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4 Healthy Ways To Deal With Frustration Toward Someone You Care About

When you're frustrated, it's easy to become resentful and bitter. Those negative feelings are uncomfortable and can be hard to deal with. It feels right to repress rather than express them at the moment, but that only gives those feelings more power.

It might help to know that there are healthy ways of expressing or dealing with frustration in a relationship if you feel frustrated often. Expressing your frustrations is not always easy, but it can benefit the person you care about and yourself in the long run.

Read on to learn how to effectively express frustration so your relationship remains healthy and thrives instead of sinking into resentment and bitterness.

Communicate your feelings as soon as you're aware of them.

Communication is vital in any relationship, but you may be surprised how many people overlook this fundamental rule and forget to communicate about their emotions.

If you start to feel frustration toward your partner, try to communicate those feelings as soon as you notice them. Don't bottle up your emotions and let them fester until they become so big that they're hard to handle.

This can be challenging for many because they probably don't realize that they are ignoring what's bothering them. These patterns of repression may have started a long time ago, and you may repress the frustration without thinking about it.

Learning to communicate about how you feel is critical, and not from the context of you created this emotion for me, but more from the context of curiosity. So, for example, you might say, "I'm not sure why, but when I come into the bathroom, and the toilet seat is up every morning, I feel frustration."

So often, frustration at the moment triggers something deeper within—a more profound hurt that has not been resolved. Building on the example above, it might be that you never felt heard as a child, leaving you angry and frustrated. Through exploration, you can find the connections.

Set healthy boundaries.

Relationships are all about give and take, but you don't have to give away your own needs and desires. Healthy relationships have boundaries that both partners are conscious of and willing to respect. Healthy boundaries are not set in stone and don't need to be permanent. They can change as your situation changes and as you grow as individuals. 

For example, at the beginning of a relationship, you and your partner might spend every weekend together, but as your relationship progresses, you might need the odd weekend alone or with friends. A healthy relationship will be open to this conversation.

So, if you need a certain boundary in your relationship, let your partner know. Respect their boundaries, and keep an open dialogue about any issues as your relationship grows.

Learn together and give each other space to grow.

You don't always have to be on the same page at the same time. You can learn and grow together as a couple, but you don't have to do everything at once.

For example, you might want to buy a condo together, but one of you might want to finish school first. Or one of you has always wanted to start a business while the other is happy with their job.

Differences are bound to exist in any relationship and can be a source of vibrance and learning about one another. Instead of resisting or ignoring them, try to embrace the differences for the gifts that they are.

By giving each other the space to grow, you strengthen your relationship and allow yourselves to deal with any frustrations as they arise.

Take a break and enjoy your own company every now and again.

Sometimes, taking a break from the people you care about is good. In fact, this can actually help you enjoy your relationship more. 

When you are alone without the person you care about, it helps you put things into perspective. The key is not to ruminate over your frustration but to explore those feelings with curiosity.

  • What might be going on here with me?

  • Have I ever felt this way before in a relationship?

  • What do I want for myself in this relationship?

By answering these simple questions, you can maintain a connection to your love and appreciation for the person you care about and clearly articulate what is going on for you.

Spending time alone is a healthy way to regulate, and you'll return to your relationship refreshed and renewed.

Bottom line: You shouldn't have to feel bad for expressing yourself

Relationships are constantly changing and evolving, so it's normal to feel frustrated from time to time. However, remember that you don't have to be ashamed of expressing yourself and your needs. Instead, frustration and anger serve as signals that something needs to be resolved. When handled with curiosity, they can be done in a compassionate and relationship-strengthening way.

In fact, most people think of a healthy relationship as one in which they can be open and honest with their partner.

If expressing frustration still feels scary, you can also ask for help from a Coach or Counsellor. By sitting down and working through it, you may find that your frustrations are from a place of insecurity or rooted in some other experience you have not released. Please know that your frustration must be honoured and not ignored; your body, mental health and overall wellness will thank you.

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