How the four trauma responses show up in our relationships: Therapist explains

When we are brought up in dysfunctional homes, it can affect the way we think and behave in our adult relationships as well. Understanding relationships and creating a space for healthy communication is very important when we get together with our loved one. However, childhood trauma can show up as responses in relationships. “We experience deep emotional pain and repeat unhealthy behaviours and patterns in our relationships when our childhood wounds are unhealed. ⁣A significant part of how we navigate conflicts, and disagreements, express love, and welcome love in romantic relationships, friendships, and family dynamics is deeply rooted in what we learned and experienced during our childhood,” wrote Therapist Emmylou Antonieth Seaman.

How the four trauma responses show up in our relationships: Therapist explains

Explaining the trauma responses, the Therapist further added, “Our trauma responses develop when we are young, and experience repeated traumatic and stressful experiences. They are automatic responses to threats that try to keep us safe.⁣ But these responses can continue even when the trauma is not happening as our brain and body continue to work to keep us safe from danger.⁣”

Fight response: When we are stuck with a difficult situation, our go-to trauma response might be fighting it and protecting ourselves. This happens when we constantly grow up in a home where we have witnessed our parents and caregivers fighting over petty things.

Flight response: This response comes up when we try to escape the situation and the emotions that it brings onto us. This happens when we don’t have a parent teaching us to deal with our emotions in childhood.

Freeze response: This is when we completely go silent and try to avoid the situation and the difficult conversations altogether because we feel that escaping is the best way to deal with the matter at hand.

Fawn response: When we are taught as a child that our emotions are not important, we try to suppress our feelings and downplay our emotions.

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