Overcoming Frustration

“Patience is a Virtue and I need more of it – NOW!”

Have you heard anyone say that recently?

  • Did you ever feel frustrated when someone pushed ahead of you in a queue?
  • How do you feel when someone takes longer than expected to do a simple task at work, or doesn’t complete it in a timely manner despite repeated requests?
  • What if your kids or partner refuse the food you have laboriously prepared and cooked all afternoon, only to raid the cookie jar later that evening?
  • Has someone walked all over your newly mopped floor in muddy boots?
  • Has your final attempt at resolving a bureaucratic problem been quashed by uncaring authorities?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on


Frustration is an intense emotion we feel:

  • when our needs aren’t being met at the time we expect them to be.
  • when we feel trapped.
  • when we are not listened to.
  • when our efforts are not respected or appreciated.

The Instant Gratification Society

How do you react when you waiting for an answer to an urgent email?

Are you someone who responds by sending a follow-up SMS text asking for an update? If they still don’t answer immediately, do you call them directly?

We have come to expect a fast resolution to our needs and experience frustration if that or some other achievable goal is thwarted.

Do you want to know a fact you have forgotten? Google will end our frustrations quickly and efficiently. There’s no need to rack our brains anymore. What does that teach us? That we can quickly solve our own problems?

Society has groomed our vulnerabilities and we now expect a rapid response to our wants and needs.

If we invest more time and effort than we think justified in reaching a goal, the resulting emotion is often frustration and impatience.

Patience is a coping skill we need to navigate a world where gratification is instantly demanded.

How Does Developing Patience Help?

Developing more patience in frustrating situations can improve health and free us from feelings of stress and anger.

However, patience doesn’t mean you will become a people-pleaser or dishonour your personal boundaries, which I posted about last week, but rather it gives you the power of waiting, watching and knowing when and how to act, in order to build compassion between individuals.

  • Patience helps you to be kind and compassionate.
  • Patience improves your health and wellbeing
  • Patience lowers your stress
  • Patience frees you from feeling angry emotions
  • Patience enhances self-respect by staying centred no matter what
  • Patience develops an eye for details

Showing patience offers us extra moments of time in which we can choose how and when to respond to a given event. This may avoid that detrimental knee-jerk emotional reaction. Challenging situations can be dealt with more flexibly.

Practising Patience in Everyday Life

Start out small and practise patience regularly. The following ideas may help:

  1. Practise letting someone go ahead of you in a queue.
  2. Deliberately choose a long supermarket queue. Use that time to practise long slow breaths in your busy day.
  3. Drive the long way home and listen to a podcast or relaxing music.
  4. Actively listen to exactly what is being said/requested by others. Rephrase their request back to them to double-check for understanding. This helps to put your frustrations aside in order to focus on solutions to the problem you are trying to solve.
  5. Let a provocative or controversial comment slide.
  6. Know your weaknesses and avoid letting them become your hot buttons or triggers.
  7. Build your self-discipline by creating new habits and leading a less complicated life. Studies show that people with self-discipline are generally happier people.
  8. Challenge your perception about willpower. Recognize that it is normal to feel frustrated, but believe in your ability to choose to direct your energy in a different way.
  9. Turn your attention inward until your needs are met. This is a good way of practising a form of meditation until you receive the gratification you are searching for.

“Like everything else that brings progress, the greatest struggle is always within ourselves.”

Go through your life practising patience with grace, and avoid pent up anger or frustrations.

Something to Ponder About


52 thoughts on “Overcoming Frustration”

