10 Other Ways to Say “I Understand Your Frustration”

In professional emails, saying “I understand your frustration” is a common way to show empathy. However, repeating the same phrase can feel insincere.

This article lists 10 alternative phrases you can use to express understanding in a genuine way. These alternatives are suited for a range of professional situations, helping you communicate more effectively.

Is It Professional to Say “I Understand Your Frustration”?

Saying “I understand your frustration” can be considered professional, formal or informal, and polite, depending on how and when it is used. It’s a phrase that conveys empathy and acknowledges the feelings of the other person. It’s suitable for a variety of professional settings, especially in customer service or client-facing roles where addressing concerns and building rapport is essential.

This phrase is best used in situations where someone has expressed dissatisfaction or an issue has arisen that affects them negatively. It’s appropriate for written and verbal communication across a range of recipients, including clients, colleagues, or any correspondence that requires a level of formality and politeness. Channels like emails, letters, or face-to-face conversations are all fitting for this expression.

Email example:

Greetings Laura,

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I understand your frustration with the delay and assure you we are working diligently to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Should you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Warm regards,


  • Shows empathy to the recipient.
  • Helps calm a potentially heated conversation.
  • Builds rapport by acknowledging the other person’s feelings.


  • Can come across as insincere if overused or used inappropriately.
  • May not be suitable for all audiences, especially if they believe their concerns are being minimized.

Someone might want to use an alternative phrase if they feel “I understand your frustration” doesn’t convey their level of empathy adequately or they fear it might be perceived as cliché or insincere. Finding the right synonym or alternative can help personalize the message and potentially resonate better with the recipient.

10 Other Ways to Say “I Understand Your Frustration”

Here are ten common alternatives that convey understanding and empathy in a professional environment without being overly formal:

  1. I hear where you’re coming from.
  2. I get your point.
  3. It’s clear why you’re upset.
  4. I recognize why this is frustrating.
  5. Your feelings are completely valid.
  6. I see what’s bothering you.
  7. It makes sense you’d feel this way.
  8. I can see why this would be annoying.
  9. Your frustration is understandable.
  10. We understand the inconvenience this has caused.

1. I hear where you’re coming from

This alternative is slightly less formal while remaining professional and polite. It suggests a more conversational tone, inviting further discussion. It’s appropriate for use in less formal email exchanges or in-person conversations where the recipient has expressed a concern or complaint.

This phrase is best suited for situations that call for a more personal touch, ensuring that the message doesn’t come off as cold or detached. It works well in internal communication with colleagues as well as in external communication with clients or customers who have shared a concern. We recommend using it when a personalized acknowledgment of the issue is important.


Greetings Max,

Thank you for your feedback. I hear where you're coming from and we’re currently looking into the situation to provide a timely solution. We value your patience and understanding.

Best regards,

2. I get your point

This synonym is straightforward and communicates understanding directly. It’s considered informal but can still be used in a professional context when a quick acknowledgment is needed without much detail. This alternative is useful for maintaining brevity and clarity in communication.

We recommend using this phrase in emails or messages where the issue is clear, and the response requires acknowledgment but not an in-depth discussion. It’s well-suited for internal team communications or less formal client interactions where establishing a shared understanding is important.

Email example:

Hello Alex,

We’ve reviewed your report, and I get your point. Actions are in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Your insight is truly valued.


3. It’s clear why you’re upset

This alternative phrase is direct and acknowledges the recipients’ emotions explicitly, making it a polite and empathetic choice for professional communications. It’s ideally used in situations where emotions are running high, and there’s a need to acknowledge those feelings directly.

It is particularly effective in customer service emails or direct interactions with clients or customers who have had a negative experience. It shows empathy and offers a starting point for a conversation aimed at resolution. This phrase is best used in written communications where conveying understanding of the recipient’s emotional state is crucial.

Here’s an example:

Dear Casey,

We apologize for the experience you’ve had. It's clear why you're upset, and we’re taking immediate steps to make things right. Your satisfaction is our top priority.


4. I recognize why this is frustrating

This option adds a layer of recognition to the understanding, suggesting not just empathy but also a deeper awareness of the issue’s specifics. It’s professional and formal, suitable for more serious concerns or when responding to detailed complaints. It can elevate the tone of the conversation, showing that the sender is not only acknowledging the feelings but also the situation’s complexity.

