About Frustration vs. Anger

    Kids and adults feel frustrated when they can't reduce one or more discomforts (fill current needs). Many survivors of low-nurtur-ance childhoods are taught to mask or repress this primal emotion. They're not taught to distinguish frustration from anger, which usu-ally follows feeling threatened or hurt. Anger and frustration feel sim-ilar, and have different causes and solutions.

    When your true Self guides your personality s/he can calmly use frustration to discern frustration, identify unmet needs, and problem-solve. A false self may (a) confuse frustration with anger and react impulsively rather than problem-solve. Reactions like yelling, swear-ing, denying, and repressing often add new needs, increase frustra-tions ("stress"), and can corrode self respect and relation-ships.

        To use frustration (a) keep your true Self in charge (Lesson 1 here), (b) develop awareness of your inner and outer environments, (c) distinguish frustration from anger, and (d) view both emotions as normal and useful. Lesson-2 basics and skills can help you express frustration effectively and to use it to identify and fill current needs.

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