  1. I remain pretty calm through any extremely frustrating process its a disassociative survival talent, its the after effects…recentlly due to in experienced staff not providing the right product for a tricky job I had to do, requiring 3 trips back & forth to town. I finally completed the job but combine that with some family stresses, this just topped me off, i got the flu, 1st time in over 20yrs. I have no control over my bodies final responses to frustrating situations. lol. i am over the flu, but unable to go to town or socialise for a while as it has triggered my PTSD & im like a daffy duck plugged into a power socket. So frustration for me is a very rare occurance my body just attacks itself later instead. This is where my boundaries kick in for me to get better. haha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hugs to you, Linda. The flu can leave nasty legacies. For me, it is asthma and generally treatable. For you, it sounds like it is much more difficult to deal with the after effects. I don’t think it is widely known that physical ailments can trigger mental symptoms. It is good you are spreading awareness of that. Hope you feel better real soon.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Not at all, Linda. Please do not apologize. I love bloggers who babble on. It makes for great conversations. It is hard to make conversation when a blogger leaves a short “thank you,” – I have nothing to talk to them about. There is always lots to say when you make comments here. Enjoy your week too! Summer is here, it seems. At least here it feels like it.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said. As someone who avoids confrontation, I’ve never had problems with lashing out, but I realised that I do internalise bad thoughts. Nowadays I’ve begun just being with those emotions instead of latching onto them, and it’s been doing wonders for my soul.

    After all, didn’t Viktor Frankl say that the time between the stimulus and our actions are where we hold the most power? Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for your comment, Stuart and I do like Viktor Frankl’s thoughts. He must be able to have such a measured response to interactions from interpreting others words and carefully considering how to react. That certainly is empowering. It is great that you are recognizing that you are internalizing those ‘bad’ thoughts. They are not helpful or supportive to your life. However, in saying that I wonder if fighting them is self-defeating. I have found much as you mentioned not latching on to them works for me. That is acknowledging the thoughts as they come and then observe them as they go. I use a “Riverbank analogy,” as this works best for me. I explain it at the end of this post:


  3. When I read this I thought of this joke

    A policeman on patrol calls his fellow cop on the station…
    COP 1: Hey, I got a weird case over here
    COP 2: What is it buddy?
    COP 1: I’m here at the front porch of an elderly couple’s house
    COP 2: So?
    COP 1: Someone called me to go to this house because they heard shouting and stuff. And you wouldn’t believe what happened…
    COP 2: What happened?
    COP 1: The wife stabbed her husband to death
    COP 2: How did you know?
    COP 1: As she opened the door, I saw her in tears, with fresh blood on her hands, the husband laying lifeless on the floor beside the murder weapon, and she told everything to me
    COP 2: What exactly happened before the murder?
    COP 1: Apparently she has just finished mopping the floor, and her husband just walked inside with his muddy boots on. I guess some pent-up anger just came to a boil.
    COP 2: Well, that’s sad. Have you arrested her?

    COP 1: Nope.

    COP 2: Why?

    COP 1: The floor’s still wet.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well said. Patience is more than a virtue, it is a life saver. I used to hurry through airports, eg, but realized it is far less stressful to take my time. I was sitting in a baggage claim area reading a book while others jostled for position at the carousel, when a woman noticed and said “I admire your ability to sit back and wait.” That meant a lot. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooo. I like that example of developing patience. Unless you are on a time schedule to get somewhere, why not take your time at the bag carousel. In reality, the seagulls-waiting-for-a-chip mentality of bag grabbing at the carousel only saves 5-10 minutes at most. It seems that you set the example to others as well, going by the woman’s comment.
      If we are able to fly overseas again, I am going to adopt your strategy too! A great suggestion.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The most difficult is practising it with the loved ones around you. I am an organiser, planning ahead, setting dates and times. My beloved will decide on the day wether to attend a party or go for a visit, leaving some detail like a present that has to be baught or is anyone at home slide. Needless to say, practising patience in such circumstances is harrowing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That will be a challenge for you, indeed. Especially one who has her mind playing out all sorts of contingencies and that seemingly gives you a sense of control over unpredictabilities. However, the future is a mental construct and change is a part of life. I think I would put faith in your ability to be manage any situation, and that faith comes from knowing that you have done everything you possibly could to manage contingencies. If anything happens like the friends are not home or the present is left unpurchased, you will have the capacity to manage on the hop. A bunch of flowers or an edible gift is often welcomed as much as a planned out purchase. Would you like to challenge yourself, appeltjie?


      1. Am doing it already. After 30 years of coping alone and bringing up a girl, being in a relationship and having to share responsibilities and decisions, are hard. But I think I am coping. Most of the time.


