If I have some complaints about someone, should I use “dissatisfaction towards/with/to”?

I have looked at the usage here, and I see so many versions and am wondering if there’s any difference?

  • The examples in the link are actually good. There are NO examples of dissatisfaction towards, so where did Joshua's confusion stem from, I have little idea. And only two examples for dissatisfaction to i.e. “But his measures speedily gave dissatisfaction to the Argentine or Creole party,”. The meaning is clearly different from that of "with"It is ungrammatical to say …gave dissatisfaction with… -1
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 12:39
  • It would have made a much better question if the expressions "dissatisfaction among" and "dissatisfaction by/of" had been included.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 12:44
  • There is also about. Yes, they are all slightly different. For a complaint: express dissatisfaction about a person. about often means regarding the subject of. talk about a problem.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 20:04

3 Answers 3


"Dissatisfaction with" implies specific responsibility - i.e. I am unhappy with the response by THAT person. "Dissatisfaction towards" implies lessened responsibility - i.e. I am unhappy with the outcome which may have resulted from that person's involvement (or maybe from another factor). "Dissatisfaction to" means that the recipient was dissatisfied - i.e. "My failure to pay resulted in dissatisfaction to my landlord."


I think the problem is with this use of "dissatisfaction" - the more direct way to express this would be "to be dissatisfied" - a less convoluted way to get the idea across.


One can answer your question easily, if they unlock the meaning and usage of to, towards and with.

While, all (with, to and towards) prepositions are acceptable here.

Let's consider the preposition "with."

The preposition "with" has 10 senses in English Oxford Living Dictionaries, from which, the sense No. 4 is:

4. in opposition to.

Thus when I say:

  • John has dissatisfaction with his brothers.

I meant it that John had dissatisfaction in opposition to his brothers.

Dissatisfaction "to" or "towards"?

When I say

"John has dissatisfaction to ...,"

that means that John has dissatisfaction, purposefully (=with a full, strong purpose).

And when I say

"John has dissatisfaction towards ...,"

that means that John has dissatisfaction purposely (=with a purpose being neither full nor strong).

Hence, in such contexts, "to" is stronger than "towards."

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