TransparentC - I'm Frustrated!
Today with TransparentC I want to share with you how I work through frustration. Throughout the week I found myself in situations where I had to proactively address my frustration. In the past I've noticed if I find myself frustrated frequently in a short period of time, there is usually an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. It becomes an indicator to me that I really need to take some time to self reflect. This week there were two situations that stood out the most.
Situation 1: I had been expecting a delivery only to find out it was never ordered. As other deliveries came I asked my husband about this specific item. He then informed me we were not expecting any other deliveries. I became frustrated because when I last checked the cart, it was there. Now, the simple answer would have been to simply order the item. But, that is not how that played out.
Instead, I went back and forth with him about why it should have been in the cart. I was determined to be right, but being right did not change my situation. Not having this item put a delay on fixing another issue I had, clutter. At this point, I'm frustrated because I've been expecting something that is not coming and now I have two unresolved issues. As I mentioned in my previous blog, we recently moved. Clutter in the first week of unpacking was ok, but going into the second and third week I just wanted everything in place.
So, our debate on if the item was in the cart or not accomplished nothing. It got to a point where I simply just walked away. I sat in my office venting my frustrations to myself trying to calm down. We simply could have just order the missing item. But, in my frustration, I wanted to be right. So, I went back out to share another reason why I felt I was right and he wasn't. Then I went back into my office. This time, I actively acknowledged I needed to address my frustration and that my current behavior was not ok.
Situation 2: Work. I don't know about you, but some days I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall. If you ever worked customer service then you know you can tell a customer something until you are blue in the face, and they still won't get it. And sometimes policies, updates, and other changes can also get frustrating. This day, it was a combination. Some customers were on 10, and I was called out on some incorrect information I provided one of our customers. Even now I want to defend myself, but I'll skip that and get straight to the point. I was immediately frustrated. Frustrated with irritating customers in whom attitudes I could not match, and frustrated with updates to a company policy that was not clear in expectation. So what did I do?
Here is how I address frustration:
Breathe - When I'm frustrated my heart rate increases, my shoulders and neck tense up, and sometimes my stomach aches. I can feel it coming, yet in the moment I'm unable to prevent it. Intentional, slow, and steady breaths may seem simple, but it helps.
Be quiet/Step away- Before I say what I want to say and can't take back, I step away. But, sometimes you can't step away. In those situations, I just zip it. That's right! I don't say another word. I go back to my breathing and take a moment of silence. Let's be honest, holding your tongue is a challenge, and sometimes reverses all the accomplished work from previous attempt to calm down.
Breathe - Again, not saying or doing what I really want to say and do is a form of self denial. Unfortunately, self denial can trigger that increase in heart rate again. It can be physically taxing to deny yourself. Have you ever had stomach aches because you didn't cuss someone out when they had it coming? (Oh...maybe that's just me lol).
Vent-I believe this is an important step, although not as important as the next step. At some point you do have to get your thoughts and frustrations out. I usually do this by venting out loud in a space by myself, or journaling. But, what this does is allow me to put things into perspective. Sometimes I vent, and after hearing myself I can honestly admit I sound crazy and I'm tripping lol. And it other times, I realized I needed to find a better way to express how I was feeling. Allowing this time and space to vent can help prevent friendly fire. Our words can easily become weapons. I'm sure we've all had a moment where the words we used to express ourselves were not fruitful. Feelings can be communicated without destroying others.
Pray-Now some may say, why is this so far down the list. And the answer is, because when I'm frustrated my flesh quickly grabs the reigns. I have to be intentional on paying attention to this so I can shift back to walking in the Spirit. After I vent to myself, I vent to God. And sometimes this happens simultaneously. I mean he already knows, so this is an unfiltered talk with God. I'm saying it with my chest lol.
Breathe- Yup. I'm doing this again. It's honestly happening the whole process, because I find myself getting hyped up as a new thought arrives that I shouldn't say but want to soo bad. By this time I'm starting to officially calm down and this calm is more steady.
Reflect - Was I overreacting? Was I wrong? How can I address the situation in a healthy way? How can I address this with grace and love, but still share my concerns? I ask the questions that determine what the next move will be. In some situations my next move is simply to let it go and do nothing, letting the wave of emotion pass. In other situations the issue has to be addressed. (In this stage I'm usually also playing some relaxing music, which for me is usually Christ focused.)
Pray some more- This is when I ask the Lord how do I move in wisdom and understanding. What is the best way to resolve this situation. Do I need to apologize? Recognize that I must forgive!
Act/Respond- Now I'm more calm and I put to action what I received in reflection and prayer.
This process has no time limit for me. I've done this in 3 minutes. And in other situations, it's more like 3+ hours. So how did I resolve my previous issues? With my husband I realized I overreacted, and I apologized for my behavior. We ordered the item and it will be delivered next week. With work, I continued my breathing until my shift was over lol. In this case, no response was the best response. I followed up with another supervisor regarding the situation the next day when I was more level headed.
I hope this was helpful for someone. We can't escape our emotions. It is a part of who we are. God created us with emotions. However, our life should not be controlled by our emotions. We must take ownership over how we respond to the different emotions we experience. Welcome the creator to help you manage what he created! He creates with purpose, let's be sure to glorify him even in our emotions.
~Adventures w/ TransparentC