FRUSTRATION, CONFLICT AND
Mr. Johny Kutty Joseph
Needs., Drives or motives play an important
role in the motivation of human behavior.
Repeated failure in attaining the goal further
aggravates the situation leading to
frustration that may end in the person’s
maladjustment, abnormality and mental
It is the typical fight going on between one's
need and motives.
MEANING AND DEFINITION
Man is ambitious in nature.
We have many aspirations and desires to be
fulfilled, and we plan and strive hard for its
We may sometime end with repeated failures.
According to GOOD “Frustration means
emotional tension resulting from the blocking of
a desire or need.
According to Coleman “Frustration results when
our motives are thwarted either by some
obstacle that blocks or impedes our progress
towards a desired goal or by the absence of an
A. EXTERNAL FACTORS.
Physical Factors: Natural Calamities such as
floods, tsunami, earthquakes, fire accidents etc.
Obstacle such as traffic jams, crowded lines at
the supermarket, droughts that destroy a farmer
crops, noise that prevents concentration, floods
that delay us in our travel. These can disturb
Social and societal factors: The rules and
regulations of the Parents, society, locality,
culture and belief may control the desire and
motive of people. Restrictions imposed by other
people laws, customs, norms of society. Eg.
Inter-caste or religious marriages, certain
A. EXTERNAL FACTORS.
Economic Factors: Financial factors. Eg.
Unemployment, lack of food and water, other
severe economic deprivation.
Individual’s own limitation: Lack of specific
abilities, physical handicaps.
B. INTERNAL FACTORS.
Physical abnormality or defects: Too big or too
small stature, very heavy or thin body, ugly face,
dark complexion, bodily defects like squint eye,
blindness, deaf, dumb etc. cause frustration.
Conflicting desires or aims: frustration by
obstructing mutual aims and goals. Eg. A person
may be interested in marrying a girl whom he
loves but he wishes to go abroad by marrying
Individual’s morality and high ideals: An
individual’s moral standards code of ethics and
high ideals may become a source of frustration.
He is always caught between Superego and Id. Eg.
A person may be afraid to make girl friends,
B. INTERNAL FACTORS.
Level of aspiration too high: one may aspire
very high in spite of one’s in capabilities or
human limitations. Eg. A person dream to
become the captain of a cricket team but does
not even know the basics of the game.
Lack of persistence and sincerity in efforts:
frustration may be caused due to weakness in
putting continuous persistent efforts with
courage enthusiasm and will power at one’s
command. Eg. Reading a book without interest
and complaining that book is not
understandable. He also complains of inability
of grasping power.
REACTION TO FRUSTRATION: SIMPLE
Increasing trials and improving efforts: During
frustration some people go into introspection and try
to overcome obstacles either by increased efforts or
improvement of behaviour.
Adopting Compromising means: repeated failure
force people to change the direction efforts. If no
medicine nursing would do.
Withdrawal : the individual learns to move away
from the situation that causes him frustration.
Behaviours such as asking for a transfer or quitting
a job. Refuse to marry in case of sexual
Fixation : An employee blames others and
REACTION TO FRUSTRATION: SIMPLE
Regression : Behaving in an immature and childish
manner and may self-pity (to feel sorry for oneself).
Physical Disorder : Physical ailments such as
fever, upset stomach, vomiting, etc.
Apathy : Becoming irresponsive and disinterested
in the job and his co-workers.
Submissiveness: Here the individual surrenders
himself and accepts his defeat. A child become
submissive in a thing after repeated failure.
REACTION TO FRUSTRATION: VIOLENT
External aggression; This aggression may be
directed towards either the person or persons
who caused the frustration or toward the
substitutes. An employee may quarrel with his
boss for not getting promotion or rebuke his
wife and children. Showing the enmity in one or
Internal Aggression: an aggression turned
towards self. Instead of releasing the tensions
on others it is self directed. Blaming self.
Eventually the person becomes neurotic or tries
to find escape through suicide.
This term is commonly used. There may be
conflicts between two cultures, religions, or
Conflict means a painful emotional state which
results from a tensions between opposed and
contradictory wishes. (Douglas)
Internal conflicts are indecisiveness in making
choices between opposing or contradictory
One of the confusing things about frustration
and conflict is that each may be the
consequence of the other.
Ex. Boy meets girl, asks for a date and is turned
down: result—frustration. Should be ask again
FOUR TYPES OF CONFLICT
1. Approach – approach
2. Avoidance – avoidance
3. Approach – avoidance
4. Double/multiple approach
APPROACH - APPROACH
This type of conflict occurs when the individual
has two desirable but mutually exclusive goals.
A conflict between two desired gratifications as
when a youth has to choose between two
attractive and practicable careers, may lead to
some vacillation but rarely to great distress.
Eg. Read an interesting novel: go for games
Eg. Selection of one girl for marriage from two
Eg. Loyal to wife: Loyal to mother
+G ←P→ +G
AVOIDANCE - AVOIDANCE
This type of conflict occurs when there are two
undesirable situations but cannot avoid one
without encountering the other.
Conflict whereby one must choose between two
more or less equally undesirable or unattractive
Eg. a situation where you have to decide
between doing unwanted homework
(avoidance) or doing unwanted house chores
Not interested to study: not interested to
disappoint he parents by failing in examination.- →P← -
APPROACH - AVOIDANCE
The conflict occurs when a person is both
attracted and repelled by the same object ,
person or situation. This is difficult to resolve.
The person is attracted to a goal that has both
positive and negative values.
It occurs when there is one goal or event that
has both positive and negative effects or
characteristics that make the goal appealing
and unappealing simultaneously.
