How can I address others’ expectations and my perceptions to avoid becoming angry and frustrated?

someone filling out a form

Tasks like filling out paperwork are difficult for me. Since my injury is invisible to most people, I often take it personally when I can't meet their expectations. How can I address their expectations and my perceptions to avoid becoming angry and frustrated?


Insecurities can play a large role in your frustration and anger. I would suggest focusing on yourself in order to change how you think and feel about those mistakes. What are your thoughts about the mistakes that you are making on the paperwork? Sometimes we get stuck thinking negative thoughts about ourselves that have no foundation or truth to them. This "stinking thinking" causes us to have self-doubt and to be overly sensitive and insecure. Challenge the way you think about these mistakes to change how you feel and your confidence. Also, use these emotions to strive for change and improvement. Work on getting better. Practice filling out paperwork on your own time. See what strategies work for you (e.g. use a ruler to keep your focus on one line at a time). Complete it in pencil first. Double-check your work. Not sure what paperwork you are completing, but is it possible to complete paperwork at home or in private in a quiet environment so you are not doing it in front of others? Ask for multiple copies of the paperwork. Maybe ask someone you know and trust to check your work before you hand in paperwork.    


This content is made possible by a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine and WETA/BrainLine. 

The contents of this expert answer were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research the Indiana Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems 90DP0036 and 90DRTB0002. NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this expert answer do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Posted on BrainLine November 13, 2019.

Comments (2)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I do better when I work from "hard" copy instead of on the computer. I also verbalize my solutions to problems, then revise.

Reading out aloud my responses helps me immensely and can hear my mistakes. Definitely hardcopy for everything . . . so why don't people send me hard copy when I ask for it?