Low Frustration Tolerance

Explosive child

Proponents of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (a precursor to Cognitive Behavior Therapy) cite a construct or concept they call low frustration tolerance, or ‘short-term hedonism’ in order to partly explain behaviors like procrastination and certain other apparently paradoxical or self-defeating behavior.

It is defined as seeking immediate pleasure or avoidance of pain at the cost of long-term stress and defeatism. The concept was originally developed by psychologist Albert Ellis who theorized that low frustration-tolerance (LFT) is an evaluative component in dysfunctional and irrational beliefs. Behaviors are then derived towards avoiding frustrating events which, paradoxically, lead to increased frustration and even greater mental stress.

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