Eg. To marry or not to marry, to purchase
something or not. It is severe and give rise to
anxieties and complexes.
In real life, the individual frequently is faced with
having to choose between two (or more) goals,
each of which has both attracting and repelling
Since the tendency is to either approach or
avoid each of the goals, this pattern is called
Eg. Choosing a house in the country means
fresh air, room to live, peace and quiet. It also
means many hours of commuting to work in
heavy traffic and long distances from city
amenities and cultural events.Job Offer Job OfferP
SOURCES OF CONFLICT
We understand conflict as creation of
dissatisfaction felt by an individual due to non-
fulfillment of two contradictory motive. We may
categorize these as the following;
Different motives of life stages. (four
Social and cultural environment.
DIFFERENT MOTIVES OF LIFE STAGES
In our society today, there are motives
which are most pervasive and difficult to resolve.
These motives generally occur between the
1. Independence vs. dependence
2. Intimacy vs. isolation
3. Cooperation vs. competition
4. Impulses expression vs. moral standards
In time of stress we may want
to resort to the dependence
characteristics of childhood, to
have someone take care of us
and solve our problems. But we
are taught that the ability to
stand on our own and assume
responsibilities is a mark of
The desire to be close to
another and to share our
innermost thoughts and
emotions may conflict with the
fear of being hurt or rejected if
we expose too much of
Competitions begins in early
childhood, among siblings
continues through school, and
culminates in business and
professional rivalry. At the same
time, we are urged to cooperate
with the help of others. Such
contradictory expectations have
the potential for producing
All societies have to regulate
impulses to some degree. Sex
and aggression are two areas in
which our impulses most
frequently conflict with moral
Unpleasant school or college, dominant role of
teachers, faulty methods of teaching, denial of
opportunities for self expression, contradictory
demands of teachers and classmates are the
basics of conflicts for youngsters.
The faulty upbringing at home and unhealthy
/unpleasant relationship among the members of
the family are the potential sources of conflicts
Overprotection, dominance, and negligence by
parents make the children shy and social
The taboos, inhibitions, and the negative
attitude towards sex are causes of many sex
conflicts in the minds of our youth as well as
Frustration suffered due to the lack of
opportunities is also responsible for many
The rules and regulations of the society also
SOCIAL & CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT
Improper working environment, dissatisfaction
with the working conditions and career
fulfillment, unsatisfactory relationship with
colleagues or authorities, lack of salary and
Accept each desire as it arrives without judgment or
Remove the barriers for making your own choices out
of the conflicting desires. It may heightened emotional
blockade and for this we cab adopt mediation, play
In a cool mind think the goals of your life, the purpose
of the desire and choose the better one in tune with
inner voice and socially acceptable as well as morally
Follow the opted desire with full zeal and enthusiasm
and do it with pleasure and live in it.
Postponing the desires should be always temporary.
Believe in the concept of balanced compromise.
Stress can come from any situation or thought
that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous,
worried and tense .
It can be defined as an internal condition
causing tissue damage far beyond daily wear
and tear of living.
We define stress as an internal state which can
be caused by physical demands on the body
(disease conditions, exercise, etc) or by
environment and social situations which are
evaluated as potentially harmful,
uncontrollable or exceeding our resource for
WHAT IS STRESS?
A stressor may be defined as any stimulus that
occurs in sufficient amount to cause stress.
Stressors are classified as the following;
External/Environmental stressors: it mainly
includes uncongenial conditions at home,
neighborhood, community, and work places.
It also include mutual rivalries, fighting,
improper behavior, unnecessary criticism
frustrated living etc. it also includes natural
and manmade catastrophies such as
earthquakes, floods, loss of loved ones,
robbery, cheating communal violence etc.
WHAT ARE STRESSORS?
Internal/ Psycho-physiological stressors:
a. Type of personality: type A: They always
remain in hurry, competitive, ambitious,
workaholics and time conscious.
b. It also depends on people with weak psyche
and damaged self confidence. They are
always anxious, fearful and negative in
c. People with low stress tolerance capacity.
The easily get stressed due to minor changes
in day-to-day life.
d. Physiological factors like poor health,
sleeping disorder, alcoholism, drug addiction
WHAT ARE STRESSORS?
damage to body
EFFECTS OR OUTCOMES OF STRESS
Immediate effects Long term effects
•Alcoholism & smoking
•Restlessness & sleep
•Forgetfulness & Obesity
•Increase muscular tension.
•Change in HR & BP
•Problems in digestion and
•HTN, heart disease,
•Anger, fear, jealousy,
•Lack of interest in love
making and social intimacy.
Personality changes and
other mental illness.
Cognitive Decreased concentration Memory problems, OCD,
ADAPTATION TO STRESS
The individual after receiving alarming signals about
the impact of stress tries to resist the negative
effects of the stress by the following mechanisms;
Biological adaptation: changes in the nervous
system and endocrine system: increased muscle
tone, pumping stored sugar into blood, change in
breathing, perspiration etc.
Psychological Adaptation: There are two: Task
oriented adaptations and ego defense oriented
Task Oriented adaptation: we handle stress bringing
change in self and altering environment. We may
use attacking behavior, withdrawal behavior or
The coping may be defined as changing cognitive and
behavioral efforts to manage external and internal
demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the
resources of the person. People may use
General coping measures:
direct action response : manipulate stress situation
Information seeking: understand problem more clearly
Inhibition: doing nothing. No response.
Turning to others; for emotional support.
Formal coping measures
Information providing technique: health education to
Biofeedback techniques: relief from pain and stress
Relaxation techniques: meditation, yoga etc
Cognitive restructuring: structuring pessimistic and