Frustration is a normal human response. It can get out of hand and escalate to anger if not handled well. As submissives, we seem to deal with frustration more openly than others in the lifestyle.
Let's start with a definition from Wikipedia about frustration.
In psychology, frustration is a common emotional response to opposition. Related to anger and disappointment, it arises from the perceived resistance to the fulfillment of individual will. The greater the obstruction, and the greater the will, the more the frustration is likely to be. Causes of frustration may be internal or external. In people, internal frustration may arise from challenges in fulfilling personal goals and desires, instinctual drives and needs, or dealing with perceived deficiencies, such as a lack of confidence or fear of social situations. Conflict can also be an internal source of frustration; when one has competing goals that interfere with one another, it can create cognitive dissonance. External causes of frustration involve conditions outside an individual, such as a blocked road or a difficult task. While coping with frustration, some individuals may engage in passive–aggressive behavior, making it difficult to identify the original cause(s) of their frustration, as the responses are indirect. A more direct, and common response, is a propensity towards aggression.
I love this definition because it is so detailed in how it impacts a person as well as some root causes of frustration. What can we do about frustration?
Don't sweat the small stuff
Not everything is small stuff but when it is we shouldn't let it bother us as much as we tend to do. Ask yourself if this is something you feel will continue to bother you tomorrow if it's not resolved right now. If it will, then you should look for a resolution for it. If it isn't then let it slide. It's not worth the stress that frustration brings you. I know on many occasions I find myself with a short trigger and anything can frustrate me. In these times I have to learn to let some things go as just not with the effort. You can do that too.
As submissives, we like to please people. We tend to have problems saying "no" to even the most complicated requests for assistance. We overburden ourselves often without even realizing it till it is too late. If you can learn to say "yes" only to things that you feel will be a self-affirming thing then you can help cut down on the level of stress you are applying to yourself by using up your time in ways you don't want to.
Realize no one is perfect, even you.
I know I have a perfection complex. When I submit in any way I want it to be perfect. Any flaw that I notice will frustrate me to no end. But I really need to let that go, can you? Perfection isn't what you need to strive for. You need to strive for happiness and comfort in yourself. People aren't meant to be perfect, we are meant to be unique. Allow your service to be unique and you will be much happier and less frustrated with yourself.
That's right, I can hear you sigh. I know it isn't easy to be patient. We all would do a bit better in this rushing age if we practiced a little patience.
Can you recognize the physical symptoms of frustration?
- tense muscles
- upset stomach
- react without thinking
- aggressive behavior
Readers, how do you handle frustration and prevent it from becoming anger? What does your Dominant do to help you overcome the frustrations that come with submission? Any other tips you'd like to contribute?