want immediate results. If they don’t get what they want when they want it, they have explosive reactions in their mood; they can go from calm to rage in a few minutes.
- They are inflexible in their thoughts. They tend to see the world in black and white, grays (or midpoints) don’t exist for them.
- Because they are so inflexible, they may have a hard time adjusting and negotiating with others.
- They want all the attention they need. Sometimes they may even go into emotional blackmail to achieve their goals.
- They become unmotivated in the face of some adversities and obstacles that they did not consider in some circumstances, which leads them to become depressed and anxious easily.
If at any time you have had or have any of these characteristics, don’t worry! It is possible to learn to handle frustration.
Some tips to learn to manage frustration
I give you some tips that you can keep in mind when you find yourself facing a frustrating situation.
- To handle frustration, you must be patient with yourself. There are times when you have to stop what you think. Spinning over thoughts of frustration will only create a vicious cycle from which it will be difficult to get out. To avoid thinking in circles when something has caused you frustration, do other activities that give you pleasure, such as reading, exercising, cooking, singing, dancing, and so on. This pause will help you have time to generate a more adaptive response to the situation.
- To manage frustration, confront what you believe in the moment. Frustration brings with it irrational beliefs that can increase negative feelings. To manage frustration, it is important to identify these irrational beliefs to better manage them. To tolerate frustration, then, first, prioritize your wants and needs . Ask yourself: “Does this plan need to be satisfied immediately or can it wait?” This will help you make time for every desire or need. Second, ask yourself what you feel: what impulses invade you? Evaluate the consequences that giving free rein to your stimuli would bring. Finally, to learn to handle frustration many times, avoid situations, people or things that can cause you tension . You deserve to take the time to get away from what is causing you a hurtful feeling.
- To manage frustration, train yourself to be proactive. After all this identification of emotions and that you have taken the time to cool down the situation, consider measures for possible similar events in the future. Being proactive will help you manage frustration because it will allow you to have answers in advance in the face of later moments. I give you two recommendations:
- Have five alternatives . To reach a goal, or make a plan, establish five possible alternatives. Doing so will allow for frustration management because it minimizes the potential risks that may arise.
- Delineate pros and cons . Each risk option requires an analysis of the pros and cons, which will allow you to determine what you are facing and choose the best option.
The importance of managing frustration will be reflected in your day to day. Little by little you will see how you build better emotional strengths that will help you to leverage yourself in the face of adverse situations, obstacles and difficulties typical of everyday life. You can handle frustration, cope with it, and emerge victorious from it. I encourage you to continue!