  6. Life itself has formed patience in me. Yet when I’m weary or overwhelmed and some of my buttons get pushed, patience can and does fly out the window. Patience in my opinion is a learned art.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So well said, AmyRose. Patience is a learned art. Many of us have to develop, nurture and practise it as it doesn’t come naturally to all of us. You make a good point there also that when we are fatigued, our self-control is sorely tested. That is when many of us have to take a little more care of ourselves more, recognizing our tolerance is going to be a lower at those times. In this way we might prepare ourselves mentally to accept that and stand back at a distance from our emotions and guarding that knee jerk response. Creating that space or distance between emotions is fundamentally important to overcoming frustrations for me. Something I am still practising. Does that make sense, AmyRose?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perfect sense. I know only too well patience takes practice and when my tolerance is low, how I have to check myself often not to fly off the handle. I don’t always succeed. Life at times can just be a wee much especially mine. But overall, I do my best and do succeed at maintaining calm by not being owned by those knee-jerk emotions. SMILE!


    1. It could be, but at least they have made a start by recognizing and being aware of that emotion. They just might not know what to do with it or how to deal with it if they have not had any examples. It is an oft used phrases these days, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah! Patience.
    Or the lack of it.
    As I read your post, I do a patience/frustration check on myself. I want to pat myself on the back for blowing my top so infrequently these days, that I can’t even remember the last time it happened. But before I can do that, I recall just yesterday 2 mornings ago, when my blood pressure was rising over the inconsiderate construction noises at early hours coming from across the street. There was a great deal of muttering under my breath in aggravation, until I was called to gratefulness when I was reading Laurie’s post (Notes from the HInterland).
    So, I guess I have a ways to go … but I am grateful for this community for the timely encouragement & support!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You sound like you have a very even temperament, Ju-Lyn and a gentle disposition. Tiredness or disturbances in our sleep certainly test our limits. Do you have a link for Laurie’s post? I would like to read it.


  8. Altho’ ‘manners maketh man’ oft made me appear calm and in control in the ‘olden days’ I oft felt irate if I thought a person or situation ‘stupid’. Somehow age has brought either what is called ‘maturity’ or I got lazy . . . these days many matters elicit more of a quiet roll of the eyes, a whispered ‘here we go again’ or just a realization high blood pressure and acid reflux are not matters which should be trifled with 🙂 ! There is a ‘grown-up’ feeling that simply walking away does not necessarily denote weakness ! But there still ARE days when I get on a high horse . . . somewhat ashamedly, in my case, that will mean a very, very ‘correct’ letter to the other party pointing out their ‘sins’ ever so correctly in virtually point form . . . not one bad word or show of temper – just a ‘how can anyone be so stupid I simply fail to understand’ . . . oh, only one this year 🙂 !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Road rage is on the increase isn’t it, Art? People are so stressed out there, but don’t realize road rage does an equal, or more, amount of harm to themselves.


  9. Terrific post with lots of great points. I consider myself a fairly patient person but I must admit that things can sometimes get under my goat, like muddy boots on a newly vacuumed carpet! And yeah, google has a lot to answer for!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Google does seem to be a pervasive installation in our lives, Miriam and we can certainly use it for good, whilst being cognizant of its subversive tebdencies to make us lazy or impatient. On Muddy boots – would you say it is not the boots themselves, but more the thought that the offender lacks empathy for our time or feelings?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Patience is essential for when you are at the mercy of others. Getting older we sometimes end up needing people to walk with us, drive us, care for us. It can be very frustrating if you havent learnt patience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great point there. When we start to lose our independence and have to rely on others to get around, we have to run on their schedule. Bit something I look forward to but again, it will be a lesson in practising patience. If we haven’t developed it by then, we don’t have much time left to practise it. I suppose it brings up another matter. That is patience with our own body. Ageing prevents us from doing things we want to do.


      1. Very true. People may not realise that the person you are frustrated with is in fact yourself not them. You remember who you were rather than who you are now. So guess it is being patient ant being kind to yourself too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Absolutely, that is quite important in taking care of our own mental wellbeing. If we are well ourselves, we can help and be kind to others and are much more accepting of frustrations.

          Liked by 1 person

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