Connecting with our anger in productive ways occurs when we enquire of our annoyances whilst we still easily bear them.
At a highly piqued awareness—perhaps we could call it pre-frustration—we have not waited until the pot is about to boil over. We watch that pot, which is our propensity to flare into a rage, closely, and we monitor it in order to learn from it.
We watch it so that we can learn, for wisdom comes from being a student of one’s self, and not just as a student of life and of other people. God wants us interrogating our own psyches.
Anger can teach us much, but frustration and annoyances even more.
It’s better to pay careful attention to the activators of our anger which manifest through feelings of our frustration and annoyance.
Exploring Our Personal and Interpersonal Frustration
We might wonder if we’ve ever taken the time to write a list of the things that annoy us. When we have such knowledge we can ask ourselves, why?
Forearmed is forewarned, they say, and knowing the things that drive us to distraction—and, more importantly why—helps us manage our frustration and it gives us better control over our anger.
The question of why can be intriguing or even frustrating of its own accord if we don’t know why. But we will never know unless we ask the question and explore it within our minds and even within conversations with other people—“why does this/that frustrate me?” “Does it frustrate others, similarly?” “Is it a problem to be frustrated by this?” “What are the consequences of this frustration?” “Is there potential that I could blow my top?”
These are all important questions, but the most important question is always why.
Accepting That We Will Have Frustrations
Once we have a good understanding of what frustrations we have, and why it is we have these frustrations, we can set about doing what work we can to manage them.
Part of this workload is coming to a healthy acceptance that we will have frustrations.
Further than this, as thinking and feeling persons, with personalities quite unique, we will have views based on the values and beliefs we hold dear. Frustrations emanate out of these, but we should be conscious of them.
The frustrations that occur that we are not conscious of, regarding the why, are the ones we want to understand—these might speak to our character flaws; those things we don’t like about ourselves; those things that other people incite from within us in manifest anger for the things we can’t seem to change about ourselves.
Being aware of what frustrates us and why is a good thing. Frustrations, when we learn about them, and why we have them, can help us by converting our anger energies into healthier responses. Frustrations and annoyances can be useful early warnings to prevent full-blown rage.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.