Dealing with Frustration


Let’s face it. You’ll still be disappointed at times.

It takes time to be funny. Now here’s the important thing: don’t talk negatively to yourself (and this applies to every area of your life).

Have you ever had experience where you told yourself you were good at something and in turn grew better and better?

It works the other way round too. If after some small failure (which is bound to happen) you tell yourself things like, “Forget it. I’m just not a funny guy” or “I’m not born with it”—sure enough—you’ll never become a funny guy.


The first way is to simply brush it off, like:

“I have a boyfriend.”

“Hey, we’ve just known each other for like 3 minutes and you already started to confide in me… What’s this all about?”

One effective way of handling rejection is the “out of proportion technique”.

  • Visualize the people who were involved in your frustrating experience.
  • Distort their appearances and as well as the surroundings. Play some funny “mental music” in the background. Imagine that everyone has turned into a clown dancing in the most foolish way.
  • You’ll immediately feel much better.

General Obstacles

Here I’m going to teach another technique many psychiatrists use to deal with negative (or horrible) experiences. It will surely work even if the “out of proportion technique” fails you. In fact, you can use this method to handle any frustration or obstacle.

This method is based on something called “sub-modalities”.

Most of us think, feel, and recall things in the form of mental pictures. (Certain people, such as the blind, experience life in the form of mental sounds.) And sub-modalities are the various internal attributes of the mental pictures we construct in our mind on a minute-to-minute basis.

These pictures are extremely closely associated with our feelings. In fact, they are our internal representation of the world. By modifying the attributes of the negative internal representations we can shift our feelings from frustration to motivation, fear to courage, sadness to happiness, and so on.

Now read the following instructions carefully before closing your eyes and carrying them out. If you find it hard to do on your own with eyes closed, go and find a partner.

  1. Recall the last time when you were discouraged by dating or attracting women. Go back to that very point in time and feel it.
  2. Construct in your mind the exact situation where you felt discouraged. Take a good look at the picture you have in mind.
  3. Notice whether you are looking at yourself or looking at things through “your mind’s eye”.
  4. Notice the size of the picture. Does the frame occupy only a small portion of the vision? How far is the picture away from you?
  5. Notice the brightness of the picture. Were you in a dark room or were you reading by dim lamp by your desk?
  6. Notice what posture you had, and your facial expressions. How about your breathing rate?
  7. Are you hearing any sound? If not, what would you say to yourself in that situation?
  8. For any of the question above, if you cannot remember, just imagine what you would do if you were placed in that frustrating mood once again.

Probably you don’t feel very good after the above process. I don’t mean to let you suffer from this exercise. But here’s an important point… Often we were discouraged only once, yet we intensified the unpleasant experience by constantly thinking about it. And sometimes we think about it to the extent that any related actions become scary and we stop performing them.

Remember the last time when you need to do your homework as a child? The homework itself wasn’t that bad, but by repetitively telling yourself it’s such a horrible chore, you were convinced by yourself that it’s better to put it off!

Now, read the following instruction again before following them one by one:

  1. Repeat step 1 to step 8 of the above
  2. Now imagine yourself manually altering the picture with the immense power of your mind
  3. Change the viewing angle of the picture. If you were inside your body, step out, vice versa.
  4. Change the size of the picture. If it was small, blow it up. If it was too near, push it away until it shrinks to a point.
  5. Change the lighting of the picture. If it was dark, fill in light, until it is dazzling, vice versa.
  6. Change your own body. Sit up, breath in confidently, and have a motivating look on your face.
  7. Say to yourself in the picture, “come on, we can do it!”, “do it now!”, “it’ll be fun!”, etc.
  8. Open your eyes.

Feeling much better now, right? Continue practicing this. Intensify the attributes of the picture in the second part, and experience the increase in your motivation level.