Boiling frog syndrome – you don’t have to tolerate it!

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

Have you ever faced a situation in your life where you did the same thing over and over again, even though you knew it was not leading to anything good? Maybe you feel that you are becoming more and more exhausted with each passing day, yet you don’t have the courage to change the situation? If so, you may be dealing with boiling frog syndrome. You no longer have to tolerate this phenomenon – I invite you to read on!

Boiling frog syndrome – what is it?

Boiling frogsyndrome is a term coined by French writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to explain how our behavior can be correlated with our environment. Imagine plunging a frog into a pot of cold water and starting to heat it slowly. In order to stay alive, the frog will have to start adjusting its body temperature to that of the environment, until the water is already on the verge of boiling over. There comes a point when the frog decides to jump out, but sometimes it has used all its energy to adjust and no longer has the strength to do so.

The boiling frog syndrome can be applied to our lives when we tolerate the unhealthy situations we are in. Sometimes things progress slowly and it seems that nothing bad will happen, but as our body temperature increases – spiritually or mentally – it becomes hotter and hotter. It’s worth saying that sometimes it’s difficult to get out of such a situation, because sometimes we continue to do so and persist in it, trying to endure. What’s worse, sometimes tolerating toxic relationships or other things for too long can result in us having to jump off the pot before we have a chance to escape or at least come up with an escape plan. Therefore, when you feel you have had your fill, try to do something to escape the pot or ask for help from a psychotherapist.

To better understand what boiling frog syndrome is, we need to remember that sometimes we tolerate difficult situations or toxic relationships that we agree to. It can be something that seems like a small problem, but eventually dies when the water is close to boiling. This has become something common in our lives, because we often don’t feel that we are dealing with something that will be a significant trigger for us to cause any reactions or objections. Therefore, we need a better sensitivity to these situations so that we can jump off the pot in time, before we use up all our energy and simply no longer have the strength to do so.

How do you recognize boiling frog syndrome?

Boiling frog syndrome is a parable about a frog that gradually adjusted to warmer and warmer water temperatures. When the temperature of the water became so high that the frog boiled over, it was too late to rescue it. This story refers to situations in our lives in which uncomfortable changes occur slowly and we cannot see that something bad is happening. Sometimes we waste a lot of time and strength to protect ourselves from further changes, not realizing that they have already occurred.

The concept described can easily be applied to many levels of our lives, from the way parents sometimes over-intervene in the functioning of our families to how meetings always look the same and we don’t have the opportunity to meet our needs. In order to avoid the boiling frog syndrome, we need to make an effort and sincerely think about how to have control over our lives before fulfilling another request from those around us.

We must hesitate to ask for help, because that help can save us, and learn to make changes and decisions on our own. Working on ourselves will allow us to find balance before changing circumstances make that critical moment come, when it will be too late. To avoid this fate, it’s a good idea to consult a trusted professional and read the story about the frog that couldn’t adjust to the changing conditions in the pot of water.

How to avoid boiling over?

Boiling Frog Syndrome (otherwise known as Emotional Exhaustion Syndrome) describes a situation in which a person shows constant emotional effort to cope with a difficult situation or problem, whether it is an interpersonal conflict or a difficult life situation. The previously described water boiling faster and faster refers to the fact that as the emotional effort involved in trying to solve a problem increases, our emotions and functioning deteriorate. This creates a vicious cycle in which continued emotional effort leads to situations that make us anxious, and we will only change our partner’s behavior if we show with our persistence that we really want to.

How to avoid getting cooked? To prevent this, we need to be aware of the fact that we are prone to believe that by wanting to add fuel to the fire, we may offend no one and they do not want to help us. In such situations, we need to focus on ourselves and stop before we lose ourselves. That’s why it’s important to ask for help from a psychologist or other specialist to help us avoid getting cooked.

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