Life Practice 3: Frustration and Knowledge

Frustration begins where knowledge ends. Stress can be attributed to a lack of information. There is nothing to advise you as to what to do next, and not enough information for you to make that decision yourself.

More information reduces frustration

During changes in the workplace, managers help limit frustration by keeping the lines of communication open. Speculation and then worry emerge when there is insufficient information. Managers convey information as it is made available to them, and encourage employees to ask questions. In times of economic uncertainty, rumours will abound unless the company makes it their business to stop these rumours before they happen. Dispersing information in a timely fashion is a way of quashing the rumour mill before it starts.  

At school, the way to reduce the stress that accompanies test taking is to prepare, and that preparation involves gathering information. As well as the content (what will be on the test), other information that will help alleviate some of the stress are the format of the test and the rubric or marking scheme. Depending on the outcome or grade, the student may seek out additional information as to their options regarding retaking a test, or about the course in general.

At home, preparing family members for major changes involves determining which information is pertinent to each member and dispersing that information in an age-appropriate and relationship-appropriate manner. Breaking the news about a new sibling to 5 year old in a nuclear family is much different telling a teenager they are about to become part of a step-family.

Determine the outcome and the blockage

Information gathering begins with figuring out what it is you want to know, and why you want to know it. At work you could witness a slump in business, and so you might want to know if there were potential layoffs coming and how you would be affected. At school you could be struggling with certain course material and you might want to find out if there are other options available to you to fulfill those program requirements. At home you could be sensing tension between certain family members and seek to clear the air. All of these situations become frustrating and stressful when information is lacking.   

What is most frustrating for you at this moment?

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