When thwarted goals increase endorsement of violence, it may not always reflect antisocial tendencies or some breakdown of self-regulation per se; such responses can also reflect an active process of self-regulation, whose purpose is to comply with the norms of one's social environment. In the present experiments (total N 2,145), the causal link between thwarted goals and endorsement of violent means (guns and war) was found to be contingent on perceptions that violence is normatively valued. Experiments 1-3 establish that thwarted goals increase endorsement of violence primarily among U.S. adults of a lower educational background and/or men who endorse a masculine honor culture. Experiment 4 manipulates the perceived normative consensus of college educated Americans, and demonstrates that thwarted goals increase college educated Americans' endorsement of whatever norm is salient: prowar or antiwar. Generalizing the model beyond violent means, Experiment 5 demonstrates that goal-thwarted Europeans report increased willingness to volunteer for refugee support activities if they perceive strong social norms to volunteer. Altogether, these findings support a frustration-affirmation model rather than frustration-aggression, whereby thwarted goals increase compliance with perceived norms for behavior, which can increase endorsement of violent means such as guns and war, but also nonviolent charitable actions.