There are times I feel exasperated. People repeating the same mistakes. Pushing the button without reading the sign. Leaving the door open while complaining about the cold.

My attention is always captured by the justification for frustration. But there is a second, much more important phenomenon: the consequences for expressing it.

You are in one of two situations:

  1. You are surrounded by low-functioning people
  2. You are surrounded by high-functioning but low-attention people

In case Number Two, the best outcome is that people fear your expressions of exasperation and begin to pay attention before acting. But they must live in fear. The worst outcome, if they are basically unable to perform better, is that they must accept being dependent on someone whom they annoy. Either outcome is toxic.

In case Number One, you have simply been unable to attract — or as a parent, create — high functioning people. But that is not something to publicize. It means you have bad genes, bad methods, or both.

It is never appropriate to express frustration. Mind-blowing.

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