On frustration

Prompted by some recent experiences of meetings where a lot of friction was on display including by me I searched this blog to remind myself of this quote from Donald Factor.

In my experience frustration is the one thing that is universal in a group’s experience and this appears to also be the case in our entire culture… It could be argued that a great deal of our culture is dedicated to distracting us from our frustrations in an attempt at defusing them. The painful experience of frustration is, therefore, something that needs to be sustained in the dialogue so that its meaning can be displayed and understood. I have come to suspect that frustration may have to be seen as the crucial motivating force that can drive the dialogue deeper into unknown territory and thus toward the experience of creative insight.

I observed back in 2004,

What often happens in groups is that it (frustration) is just suppressed by some and acted-out by others in a way that dramatically lowers the energy of discussion.

As I think of my recent experiences, I have to smile at the thought that my 2004 self could cite my 2011 one as pretty guilty of both at times. I think I am still on the path of learning new ways to respond to frustration; I have a hunch it’s important work.

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