This phrase is well-suited for formal email exchanges with clients or stakeholders where detailed issues are being addressed. It is particularly effective in situations where acknowledging the complexity of the problem can lead to a more productive dialogue. We recommend its use in professional environments where clarity and empathy are required.

Email sample:

Dear Jordan,

We have received your detailed report and I recognize why this is frustrating. Rest assured, we are on it and will update you throughout our process of resolving these issues.


5. Your feelings are completely valid

This phrase is polite and emphasizes the legitimacy of the recipient’s feelings, making it suitable for situations where emotional validation is important. It’s a touch more personal and can help in forging a genuine connection or rebuilding trust. While professional, it leans towards a more empathetic and supportive tone.

It works best in communications where emotional reassurance is necessary, such as in handling sensitive feedback or when dealing with a clearly upset client or colleague. This phrase can soften the tone of the message, making it feel more supportive and understanding. It’s great for emails or messages that aim to reassure or comfort the recipient.

Here’s an example:

Hi Sam,

I want you to know that your feelings are completely valid. We are looking into your concerns thoroughly and will keep you informed at every step.

Warm regards,

6. I see what’s bothering you

This alternative is a professional and direct way of showing understanding without implying excessive formality. It offers clarity and is particularly useful in conversations where the issue has been explicitly outlined by the other party.

Best suited for professional work environments, especially in discussions that involve resolving misunderstandings or clarifying project details. It’s also effective in email communication with clients who need a quick acknowledgment of their issue. This phrase can help in moving the conversation towards problem-solving quickly.


Hello Jamie,

After reviewing the details, I see what's bothering you. Please rest assured we are on top of this and will sort it out promptly.


7. It makes sense you’d feel this way

This is a more empathetic alternative that validates the recipient’s perspective and emotions, suggesting a professional yet informal approach to expressing understanding. It’s great for creating a compassionate tone in your communication.

Especially useful in situations where the recipient needs assurance that their reaction is natural or expected. This phrase is a good fit for emails and messages aimed at pacifying dissatisfied customers or in internal communications where acknowledging a colleague’s disappointment or frustration is necessary. It creates an atmosphere of support and understanding.

Here’s an example:

Dear Kim,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It makes sense you'd feel this way, and we are exploring all possible solutions. Your patience is greatly appreciated.


8. I can see why this would be annoying

This phrase is a bit more informal, making it relatable and straightforward for acknowledging minor irritations. Although it’s professional, it adds a personal touch, suggesting a shared understanding that can ease tension in the conversation.

This option is particularly effective in less formal email exchanges or in workplace communications where a lighter tone is acceptable. It’s suitable for acknowledging smaller inconveniences or issues that, though not critical, still require recognition and response. Using this phrase can make the message seem more personable and less robotic.

Email example:

Hey Chris,

I saw your note, and I can see why this would be annoying. We’re addressing it now, so you won’t face the same issue again.


9. Your frustration is understandable

This synonym is a clear and polite way of acknowledging someone’s feelings, suitable for both formal and informal settings. It emphasizes understanding without minimizing the recipient’s feelings, steering the conversation toward a constructive resolution.

This phrase is best utilized in communications that require an immediate acknowledgment of a concern or complaint. It’s particularly effective in customer service responses or in any professional scenario where validating the recipient’s frustration can pave the way for resolving their issue. It strikes a balance between empathy and professionalism.


Dear Pat,

I’ve reviewed your case, and your frustration is understandable. We are committed to fixing this as soon as possible and will keep you updated on our progress.


10. We understand the inconvenience this has caused

This phrase is formal, making it ideal for situations that demand a high level of professionalism. It not only acknowledges the issue but also the impact it has had on the recipient, thus showing a holistic understanding of the situation. It communicates empathy and a commitment to resolving the matter.

Perfect for use in formal emails or communications with clients, especially in responses to complaints or service disruptions. It’s a suitable option for messages where it’s essential to acknowledge the inconvenience caused comprehensively, showing empathy and a readiness to address the issue. This phrase is particularly effective in external communications, aiming to maintain or restore trust.

Email sample:

Dear Lena,

We are sorry for the delay in service. We understand the inconvenience this has caused and are making every effort to ensure it is resolved swiftly. Thank you for your patience.


Final Thoughts

Switching up the way you say “I understand your frustration” can make your communication more personal and effective. These ten alternatives offer a way to connect better with the person you’re talking to, whether in an email or face-to-face. Each one can be tailored to fit the tone of the conversation and the level of formality needed.

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