Where do frustrations come from?

Drawing by Adrian Serghie

Our inner universe is so complex that we end up having different thoughts and emotions without knowing where the hell they come from. Obviously, that’s where frustrations come from, but what actually triggers them? What creates them? Is there anything we can do about them? Should we do something about them?

I believe we need to take into considerations where frustrations come from because they have a big influence over our lives. A big chunk of our negative emotions comes from our frustrations so if we understand them, we might be able to eliminate some of those emotions.

Frustrations and wishes

   “In psychology, frustration is a common emotional response to opposition, related to anger, annoyance and disappointment, frustration arises from the perceived resistance to the fulfillment of an individual’s will or goal and is likely to increase when a will or goal is denied or blocked. There are two types of frustration; internal and external. Internal frustration may arise from challenges in fulfilling personal goals, desires, instinctual drives and needs, or dealing with perceived deficiencies, such as a lack of confidence or fear of social situations. Conflict, such as when one has competing goals that interfere with one another, can also be an internal source of frustration and can create cognitive dissonance. External causes of frustration involve conditions outside an individual’s control, such as a physical roadblock, a difficult task, or the perception of wasting time.” – Wikipedia

So frustrations arise when something blocks us to do what we want to do. Sometimes we’re the blockers, that that’s a whole different topic. Now, what can we do about it? We want something and we get blocked. What’s the solution?

I think the solution is to try to see beyond the blocker. If we feel stuck, the frustrations get bigger and bigger, but if we can try to find a way to overcome it, the frustrations will slowly disappear. And as a bonus, the habit of seeing beyond blockers will start to develop and it will become stronger and stronger. Of course, that’s the ideal way to deal with frustrations. The first impulse would be to act aggressively because it’s easier compared to trying to handle the frustration. Emotions are always blockers.

How do you deal with frustrations?

27 thoughts on “Where do frustrations come from?

  1. Great post! An interpretation of emotions that I have found useful is that emotions predispose us to taking particular actions. Perhaps this is why the first instinct with frustration is to become aggressive; perhaps frustration itself is predisposing us to that action. I like your suggestion of seeing beyond the blocker. I see emotions as signs that something within us needs to be taken care of and so I ask myself what it is within me that needs taking care and has led to me feeling the emotion that I am feeling. From there, it usually feels as though I can make a choice about the action that I take, and I don’t feel limited to only taking the predisposed action (aggression in the case of this example of frustration). Thank you for this post; for me it triggered some very useful reflection and I am very grateful.

  2. Frustration is one of the many flaws we pick up through our environment. This continuous “weakness” is being reinforced daily.
    If we can achieve to control this inevitable mannerism, we would accomplish wonders.

      1. very interesting. what would you say to the assertion that they (frustrations, or in fact any emotion) wouldn’t have existed without external facts, but don’t have their causes rooted in the world? Maybe that emotions aren’t rooted into the world, but are projected into it as a way of making sense of it?

      2. Let’s not forget that frustration it’s an emotional response, its function it’s reactive in nature. We get frustrated because of something, and frustration is one of many ways we react because of that “something” that happens. Now if we could learn a different way to react when something goes wrong, then we could accomplish much more.

      3. interesting. I wonder, could we say exactly what kind of a response an emotion is, specifically, for the sake of argument, frustration? How do you feel about the assertion that emotions aren’t responses exactly, but creations, from the mind, to our consciousness? For example, the world is nebulous in its orderings, events, meanings… the mind could produce an emotion, not as a response, but as a translation, assessment, or even as a means of giving a useful level of coherency to our experience. The response could come after, or even because of, the emotion?

      4. I like to think that an emotion is an assessment and/or experience based response. Regardless if the experience is labeled “emotion” or “creation”, it is consciously or subconsciously impacted by our environment.

      1. It’s an ongoing working process of learning how to listen, analyze, then respond (if necessary).
        Of course it’s easier said then done 🤦🏾‍♂️!

  3. Whenever something goes out of our way, our first response is frustration. But we have to accept that the problem can’t be solved by being frustrated, we have to think of solution.
    But our brain is so fond of excuses I think, that to save energy it wants to find a excuse and let us frustrated. .human brain is perhaps something, we know very less about.

    1. Both of those are good examples since frustration is some kind of stress reaction. Both meditation and physical activities are great for stress reduction.

      1. One lives and learns and grows. I still love to walk. Walking is my spiritual need. But meditation- Single cure for all human suffering 😊🙏

  4. I think that emotions are our mind’s attempts to make better sense of the world. If, for example, someone took my cup of tea and drank it whilst I was getting ready for work, I would be annoyed at them because in my mind I construct the percept ‘This is a thing to be annoyed about, and it is happening to me, therefore I am annoyed’. Further, a negative emotion, such as annoyance, conveys the fact that objects ‘x’ around which we are annoyed, should not be a part of the world in a fair world. If I feel frustrated about something, it is because it is a difficult obstacle and upsets our equanimity so that we can recognise it better as an obstacle and concentrate better on overcoming it. Interesting article sir.

    1. Thank you for reading and for your insightful comment! I’m wondering about the idea that emotions are our mind’s attempts to make better sense of the world. What if our mind has some wrong core beliefs? Are the triggered emotions helpful? Do they bring better sense of the world?

  5. I would say do anything to reduce stress! If you’ll get in to the stress wheel it might be tough getting out of it by continuing doing what are getting you frustrated. It’s better dropping it for a while and then come back to it. Trust me, I know. I’m working with assassments for my students in this very moment 🤣

    1. In this case, I’m honored you tool your time to read this! I totally agree with this because stress doesn’t go away if we do the same things over and over again. In fact, it adds up to the point it creates physical illnesses if it’s not reduced in any other way.

  6. Great post that should be read by all, i suppose. Most of the crimes and suicides are the cause of frustration. I don’t know how i exactly deal it with it 😐😐 At times i just shut up and run away to a solitary place where i can drain all the negativity and sober up. Sometimes, i resort to reading novels or simply crying. It’s not a hard and fast rule to be strong always. Frustration is just a phase that will eventually pass away!!!

    1. So basically you try to do something to eliminate it. Yes, frustration is just a phase, but if we don’t deal with it somehow, it really f*cks with us.

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