Signs of Frustration


Everyone gets frustrated from time to time depending on the situation. Whether you are working on an important project, leading a team who isn’t performing, or simply not sure where to begin, the signs of frustration can tell others that you are having a difficult time. While some people will take a break once they begin feeling frustrated, others try to push through it and these signals can help you to know when to intervene and when to stay away.

Signals to Watch For

There are many signals of frustration from tapping fingers, scratching the back of the head, rubbing the back of the neck, and shaking of the foot in a nervous fashion. Any of these signs can mean that someone is frustrated and may need a break from their current activities. You can even catch yourself showing these signals as well and know that it is time to step away for a little while. There are even some micro signs that you can watch for such as straight back which will reflect confidence as well as frustration, it can provide you with the appearance of confidence and comfort you into feeling more confident while you are frustrated.

Frustration + Anxiety

Many of the signs for frustration are also signs of anxiety such as tapping your fingers on your lap, knowing how to analyze the body language of others is something that takes practice and time. Even though there are many similarities between frustration and anxiety, the signs that are presented in someone who is frustrated are much less desperate than those of anxiety. Another difference is the facial expression that is shown while someone is frustrated, these facial expressions will easily resemble that of disgust or contempt combined with one or many of the signals for frustration.

Moving Signals

Other signs of frustration are shown in a person’s movements, they may move quicker than normal or become more animated with their arm and hand movements. These signs are more dramatic and may allow you to evaluate the level of frustration that the person is dealing with. While each person is different, scratching the back of their head or rubbing the back of the neck may be a mild case of frustration as to where throwing the hands into their air or the level of animation in their movements will be more severe frustration. Other moving signals are folding of the arms with shaking hands or tapping of the fingers with a look of displeasure present on their face.

-Flow Psychology Editor