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What Are Your Private Frustrations?

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Several things happen throughout the day that privately frustrate you. Of course, you do not respond to each frustration similarly. You may rank some of these frustrations as low or high priority. The rank you assign to the frustrating experience determines your response.


These frustrations can come from internal or external sources; they can ruin your day and are usually misaligned with your values. The values guiding your thoughts and feelings influence your behaviors. Further, your values shape your boundaries, which can be frustrating when someone crosses them intentionally or unintentionally. Below are three considerations for dealing with your private frustrations.


Step 1


The first step to dealing with your frustrations is to recognize when they happen. Below are some examples of internal and external frustrations:

  • When someone asks, “How are you doing?” Then ignore your answer.

  • Feeling dismissed after raising a concern about how you feel.

  • Someone made a joke that went too far.

  • When you overshare and realize you cannot retract what you shared.

  • You learn you were lied to by a close friend.

  • You were involved in a conflict and did not stand up for yourself.

  • You feel you let an opportunity pass you by because you reacted slowly.

  • You feel pressured by the salesperson at the furniture store.

  • Feeling disappointed when your proposal or idea is rejected.

  • Someone who wronged you is unwilling to take responsibility for their actions.

  • You feel criticized for a mistake instead of the person suggesting how you could correct the error.

  • Other ____________________________________________________________________

Step 2


Once you recognize when your frustrations occur, in step 2, you can try using sentence stems to examine your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to your experiences identified in step 1. Sentence stems are versatile and suitable for any situation.

  • As I get frustrated, I feel…

  • My frustrations feel like…

  • My thoughts as I get frustrated are…

  • When I am frustrated, my behaviors are…

  • Are my private frustrations a result of my trying to control the situation…

  • What role do my personal preferences play…

  • Do I feel a sense of powerlessness to change the situation…

  • Do I find the situation to be threatening, hence my reaction…

  • When I am frustrated, first I…then I…next I…

  • Based on my previous behavior patterns, when frustrated, I tend to…

  • My automatic response… when frustrated is…

  • Does my automatic response… de-escalate… or escalate the situation…

  • Create your sentence stem ___________________________________

Step 3


You identified when your private frustrations happen and explored how they affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Consider how frustrations impact you and your interpersonal relationships by performing a cost-benefit analysis of your thoughts and behaviors when frustrated. In addition, you can consider putting your thoughts on trial.


It is possible that your private frustrations can result in aggression. However, should you develop an awareness of these frustrations, there is an increased chance of de-escalating these frustration-provoking situations before becoming aggressive.


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