Low frustration tolerance

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Louise Hay
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Low frustration tolerance

To tolerate frustration is to accept that we won't always be able to get what we want, but that shouldn't cause us pain.

Last update: 24 March, 2022

Life isn't perfect and we can't even control it. It is full of situations and outcomes far from our expectations. Learning to accept and manage this reality is part of our development. However, when this is not the case e one grows up with a low tolerance for frustration, one is condemned to numerous sufferingse.



When something doesn't happen as expected, we have two options: accept it and move on or stay in the negativity and victim role.

In no case is changing what happened an option. So what do we decide? Stiffness causes discomfort and malaise.

Frustration tolerance in childhood

In childhood we have not yet fully developed our cognitive skills, which leads us to be impulsive and impatient.

It's hard for children to postpone gratification, they want something as soon as possible. When faced with the denial of their desires, they often react with anger, tears, screams and bad behavior.

Teaching children to tolerate frustration is one of the most complicated tasks, but it is absolutely necessary. It is not always possible to get what you want and this should not hurt us.

When a child is denied anything in childhood, he is deprived of the opportunity to develop this important skill.

Desiring to protect their children from pain and disappointment, aSome parents fulfill their every request. They give in and try to satisfy, in advance, every need and desire of the child so that he does not have to face any kind of discomfort.


Such an attitude certainly starts from good intentions, from a loving thought: “he will have time to suffer when he grows up”. However, the child has to deal with frustration in order to learn to tolerate it.


Otherwise, in adult life it will present itself to a greater extent and will not have the necessary tools to deal with it.

How to work on low frustration tolerance?

Growing up with overprotective parents marks our starting point, but it doesn't condemn us. In every moment of our adult life we ​​can decide to change our attitude and work on our deficient points.

If it is difficult for us to face adversity, if we perceive it as an enormous injustice, if we feel great discomfort when our desires are not granted, we remember that we can change. How can this be done?

  • Stop wanting to control everything. Don't try to predict every little life event. There is no reason to fear uncertainty or change. We let everything run its course without sticking to the result. The need for control does not give the possibility to change events, but rather deprives the tranquility.
  • to establish realistic expectations. It is naive to believe that we can get everything we want at any time, that we will never have to face adversity. Neither people nor events revolve around us and we must be mature enough to accept this fact.

Based on this, we must try to take a broader perspective, which takes into account reality and not just one's ideal of it.


  • Be flexible. It is entirely legitimate to have dreams and desires, to hope that they will come true and to work to make them happen. However, it also needs to understand that circumstances change and that you have to know how to adapt to changes.

If the scenario changes, it is important to be able to change your thoughts and actions as well. We are not rigidly stuck on what we believed would happen, we find an alternative in the light of the new information that the environment offers.



A question of trust

In the face of any adversity or setback, it is advisable to accept reality and be optimistic. Low tolerance for frustration hides insecurity, the fear of not being able to deal with the negative aspects that life holds for us.


To avoid it, let's trust ourselves, our ability to manage discomfort and to move forward. Maybe not everything will go as hoped and sometimes this is even good.

So we remember to accept the course of events and adapt to changes. We are not victims of fate, we have the power to decide how to react.

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