Difference Between Frustration and Anger

Frustration vs Anger

Frustration and anger are both natural responses common to humans as well as animals. The relationship between the two emotions is quite close that it is very difficult to identify the two in clear separation. However, it is possible to distinguish frustration and anger to some extent based on psychological explanations. It has been observed that frustration can end up in anger and vice versa.


Frustration is usually characterized by dissatisfaction towards certain situations. When a person fails to fulfill his/her desires up to the expected level he/she often feels “frustrated”. This is actually a mixture of feeling hopeless, discouraged, sad and disappointed. Frustration has many origins. External factors like an unavoidable situation, a difficult task, an unreachable deadline can induce frustration. Most of the time what cause frustration are internal factors like personal goals, dreams and the inability to achieve them due to lack of self-confidence, lowered self-esteem etc. A frustrated person mostly shows indirect responses, which makes it difficult to locate the original reason. He/she may prefer loneliness, silence and show antisocial behavior, as well as passive-aggressive behaviour. Prolonged frustration may, however, lead to a sudden burst of anger at a later stage.


Anger is also a natural response towards situations where a person feels offended or wronged. It is usually triggered by external factors like death of a loved one, pain, injustice, humiliation, physical conditions or illnesses etc. Anger can be mainly of two types; Aggressive anger and Passive anger. Aggressive anger is clearly observable unlike passive anger, which shows exact opposite type of a behaviour. An angry person’s physiology is determined by the release of stress hormones, showing increased heart rate, blood pressure, heavy breathing, and increase of body temperature. A frequently angry person may suffer from insomnia, digestive disorders, headaches etc. In an extreme outburst of anger, a person can experience a stroke or even a heart attack.

What is the difference between Frustration and Anger?

• Frustration is commonly a response to inner conditions and anger is commonly a response towards external conditions. (A person may not automatically get angry but may get automatically frustrated because it can originate from within)

• Frustration is usually a slow and steady response, but anger is usually a quick and aggressive response.

• Frustration is difficult to be detected in a person’s body language and can be easily hidden although anger is most of the time visible and identifiable.