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Fight or Flight, But Wait, There are Two More Fear Responses




You normally hear there are two main fear responses but currently, we know of four. Here they are...


When we are faced with traumatic, scary, frightening and threatening situations we have certain ways of responding, all with survival in mind. There is no judgement here, the point is we are in a fear-triggering situation we are poised to act in a way, often subconsciously we believe will help us survive. Let's define fear and four other F-letter words here.


What is Fear

Fear is a natural response to danger or perceived threat. When we feel afraid, our bodies instinctively respond in one of four ways: freeze, fight, flight, or fawn. These reactions are often referred to as the "four Fs" of fear, and they are all different ways that humans have evolved to cope with danger.


In this blog post, we will explore each of these four reactions in more detail, including how they work and how they can impact our lives.


Freeze Response

The freeze response is characterized by a state of paralysis or immobility in response to fear. When we feel threatened, our bodies may instinctively freeze, which can help us avoid detection by predators or other threats. This response can also help us conserve energy and prevent injury in some situations.




While the freeze response can be an effective way to avoid harm in some situations, it can also be problematic. When an individual consistently responds to fear by freezing, they may become more vulnerable to manipulation or abuse by others. They may also struggle to assert their own needs and desires, leading to feelings of helplessness, frustration, and anxiety over time.


Fight Response



The fight response is characterized by a tendency to respond to fear by confronting the threat head-on. This response can be useful in situations where physical strength or aggression is required to protect oneself or others. When we feel threatened, our bodies may produce a surge of adrenaline, which can increase our physical strength and enhance our ability to fight back.


However, the fight response can also be problematic. When an individual consistently responds to fear by fighting, they may become more prone to violence or aggression in other situations. They may also struggle to regulate their emotions and control their impulses, leading to interpersonal conflicts and legal issues.


Flight Response

The flight response is characterized by a tendency to respond to fear by attempting to escape or avoid the threat. This response can be useful in situations where physical distance or safety is required to protect oneself or others. When we feel threatened, our bodies may produce a surge of adrenaline, which can increase our physical speed and enhance our ability to flee from danger.



However, the flight response can also be problematic. When an individual consistently responds to fear by fleeing, they may become more prone to avoidance or procrastination in other situations. They may also struggle to face their fears and overcome obstacles, leading to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness over time.









Fawn Response

The fawn response is characterized by a tendency to respond to fear by attempting to placate or please the threat rather than fighting or fleeing from it. This response can be useful in situations where submission or cooperation is required to protect oneself or others. When we feel threatened, our bodies may produce a surge of cortisol, which can increase our willingness to cooperate and seek social support.


However, the fawn response can also be problematic. When an individual consistently responds to fear with fawning behavior, they may become more vulnerable to manipulation or abuse by others. They may also struggle to assert their own needs and desires, leading to feelings of resentment, frustration, and anxiety over time.


Chances are that in a fearful situation, we may have to use a mix of these reactions to survive. The four reactions to fear - freeze, fight, flight, and fawn - are all different ways that humans have evolved to cope with danger. While each of these responses can be useful in some situations, they can also be problematic when used excessively or inappropriately.


By understanding these reactions and learning to regulate our responses to fear, we can better navigate the challenges and uncertainties of life. Being aware of how we typically respond can help us understand ourselves better. In the end, the main thing is to live through an experience and heal.


But More about Fawn

The "fawn" response to fear is a term used to describe a type of reaction that some individuals have when confronted with a threat or danger. It is a survival mechanism that involves attempting to placate or please the threat rather than fighting or fleeing from it.


In the context of fear, the "fawn" response is characterized by an individual's tendency to try to appease the person or thing that is causing them fear, often by being overly compliant, accommodating, or submissive. This response is sometimes referred to as "fawning" or "people-pleasing," and it can manifest in a variety of ways.


For example, someone who exhibits the "fawn" response to fear may try to avoid conflict at all costs, even if it means putting themselves in harm's way. They may try to diffuse a situation by apologizing profusely or making excuses for the person causing the fear. They may also try to seek the approval of the person causing the fear, in the hopes that they will be less likely to harm them.


While the "fawn" response can be an effective way to mitigate the risk of harm in some situations, it can also be problematic. When an individual consistently responds to fear with fawning behavior, they may become more vulnerable to manipulation or abuse by others. They may also struggle to assert their own needs and desires, leading to feelings of resentment, frustration, and anxiety over time.


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Wishing You Wholeness



Diana Navarro and This Is Diana accepts no liability and/or responsibility for any actions and/or decisions any client/reader chooses to take or make based on his/her information provided here.


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