Oh hello darling and welcome to a brand new month of content; November on benpechey.com is Adjustment month. All month long I will delve into the topics that cause issues in all our lives, and show you ways to adjust this behaviour and bring some positive outcomes to all our lives. I wanted to kick things off with perhaps one of my biggest happiness inhibitors; Frustration.
According to the online Cambridge dictionary, Frustration is:
the feeling of being annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want
The dictionary is clear on what it feels like to be frustrated, that burning sensation of annoyance. However, the entry is less clear about where the frustration comes from, but I am sure we all know. For me, frustration comes from others around me. Small comments that disturb my natural balance, and cause me to feel uneasy.
If you imagine a lake, and you're in a small boat, the water is calm and serene, you make good progress. Frustration is like waves, that make the water choppy and make your progress much harder, and the more it builds, all your effort goes into just staying in the boat, and you don't move forwards at all.
So it is clear that frustration is, well for lack of a better word, frustrating! It is part of human existences, we are frustrated left right and centre, and that's okay - as long as our response to the stressor that is frustration is healthy.
Left unchecked frustration can create a huge amount of energy, and this can burst out in angry flairs, snappy responses and passive-aggressive emails. The old adage is correct, we always end up hurting the ones we love the most. You wouldn't be human if things didn't get on top of you, and frustration can bubble up into a frenzy that can rule you, I know this to be true, and thus the people around you end up taking the brunt of this energy transfer.
To stop frustration having this effect, I have poured my personal experience into a few steps that can defuse the energy right out of your frustration, and make the waters ahead much less choppy;
1. Acknowledge what is frustrating you
Left unchecked frustration can create a huge amount of energy, and this can burst out in angry flairs, snappy responses, and passive-aggressive emails. The old adage is correct, we always end up hurting the ones we love the most. You wouldn't be human if things didn't get on top of you, and frustration can bubble up into a frenzy that can rule you, I know this to be true, and thus the people around you end up taking the brunt of this energy transfer.
It may seem very simple, but if you don't express what is actually grinding your gears you cannot rise above it. So voice what is causing this feeling, snarky emails, a friend relying on you too much without reciprocation, or is it more about frustration towards yourself?
Once you voice the source we can deal with it.
2. Be open - it saves time
If the source of your frustration is others, get over your fear of confrontation, and voice your feelings. Nine times out of ten, the other person will have had NO IDEA that their actions affected you, and they will address it! If the other person doesn't see things the same way as you, try and help them to see, and if they can't then perhaps they aren’t a sensible person to be around.
Oh and if this is in a work setting, make sure you speak to someone else about a problem person, and see if there can be a resolution this way - NEVER SUFFER IN SILENCE DARLING!
3. Know the power of venting
Venting is not always healthy, but in this situation it is necessary! A problem shared is a problem halved, and instead of allowing frustration to cause angst in your relationships, instead, share your frustration with another person, and see it in a different light.
Talking through what Carol in accounting did will make you feel better, and will calm your inflammatory feelings.
4. Never hold grudges
Grudges ruin your life, but only your life, because the other person will not remember it in the same way as you, and you're dumping so much pain on yourself, and stopping yourself moving on with your life. Trust me, Carol from accounting doesn't care one bit, so why should you?
If you have followed step one and two, and the other person has come round to your thinking - now is the time to move on, and forget it. If you followed the steps and the other person can't see your way of thinking, then underline your disagreement with the person, and move on - you will feel crap, but it is important to move on - life is for living and not sharpening axes!
5. Embrace Frustration
This may be the curveball you didn't expect but bear with me on this. Frustration is part and parcel of being human, we all experience it, and we all cause it too. If we accept something as part of our lives, acknowledge it, but ultimately move on from it, this is a massive reduction in energy exchanged.
This way of thinking will also stop frustration from having such a destructive effect on you and those around you.
I will also say that I am not an expert, but I have dealt with a LOT of frustration over the years, and have honed a reasonable way of dealing with the causes and the effect it has on me. The five steps should go a long way to reduce the toll that frustration can have on you, and can be adapted into everyday life.
I am not a massive fan of change, but even I can see that small changes can make a big difference. That is what Adjustment month is all about, allowing small adjustments to our behaviour, actions, and personal accountability to make our lives brighter, easier and less stressful.
2020 has been a certified shit show, and I want to use what I have learned to bring you alternative perspectives that will help you see where you can bring more joy to your life!
Join me next week when Adjustment month continues, where we will look at our shopping habits and our happiness.
Shot by Ruth Pechey