Frustration Management

A lot of frustration comes from the way other people act. Most can deal with the weather, but many have a hard time with frustration over dealing with other people, and what you believe or know their mistaken actions to be. Here’s one method for dealing with that: ‘Look at it from the other person’s point of view. Look at what I know about him — his needs, his wants, and his motivations. What explains his actions?’ It’s crucial, to avoid frustration, to distinguish between explanations and excuses. A man molests children because he was molested as a child. That’s a valid explanation; but not a valid excuse. A woman lies to her husband, cheats on him, because he’s not a very attentive or nice husband. That’s a valid explanation; but not a valid excuse for deception. Sometimes people with strong moral standards get frustrated. They don’t distinguish enough between explanations and excuses. Someone speeds by them in traffic. A mentally healthy person will think, ‘Maybe he has a valid reason for being in a hurry. Maybe he doesn’t. Either way, I’ll just stay out of his way. My personal safety is what counts.’ A frustrated person thinks this way: ‘He SHOULDN’T be speeding. He’s WRONG. I don’t care why he does it. It’s no excuse. I’m so MAD!’ Well, it’s very unlikely there is a valid excuse for the bad driving. But being angry about the frustration changes nothing, and makes your own mental and physical state less balanced. Accepting what you cannot change leaves things exactly as they are—only it’s much healthier for your own state of mind. And letting go of the fact that some people drive poorly says nothing about all the control you can and will exercise in other areas of your life. In fact, letting go of what you cannot control saves ‘mental’ and psychological room for better achieving in the areas you DO have control over.