Dealing with frustration is a natural aspect of every relationship. Sometimes the stressful feelings can stem from something a partner has done or said, or they may come from a feeling of disappointment or anger that personal standards or expectations were not met within the relationship. How someone deals with these frustrations can have a large effect on how successful people are in maintaining healthy relationships.
Take a breath before diving in to dealing with frustration, notes Dr. Judith Orloff, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA. Taking a moment or two to think about what is bothering you and how you want to deal with it may prevent you from acting in anger. Some issues may need to be addressed immediately, but some concerns may best be discussed at a later time.
Use "I" Statements
Instead of placing blame, which can increase the intensity of a conflict, "I" statements allow each person to identify his thoughts and feelings without the other person feeling the need to defend herself. Kim Peterson, a licensed professional counselor, suggests that "I" statements can help improve the way conflicts are dealt with. Try saying "I" feel when... or "I" need ... instead of pointing out what the other person is doing wrong or accusing him of upsetting you.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is an investment in your own well-being as well as the well-being of your relationship. Daily stresses can take a toll on your body and mind. Eat well, stay hydrated and get enough sleep. When you are tired, hungry or exhausted, you are more likely to become bothered by minor things that your partner does.
Invest in Fun
A good laugh is a great way to diffuse tension. No matter what is going on within your relationship, always look for ways to have fun together. It can be easy to fixate on problems within a relationship, but it can really benefit couples to engage in activities that are enjoyable and bring joy and laughter. This is a wonderful way to remember why you got together in the first place and may help put other frustrations into perspective.
- Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images