May 28


What is Low Frustration Tolerance?

By Harry Heijligers

May 28, 2022

Low frustration tolerance is a personality trait that causes a person to get frustrated quickly.

When this occurs, you may be unable to deal with things in your environment or your life.

This can lead to poor choices and bad decisions, which may cause problems in relationships, school, work, and health.

A low frustration tolerance can also cause procrastination and even a lack of motivation.

We all experience low frustration tolerance from time to time.

This article answers the question, "What is Low Frustration Tolerance?"


We all have a certain amount of stress tolerance

We all have a certain threshold of stress that we can handle. For some people, this threshold is very high. They can take a lot of frustrations and obstacles without losing their cool. This kind of person has a high frustration tolerance.

On the other hand, there are also people with a low threshold for handling frustrations and obstacles without losing their cool. This kind of person has a low frustration tolerance.

How do you know if you have a low or high threshold for tolerating frustrations and obstacles?

Well, look at the signs:

Signs that you have low frustration tolerance

If you suffer from low frustration tolerance, then the chances are that you often experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional pain
  • Impatience
  • Being frustrated
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling depressed

Know When to Call it Quits

If you want to feel less stressed and more in control, the first step is to know if you have a high or low frustration tolerance.

Know that there are times to get off the treadmill. Know when you should stop.

You might need a break once in a while. Take care of yourself. Recharge your battery with mental energy.

Therefore, it's essential to know your limit:

What's your limit?

Know that you can only take so much before feeling bad. Realize when it's time to let go of the situation. You can't control everything.

Regularly ask yourself:

"How am I feeling right now?"

"How does this situation make me feel?"

... and write down how you feel.

After a while, you will develop a good sense of your limit to handling frustrations and obstacles in your life.

Low Frustration Tolerance Means That You're Easily Upset

Often people that have low frustration tolerance are easily upset. This is because they lack patience. When something goes wrong, they get very frustrated. They often feel stressed out because of their inability to cope with minor annoyances.

For example, let's say you were late for an appointment because of bad traffic. Your boss might not understand why you were late. He might think you didn't care enough about the company to show up on time. Or he might feel that you weren't dependable.

This person has low frustration tolerance. Even though he understands that you had no choice but to arrive late, he still feels irritated by your delay. In his mind, you could have made better choices.

When someone has low frustration tolerance, even small things can cause them to lose their temper. If they don't learn how to deal with minor irritations, they may be too stressed out to work effectively.

How Low Frustration Tolerance Affects Your Life

Having a low threshold for frustration and obstacles can negatively impact your life. It can lead to stress and anxiety.

When you have a low frustration tolerance, you tend to be impatient. For instance, you may get annoyed over little things like slow service at restaurants, long lines at stores, or waiting for others.

This hurts your well-being and your performance at work.

Since life is never easy, it very likely means that you suffer from stress a lot, which can lead to feeling depressed.

When You're Tired, You Can't Think Straight

One of the causes of low frustration tolerance is a depletion of your mental energy.
When you're tired, you can't think straight. Therefore, you can't handle problems well.
If you're tired, you won't be able to focus on what's happening around you. Instead, you'll be thinking about other things.

It's hard to stay focused when you're tired. As a result, you can't pay attention to details.
You also become less patient. This makes it harder to solve problems.

It's best to avoid situations where you're tired.

If you want to improve your ability to manage your emotions, try to rest more frequently.

Also, schedule breaks during the day if you need to do some heavy lifting.

Try to take naps every afternoon.


In this article, I've answered the question, "What is low frustration tolerance?" And as you have seen, various signs indicate that you have a low frustration threshold.

To help you identify these indicators, I've provided you with a list of questions you should ask yourself.

By answering these questions, you'll be able to determine whether you have a low frustration level.

If you do, you'll know what actions you need to take to improve your emotional state. The most important of which is to recharge your mental energy regularly by scheduling breaks.

I hope that you found this helpful. Please share it with your friends!

Harry Heijligers

About the author

Harry Heijligers has more than 25 years of experience as a Project Manager and more than 17 years of experience as an NLP Trainer. He has a Dutch blog about NLP here:
If you'd like to know about the Smart Leadership Hut, please check this: Smart Leadership Hut.

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