BlogAnti-Frustration Techniques

July 14, 2023by Frank Love0

In my previous blog, “I’m Sorry You Feel That Way,” we looked at the important elements that make up a sincere (and successful) apology. Today’s blog post will share some techniques for addressing the frustration we sometimes feel in our loving relationships.

Frustration is God’s way of telling us we are not prepared to deal with something. When we feel frustrated, anxious, or simply angry, we can digest the uncomfortable experience we may be having, and hopefully it will inspire us to take healthy action and learn a new skill or perspective.

One thing that frustrates me is frustrated people. People who are yelling at me. People with unreasonable expectations. People who seem unnecessarily combative. Yes, I find myself getting frustrated at these individuals.

During a recent conversation with myself, I found some clarity about my disposition (which isn’t always easy when we are in the situation—and when we are the advisor, teacher, and blogger). I was reflecting on a time when I was frustrated. Here is the conversation (with myself) that ensued:

Me (asking): What were you frustrated about?

Me (answering): The way the other individual seemed to be disinterested in a solution but simply wanted to fight.

Me (asking): Why did that frustrate you?

Me (answering): Because I am not interested in fighting with that individual. I want to harmoniously work through the issue.

Me (asking): What did you do as a result of the way you perceived their actions?

Me (answering): I pushed back. I got frustrated.

Me (asking): Did that lead to a resolution?

Me (answering): No. The situation got worse.

This conversation was important as it led me to do some soul-searching. How can I effectively deal with a seemingly frustrated person without getting frustrated too?

When someone appears angry, irritable, or frustrated when talking to us, we can:

  1. Be sensitive

Sensitivity is important in all situations. This is an absolute. Sensitivity requires we pay attention to the various dynamics related to whomever we are dealing with.

And when we are not sensitive, it is important we realize it. We cannot be equally sensitive to everything all the time. However, we can be sensitive to the person standing in front of us. We can be sensitive to what they appear to want and to what they say they want.

Another way of expressing this is to demonstrate to our partner that we care about them and what they are expressing to us.

    2. Ask for a minute.

When the intensity in the air is high, consider requesting a short break and then returning to iron things out. Our intention is to identify a situation that is ripe for escalation and take a minute to breathe and possibly de-escalate.

Perhaps “What you have to say and your concern(s) matters to me. Can you give me a few minutes?” Or “I was in the middle of doing something else. I promise I will be right back, and you’ll have my full attention.”

3. Understand the expectation

What would you like to see come from this interaction? I have witnessed the magic of this question firsthand. Few other questions disarm while also saying, I want to know how to resolve this situation. This question cuts to the chase and suggests that we are invested.

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These are a few strategies that we can use when we are invested in resolving a tumultuous situation; instead of making it worse.  

Winning and fighting are not the makings of a long-term loving relationship. And instead of automatically going into defense (and offense) mode when we are confronted with a moment that is potentially triggering, let’s go the other way.  

Let’s avoid becoming frustrated when our partner is frustrated. In fact, let’s simply be loving.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

In my next blog post, “Apologize for Your Dealbreaker,” I will talk about a particular frustration of mine, partners that bring dealbreakers into their loving relationships.

Watch Frank Love’s presentation “The Act of Caring.”


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Each week, Frank Love hosts Zoom support group meetings that assist women and men as we work to create a loving culture in our relationships. Calls occur from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST and can be accessed by visiting FrankWeeklyCall.com.


  • Tuesdays—Black Women: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships
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Frank Love coaches individuals toward creating a loving culture in their family. He is also the author of Relationship Conversations You Don’t Want to Have (But Should Anyway) and 25 Ways to Be Loving. To schedule a free consultation, contact Frank at Frank@FrankLove.com.

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