Hope you all are doing well and are enjoying this lovely summer!
As some of you know, I have been working at times to settle some matters dealing with my father's estate. Estate stuff, at least in this situation, tends not to be very simple. I often have an idea or thought or plan of how things will go with a certain issue, and then, well, God Laughs!
Driving home yesterday, I certainly was feeling rather frustrated. I got to thinking alot about this feeling, and I really don not like it! It sucks, basically. And I think I would really rather not feel it so much anymore. I did a little surfing when I got home, to see if there are some tips on dealing with frustration. I would like to share with you what I have learned....
First, just to help clarify - Frustration is a feeling that arises when something occurs which keeps us from reaching a goal or expectation. There are other feelings which can occur as well, such as disappointment. BUT mix a little anger with your disappointment, and you have frustration.
"Expectation is the mother of all frustration"
...... Antonio Banderas
Second, we can experience different levels of frustration in different parts of our lives. Some folks are more easily frustrated in the work enviornment, some with family, some in more social settings. It seems to be the more intense a situation, the more important the goal is to us, the more easily we can become frustrated.
Anyone out there working on a love situation? How important is it to you that it resolve successfully?
Third, how we handle our frustration can definitely directly influence how much frustration we could be feeling in the future! Huh, you say? I said that the first time I read this as well. But look at it this way....if we learn to handle our frustration productively, and that leads to a positive resolution to our situation, then there will be nothing to get frustrated about in the future!
Of course, frustration is not always a bad thing. It can be quite motivating and can help us figure out steps so that we can reach our goals. But it is how we choose to express our frustration may cause more stress in our life and the lives of others.
So, how do we handle our frustration? What are some good tips to practice or skills to develop?
I found this wonderful article by Judith Orloff about Frustration, and ways to handle it. Dr Orloff has 4 tips for handiing frustration with people. Here is an exerpt:
Tip #1. Focus on a specific issue—don't escalate or mount a personal attack.
For instance, "I feel frustrated when you promise to do something but there is no follow-through." No resorting to threats or insults. In an even, non-blaming tone, lead with how the behavior makes you feel rather than how you think the other person is wrong.
Tip #2. Listen non-defensively without reacting or interrupting.
It's a sign of respect to hear a person's point of view, even if you disagree. Avoid an aggressive tone or body language. Try not to squirm with discomfort or to judge.
Tip #3. Intuit the feelings behind the words.
When you can appreciate someone's motivation, it's easier to be patient. Try to sense if this person is frightened, insecure, up against a negative part of themselves they've never confronted. If so, realize this can be painful. See what change they're open to.
Tip #4. Respond with clarity and compassion.
This attitude takes others off the defensive so they're more comfortable admitting their part in causing frustration. Describe everything in terms of remedies to a specific task, rather then generalizing. State your needs. For instance, "I'd really appreciate you not shouting at me even if I disappoint you." If the person is willing to try, show how pleased you are. Validate their efforts: "Thanks for not yelling at me. I really value your understanding" See if the behavior improves.
I will be trying some of these techniques with the various realtors, inspectors, lawyers, etc associated with my dad's Estate and let you know which ones I have found helpful. If you try any of these tips out, I would love to hear how they worked for you :-)