The Frustration Factor


Do you ever have to work with people who absolutely, totally, and unequivocally drive you up the wall? Do you sometimes feel like climbing the wall all by yourself as the quickest way to escape from those people? Are there those days when you struggle with the nearly irresistible impulse to turn into a ranting, raving maniac? Is there that one person who gets you so uptight that you don't know whether to throw your office key in his face and walk out or just sit down and cry? If you are saying Yes! Yes! Yes! you have had first-hand experience with "The Frustration Factor," up close and personal.

If instead, these questions are hard for you or if you have never experienced "The Frustration Factor," it is likely that you have lived your life on a very lonely island or are a saint, complete with robe and halo. The Frustration Factor is an ever-present ingredient of organizations from banks to hospitals, from schools to used car dealerships, from large corporations to service clubs.

The dysfunctional behavior of people who drive you up the wall is self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating. It feeds on itself. Unless you are aware of the behavior patterns of the people I call "players" and are prepared to counter them, it is easy to become the foil for their antics. Once this happens, it is too late for most people. The game is on. The world quickly divides into players and foils.

Here is the real problem though. Anyone new coming into your company enters in the middle of the game. He is immediately part of the process, either as a player or as the foil for other players. The game quickly consumes senseless amounts of time, energy, and company resources. The Frustration Factor becomes a major resource drain. Playing the game takes on as much importance and sometimes more importance for the players than taking care of business.

The Frustration Factor is much the same as the virus causing the common cold. The symptoms are always about the same although the virus has a hundred varieties. Players range from warriors to mainliners, from troublemakers to those who always play it By the Book. There are players who are aggressive and those who are passive, players who are extroverts and those who are introverts. I describe and discuss all types of players and their techniques in detail.

Authority Junky?

Do you know someone who delights in figuratively pushing others around, telling them what to do, being in charge, and generally bossing others whether they are actually in a position to do that or not? It seems that their main agenda is letting everyone know that they are the big dog. Even worse, do you have to work with someone like that or spend time around them? If so, you have an authority junky in your life.


In this episode of the Audio Tidbits Podcast, I explore what is going on with those authority junkies and suggest one strategy you may want to use when put in a position where you have to put up with one of them. If this is of interest to you, please listen.

HTM 156 – May I Drive You Up The Wall, Please? – How To Matter

Do you wonder how the frustrating elite of the world manage to be so successful at driving everyone up the wall? Are you frequently impressed by their expertise? Do they have a skill set you want to emulate? Perhaps not but if at least knowing more about how they do what they do seems potentially helpful, please listen and learn.