Updated: Mar 18
One of the most important things to learn about our emotions is that they are caused by our thoughts. This includes emotions that feel like they happen automatically, like frustration.
Frustration is common, no matter the age or the stage, but it’s not very efficient for fueling our actions, and it’s certainly not a pleasant emotion to feel in our bodies. Let’s dive into frustration. When we understand what causes it, we can understand how to control it.
Frustration comes because of unmet expectations. It’s as simple as that. You expected someone to do something or act a certain way, and they didn’t, and now you’re frustrated. If we want to decrease the amount of time we feel frustration, we need to decrease the amount of expectations we have that go unmet. We can do this in three simple steps.
First, identify what specific expectations you have and make sure that they are realistic and fair.
For example, if I get frustrated while driving, I may have the expectation that I not hit red lights or that we always travel the speed limit, regardless of traffic. This isn’t realistic.
Likewise, it is not fair if I expect my children to do chores I’ve never taught them to do.
Our expectations need to be realistic and fair.
Second, we need to communicate our expectations. Once we have determined what they are, and that they are realistic and fair, we need to share them with those involved. Otherwise, we’re guaranteed to experience frustration.
“Please use clean language in the workplace.”
“I can only watch your child for one hour.”
“You need to put your toys away when you’re done with them.”
“I would love some flowers on our anniversary.”
This will relieve not only our frustration, but the frustration of those in our lives who often need to guess of what is expected.
Third, when we have our expectations and have communicated them, we need to stick with them. Often this means having a consequence or a Plan B in place.
“I’ll pick you up at 3:00, but if you’re late, I’ll have to leave without you.” And if they’re late, you leave.
If I tell my boss that I need 24 hours’ notice before he changes my schedule, then when he calls two hours before with a change, I politely decline.
“I’m sorry, kids. You cannot do screen time today because you haven’t done your chores.”
Our expectations do us no good if our inconsistent behavior teaches people that they don’t have to respect them.
The next time you’re frustrated, take control by taking a look at these three teps.
One of the greatest advantages of decreasing frustration is that allows room for courage, confidence, peace, and joy.
If you’d like help relieving frustration in your life, reach out for a private coaching session!
Be peaceful my friends.
Until next time,