On the other hand, some folks seem to have perfected frustration to an art form. They’re actually good at it and seem to be comfortable in a state of frustration. Why do they do that? What are they getting out of being frustrated? What are the benefits of being frustrated?
The 7 Benefits (pay-offs) of Staying Frustrated:
- When you’re frustrated, you become an automatic member of the “Ain’t it Awful Club.” This is a very big group. They meet in coffee rooms and restaurants worldwide. Everyone gets lots of morale support and that feels good. Feeling good is a pay-off.
- You get to feel better about yourself by focusing on how bad or stupid something or someone else is. You know, the blame game and all that. Out of this comes a short-lived and false sense of improved self-esteem. It doesn’t last long but it can feel good in the moment.
- When you’re frustrated you get to compete in the, “I got it worse” competition. Remember that scene in the movie Jaws, in the hull of the ship, when the Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfus began to talk about their wounds? It was hysterical and a good example of how much fun people can have topping each other’s tales of misery. Fun is a pay-off.
- Expressing frustration can be a great way to generate sympathy and love from friends and family. “You poor thing” can feel real good after a long day. It doesn’t fix anything but it can feel good in the moment.
- Staying stuck in frustration is risk-free! Avoiding the risk of taking action feels very good to some.
- Frustration can be viewed as an image booster. “See how important I am to be so stressed out?” Society really supports the nobility of struggle.
- Frustration can foster self-pity. The distracting and numbing effects of feeling sorry for ourselves is often favored over taking action or responsibility for situations. [EXPERT]
The 7 Costs of Frustration
- Frustration is an energy zapper.
- Frustration robs us of our productivity and wastes time.
- When we’re frustrated, we give “power” to another person or situation. That can make us feel helpless and out of control. And that’s enraging.
- If frustrations are ignored or unrecognized they can ferment into depression, anxiety or boredom.
- Being frustrated can sour relationships. Venting our frustrations on those we care about most (because we assume they will forgive us) can have a sad and negative impact on everyone.
- Feeling frustrated lowers our self-esteem and self-respect, since a part of us knows we could change things if we took some action.
- Frustration taints our view of the world. It’s like looking through a muddy distorted lens. [EXPERT]