Frustration - Types of Reaction and Causes of Frustration

square Meaning of Frustration ↓


Frustration is one of the causes of stress. It arises when one's motivation to achieve a desired goal is blocked. For example, an employee wants to finish a report before the end of the day but finds that something or the others keep interrupting him at work. This can lead to his frustration.

frustration types of reaction sources

Image Credits © Sybren A. Stüvel


square Types of Reactions to Frustration ↓


The reactions to frustration are also known as Defense Mechanisms. These defense mechanisms are so called as they try to defend individuals from the psychological effects of a blocked goal. When some employees get frustrated, they become tensed and irritable. They experience an uneasy feeling in their stomach and also show various other reactions of frustration.


Following are the various types of reactions to frustration :-

  1. Withdrawal : Behaviours such as asking for a transfer or quitting a job.
  2. Fixation : An employee blames others and superiors for his problems, without knowing complete facts.
  3. Aggression : Acting in a threatening manner.
  4. Regression : Behaving in an immature and childish manner and may self-pity (to feel sorry for oneself).
  5. Physical Disorder : Physical ailments such as fever, upset stomach, vomiting, etc.
  6. Apathy : Becoming irresponsive and disinterested in the job and his co-workers.

square Sources or Causes of Frustration ↓


Following are the main sources or causes of frustration :-

  1. Environment : The workplace environment and natural environment both may frustrate the employees. For example, there may be break down in machinery, no canteen facilities, a wet rainy day or a hot sunny day may prevent the employees to perform their duties efficiently.
  2. Co-workers : Co-workers may be a major source of frustration. They may place barriers in the way of goal attainment by delaying work, withholding work inputs, poor presentation of work, affecting its quality, etc.
  3. Employee Himself : The employee himself is rarely recognised as a source of frustration. The employee may set higher goals than his abilities.
  4. Management : Management may act as the source of frustration, they may block the promotion of an employee due to change in organisation's promotional policies.





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