Seniors: Lessons for Coping with Frustration

Feb 16th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Don’t know about you, but frustration and I have an ongoing altercation.  Just when I think I have the upper hand, frustration slips a right thrust toward my left chin and I’m down in a minute.  Just how and why that is, I am yet to understand. 

I don’t like to be in a tussle where it is clear I am going to go down.  But go down I do.  Most of the time it is because I just don’t know how to handle myself on the field of battle. In the 8th grade I remember when, at lunch time, Vernon got the best of me.  He told me he would and he did.  He maneuvered my head between a rock wall, about a foot high, and an oak tree and proceeded to beat the bejesus out of me.  It was humbling, frustrating and painful.

Most of those experiences are, by now, of course, things of the past.  They hold neither fear or embarassment. I have long since put them behind me.  I have overcome most of the frustrating defeats that came with growing up, but I haven’t conquered them all.  Frustration, some  how, still has a way of rearing its head even in older age.  We still seek for the lessons of humility, though we still wish for the sweet smell of victory.

The most likely way that is to happen is to choose reason over force, good judgment over anger, calm over disdain.  Past 70, the lessons of life make a lot more sense.  Stupid choices, unreasonable reactions, baiting behavior never lead to any wholesome or helpful outcome.  Frustration is a negative response to a negative environment.  When it takes control everybody loses. Learning to cope with conflict which is born of frustration is learning to choose mature behavior over childish insulting actions, both for yourself and others.  Learning to be a person who understands the difference between solid common sense and stupid anger will get you much further in relationships and along life’s path toward success and acceptance. 

No matter where you are on life’s journey, choose to work out the differences you may experience with others before you ever say a word, lift a hand, or threaten a gesture.  Your own ability to demonstrate maturity will make an enormous difference in your being respected by others.



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