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Deeper Than Frustration

Frustration is often a word that is overused in therapy. Many people may describe themselves as frustrated as a way of skirting deeper, more troubling feelings. Frustration is describing annoyance, irritation, or helplessness related to an inability to make things work the way you want them to. From a therapeutic context it is important to identify the deeper feelings that underly the assertion of frustration.

The deeper emotions that are often covered by a description of being frustrated can be anywhere from anger, anxiety, or sadness. Frustration feels like a safer emotion rather than admitting to being hurt, uncertain, or overwhelmed. However, if you are not willing to dig into the deeper feelings, they will continue to come back stronger and more difficult to handle.

Guilt and shame may also be covered by frustration, as in essence you are frustrated with yourself and your behavior. A sense of being unable to move on from something that happened or something that you’ve done can feel frustrating. What is really happening is that you are avoiding the confrontation of your deeper feelings of guilt and/or shame, and what that means for your worth as an individual.

Next time you feel frustrated, take a moment to explore your thoughts and feelings. You may discover that there is much more truth in describing yourself as angry, sad, anxious, guilty or shameful. When you give the right name to the feeling, then you will be able to figure out how to work through it.

Original material found at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/friendship-20/201909/frustrated-theres-probably-another-emotion-beneath