Do You Have Low Frustration Tolerance?

September 21, 2016

Alicia is 23 years old and and recently went on a trip with her family. As she began to board the plane,  she realized that her identification wasn’t in her carry-on, where it should have been. Infuriated, she blamed her mother, who had washed all of her laundry the day before and must have forgotten to put it in with the clothing. Alicia reasons that, if her mother had done those tasks like she should have, then she wouldn’t have left her identification at home.

Alicia has low frustration tolerance, and unknowingly shows it by negatively managing her feelings in a stressful situation. What about you? Are you one of those people who drowns in a teaspoon of water?

“My wishes are your commands”

Virtually all children have low frustration tolerance. During the learning process, they develop the ability to face situations where they don’t always get what they want, whether it’s wanting to play with another child, wanting their mothers to buy them candy, or whether their ice cream has fallen and their parent doesn’t want to buy them another.

However, there are some people who never fully understand that their desires won’t always be met. They can’t accept that their preferences will be interrupted by their surroundings. They don’t take the desires of others into account. And they struggle to deal with uncontrollable setbacks.

closed fists

Low frustration tolerance is often expressed when the affected person is faced with a stressful situation. They react with anger, rage or excessive melancholy, in situations that most people are able to solve internally.

In the most serious of cases, a low frustration tolerance can lead to problems related to drug use, social self-marginalization or suicide.

Learn to tolerate frustration

There are four indications that are useful for classifying a person with low frustration tolerance:

  • A person with LFT person can’t differentiate their desires from their needs.
  • Their reactions to an unsatisfied desire are manifested by an explosion of feelings ranging from excessive insistence and anger, to verbally attacking the person “in charge” of covering their unmet needs.
  • They have trouble accepting that life does not have to be easy and comfortable, as they strive to believe that it has to be. In fact, they cling to the “ought to be” do not accept what “is.”
  • They have a terrible fear of failure and low levels of patience.
angry man

Low frustration tolerance is an important emotional disorder capable of breaking up families, friends, and professional and romantic relationships. Nevertheless, people with low frustration tolerance can learn to face adversity more effectively and to relax.

It’s important that people with LFT try to address their disorder. Otherwise it can manifest into many compulsive diseases, such as trichotillomania (fidgeting and hair pulling), compulsive shopping, kleptomania, self-mutilation, arson or intermittent explosive disorder (explosive eruptions of anger for no apparent reason.)