Why Frustration Makes Us Human and Why We Shouldn’t Avoid It
October 19, 2021 8:00 AM EST | 5 min read
We all get frustrated; it’s part of the human experience.
Whether it is with a specific situation, a particular person, or ourselves, feeling frustrated is unavoidable.
However, it is an emotion that I suggest you get to know well.
Often, people use the terms ‘frustrated’ and ‘angry’ interchangeably; however, they are not the same thing.
To understand why feeling frustrated makes us perfectly human, let’s define and explore what frustration really is.
What Is Frustration?
Frustration is an emotion that happens in situations when a person cannot reach a desired outcome.
Frustration is not necessarily a bad thing.
It can be a great feedback mechanism for the problems in our lives.
Frustration can also be used as a change agent.
However, frustration, when left unresolved, has the potential to erupt into anger, stress, resentment, a depressed state, and so on.
We need to explore what causes frustration to understand fully the reasons we shouldn’t avoid it.
Instead, we can learn to use it to our advantage.
Often, frustration is deeply rooted in not achieving a specific result you want.
Meaning, you have been working day in and day out to achieve a certain end goal, but it’s nowhere in sight.
Maybe it’s taking longer than expected.
Frustration is deeply rooted when our actions are not producing the results that we think they should be.
Frustrations can be grouped into two separate groups: internal and external.
- Internal frustrations usually manifest from a sense of disappointment when we cannot have what we want because of a personal or made-up deficiencies. Things like lack of confidence, social anxiety, and so on.
- External frustrations happen when we encounter other people and things that get in the way of our goals. Think of all the things you deem as time wasters; these things can be defined as external frustrations.
It’s absolutely unrealistic to think you can rid yourself of internal and external frustrations.
They will pop up when you least expect it.
Life has its difficulties, but we can learn how to cope with our frustrations.
How To Deal with Frustration
1. Use Your Frustration to Motivate You
Use the energy from frustration to reach your goals rather than letting it distract you.
Try this approach next time you feel frustrated because you’re not achieving the results you wanted.
Dig deep and let frustration motivate you to move forward and take the steps necessary towards your desired state.
Think of J. K. Rowling. She wrote her first book, Harry Potter, as a single mother living on welfare.
Her frustration (over living less than ideally while being a single mother) motivated her.
She used that situation to remind herself that she can do better—and would do better.
Channeling all her energy (including her frustrations) on her dreams of finishing her book and getting it published helped her reach her goals.
2. Use Frustration to Attract What You Want In Your Life
The wonderful thing about frustration is that it is crystal clear feedback that something in your life is not ideal.
Perhaps you’re frustrated with how you’re advancing your career, your relationships, or your personal pursuits.
The frustration you’re experiencing is indicative that you’re not focusing on the right path.
The beauty of learning how to deal with frustration is that it allows you to stop what you’re doing.
It allows you to assess the situation and decide what happens next.
3. Frustration Makes You Responsible
We’ve all been there—facing the reality of our situations.
Maybe it’s a reality we didn’t want to face or too big a pill to swallow.
Frustration bubbles up and you have to digest what is happening.
Frustration causes you to assess your situation head-on.
It commands that you take responsibility for your future and what you wish to see happen.
You’re frustrated for one or multiple reasons.
They’re not going away until you deal with them.
Own it, dig deep, and decipher why you’re frustrated.
Take responsibility for the situation and then move forward.
4. Use Frustration to Interrupt Your Daily Affairs
We all have been there: frustrated beyond belief, paralyzed, and perplexed by our given reality, maybe unable to move forward.
Frustration can be an overwhelming emotion.
It can make you cry out loud, stomp your foot like a two-year-old.
Heck, it can even leave you shivering in your boots.
However, what most people don’t know about frustration is that it is a golden opportunity to let it interrupt your daily affairs.
When we’re frustrated, it’s because that desired state of being or achieving hasn’t been met.
With frustration at our side, let’s take a moment to change how we go about our day.
Maybe what you have been doing day in and day out simply isn’t cutting it.
Maybe this high-powered emotion is a clue that you need to change things up.
So, when you face a random bout of frustration throughout your day, don’t go back to what you were doing.
Instead, do the opposite.
Wondering how to deal with frustration?
Take a break, go for a walk and get some fresh air.
Interrupt your daily routine with frustration by your side.
See what it has to tell you, what opportunities lie hidden within, and take a different approach to achieve your desired end result.
There are many ways on how to deal with frustration.
The best thing you can do is let it remind you of your humanity.
We all get frustrated and we all experience this emotion from time to time.
The wonderful thing about frustration is that it reminds you that there is something festering in your life and something significant that requires paying attention to.
Avoid the urge to quickly fix this feeling.
Instead, have a cup of tea with this emotion and get to know it.