Frustration is an emotional state that we all experience at some point. Especially when we don't get what we want.
Last update: August 09, 2021
Frustration is the emotional state we experience when we don't get what we want. For example, failing an exam after trying hard to study; not getting the job position we are applying for; or fail to achieve a new goal. When we cannot avoid this frustration, we often feel angry, anxious, helpless, and sad.
Now, frustration tells us that something has gone wrong, that we have tried hard and we have not won the prize. But that does not mean that we should abandon the projects.
Daniel Goleman, psychologist and promoter of the concept of emotional intelligence, consider that the ability to handle frustration is one of the most important to achieve success. He even considers it more important than having a lot of special talents.
What Causes Frustration?
Frustration can be produced by multiple causes, which vary depending on the individual and the circumstances. However, the factors that usually cause it are the following:
Temperament: it is about the congenital emotional predisposition of each person. In other words, it is the innate tendency to react in a certain way to the environment. In this sense, there are people who are born with a greater predisposition to tolerate frustration than others.
Social conditionsDespite being born with a certain emotional predisposition, it is also true that feedback from the environment will help shape emotional responses. For example, Western society is less tolerant of frustration. This is due to the predominance of immediacy.
Referents with self-control deficits: children learn a large part of their behavioral repertoire from what is observed in their parental figures. That said, parents with poor frustration management skills pass that same incompetence on to their children.
Wrong interpretation of reality: it is also possible that the person values the frustrating situation as intensely threatening and dangerous, which complicates a more adequate coping.
What is low frustration tolerance?
According to the American Psychological Association, frustration tolerance is a person's ability to delay gratification or to preserve serenity when encountering obstacles. In this sense, people with a low tolerance for frustration often experience anger, hopelessness, anxiety, pressure, apathy or a desire to abandon their projects.
Increased tolerance for frustration usually occurs as the child develops cognitively and affectively. That is, the little ones do not have a mature enough psyche to adequately handle this emotional state. But as they mature, they acquire the ability.
Nevertheless, not only depends on the maturity of the person. If the child is not properly educated or has certain biological characteristics; or he develops in an environment that does not favor an adequate emotional response, he will not be able to develop a high tolerance for frustration.
Despite this, we adults can always strengthen more adaptive responses to avoid frustration. Later we will explain some ways to do it.
Characteristics of people with low tolerance for frustration
In general, people who have a low tolerance for frustration have the following characteristics:
Difficulty controlling emotions.
They are persons more impulsive, impatient and demanding.
They seek to satisfy your needs immediately. Therefore, when faced with waiting or satisfaction being delayed, they often have outbursts of anger, experience extreme sadness, or withdrawal.
They are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
They believe that everything revolves around them. In this way, they think they deserve what they demand.
They tend to be rigid people with little adaptability to changes.
They have a dichotomous thinking: they tend to see everything in terms of extremes, as two absolutes, without middle terms.
5 tips to avoid frustration
Learn to avoiding frustration is a key aspect to develop ourselves. Well, to the extent that we know how to deal with this emotional state, we can recover from adversity, continue fighting for what we want and learn from our mistakes.
1. Recognize when we feel frustrated
The first step to avoid frustration is knowing how to identify it. It sounds obvious, but many times we are so mired in this emotional state that we are not able to recognize it.
Having emotional intelligence implies, first of all, learning to recognize our emotions, name them, as well as identify what causes them. Acknowledging our failures or when we feel disappointed does not make us weak.
2. Identify our capabilities and limitations
Second, we must identify our strengths, explore our talents, and trust what we are capable of. It is also important that we cultivate those skills more and more.
It is also important that we identify how far we can go. When we know what our limitations are, we do not set ourselves false expectations and the stumbles will be less painful. This does not mean that we do not aspire to improve; the idea is that we also work on these limitations.
3. Take nothing personal
People with a low tolerance for frustration believe that everything that happens has to do with them. In this sense, to prevent frustration from dominating us, it is important that we be aware that what happens in our environment is not a personal attack. Many things happen in life and not all of them have to correspond to our wishes.
This prevents us from stagnating in victimhood. It is useless to think that the world is unfair to us and that our efforts are not rewarded.
4. Adjust the strategy
People with a low tolerance for frustration They see stumbling blocks as a sign that they shouldn't follow through on their goals.. For their part, those who have developed emotional intelligence consider that any fall is an opportunity to identify what went wrong and readjust the strategy.
In this way, you can keep what works and discard what doesn't. By adjusting the path followed, you have an increasingly effective growth plan.
5. Work on your own emotions
Proper management of emotions is essential not only to avoid frustration, but to achieve a higher level of well-being. There are many ways to do it; the most effective and recommended is therapeutic assistance.
Well, the professional will address the problem in a personalized way. In addition to this, meditation has proven to be an excellent tool to develop better control of emotions.
Avoid frustration to live better
Things are not always going to happen the way we want them to. This is a fact. Consequently, the important thing is to avoid being dominated by frustration.
Remember that there are many things that we cannot control; especially external events. What we can manage is how we act before them.
However, if you feel that your emotions are dominating you and that you cannot handle them, the ideal is to attend with a professional. He will give you the tools you need to keep going.